Revealed: The Tell-Tale Signs of a Dormant Venus Fly Trap

By Josh Koop •  Updated: 05/07/23 •  10 min read

If you’re a plant parent with a venus fly trap, you may be wondering if your beloved carnivorous plant is dead or just dormant.

Venus fly traps are unique and intriguing plants that require specific care to thrive. However, it’s not uncommon for them to appear lifeless during certain periods of the year.

It’s important to understand the difference between a dead venus fly trap and a dormant one. While a dead plant is irreversible, a dormant plant can come back to life with proper care.

In this article, we’ll explore the signs of a dead or dormant venus fly trap and provide tips on how to revive your plant if it’s still alive.

Black background showing off a venus fly trap plant and discussing whether your plant is dormant or dead

Signs Of A Dead Venus Fly Trap

If you’re wondering whether your Venus fly trap is dead, it’s important to first understand some common mistakes that often lead to their demise.

One of the biggest issues is improper care, which can include overwatering, poor soil quality, and lack of sunlight. These carnivorous plants thrive in moist but well-draining soil and require bright, direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.

Another mistake people often make is feeding their Venus fly trap inappropriate food or too frequently.

While these plants do need to eat insects to survive, they should only be fed once every two weeks or so. Feeding them anything other than live insects, such as meat or cheese, can also cause harm.

So how do you know if your Venus fly trap has died?

One of the most obvious signs is a lack of new growth or any signs of life at all. A healthy plant will regularly produce new leaves and traps throughout the growing season.

If you notice that no new growth has appeared for several months and the existing leaves have turned brown and withered away, it may be time to accept that your Venus fly trap has passed away.

Signs Of A Dormant Venus Fly Trap

Wilting leaves, no movement, change in color, and lack of water are all signs of a dormant Venus fly trap.

No trap formation, no new growth, loss of vigor, low temperature, soil drying out, misting leaves, fertilizing, plant stress, darker green leaves, pale green leaves, and sparse traps are also indicators of dormancy.

It’s important to recognize these signs in order to properly care for your plant.

Maintaining the right environment is the key to keeping your Venus fly trap healthy and vibrant.

Wilting Leaves

Are your venus fly trap’s leaves wilting and turning brown? Don’t panic just yet. This may be a sign that your plant is simply dormant, rather than dead.

During the dormant period, which typically occurs during the winter months, the leaves of a venus fly trap will naturally start to die off.

However, if you notice that the leaves are wilting during other times of the year, it could be due to overwatering or poor soil drainage.

One common mistake that people make when caring for their venus fly trap is watering it too frequently.

These plants thrive in moist soil, but they can easily become waterlogged if they are overwatered.

To avoid this issue, make sure you are only watering your plant once every week or two. Additionally, make sure to use a well-draining soil type such as peat moss or sphagnum moss.

If your venus fly trap is showing signs of wilting leaves and you’ve ruled out issues with watering frequency and soil type, there may be other factors at play.

For example, pests such as spider mites or aphids can cause damage to the leaves and affect their overall health.

Similarly, exposure to extreme temperatures or sunlight can also cause wilting and browning of the leaves.

In any case, it’s important to closely monitor your plant’s behavior and take proactive measures to address any issues before they become more serious.

No Movement

If you’ve noticed that your Venus fly trap hasn’t moved in a while, don’t be alarmed just yet. While these plants are known for their quick movements when catching insects, they can also go through periods of dormancy where they appear to be completely still.

During this time, the plant may not catch any insects and its leaves may become less sensitive to touch. However, this is a natural part of the plant’s life cycle and doesn’t necessarily indicate any health issues.

If you’re concerned about the lack of movement in your Venus fly trap, it’s important to first diagnose if there are any underlying issues with the plant.

For example, if the soil is too wet or dry, or if the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight or nutrients, it may become stressed and stop moving.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that Venus fly traps don’t need to catch insects in order to survive.

While their insect diet provides some necessary nutrients, they can also obtain them from other sources such as water and soil.

By closely monitoring your plant’s behavior and addressing any potential issues with its environment, you can help ensure that your Venus fly trap stays healthy even during periods of dormancy.

How To Revive A Dormant Venus Fly Trap

Reviving a dormant Venus Fly Trap can be a tricky process if you’re not familiar with its biology. However, with the right techniques and management of its dormancy period, you can bring your plant back to life.

One of the most important things to remember when reviving a dormant Venus Fly Trap is to avoid disturbing the plant as much as possible. It’s essential to leave it in its original potting mix and not repot it until after it has fully recovered.

You should also ensure it gets enough sunlight, water, and nutrients during this time. Another key factor in reviving your Venus Fly Trap is understanding how long it will stay dormant. Some plants may only be dormant for a few weeks, while others may remain in this state for several months.

If you notice any new growth or signs of life during this period, this is an indication that your plant is on the road to recovery.

With proper care and attention, your Venus Fly Trap can thrive once again. In the next section, we’ll discuss some tips for maintaining your plant’s health and ensuring that it continues to grow strong and healthy.

Proper Care For Your Venus Fly Trap

After successfully reviving your dormant Venus Fly Trap, it’s important to know how to properly care for it.

Watering frequency is one of the most crucial aspects of caring for a Venus Fly Trap. These plants always require moist soil, but overwatering can lead to root rot and ultimately kill the plant. Generally, it’s best to water your Venus Fly Trap once a week with distilled or rainwater.

Another critical factor in keeping your Venus Fly Trap healthy is providing adequate sunlight exposure.

These plants require direct sunlight for at least four hours a day, but too much direct sun can scorch their leaves. It’s recommended to place your Venus Fly Trap in a sunny windowsill or outside in partial shade.

In addition to proper watering and sunlight exposure, it’s important to avoid feeding your Venus Fly Trap anything other than live insects.

While it may be tempting to feed them bits of meat or other non-insect materials, this can harm the plant and potentially kill it.

By following these guidelines for care, you can help ensure that your Venus Fly Trap remains healthy and thriving for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Venus Fly Trap Survive In Winter Weather?

Hey, have you ever wondered if your Venus Fly Trap can survive the winter?

Well, the answer is yes! With proper overwintering techniques, these carnivorous plants can thrive even in colder temperatures.

However, whether they survive indoors or outdoors depends on a few factors. Indoor survival requires a cool and bright location with consistent moisture levels.

Outdoor survival, on the other hand, requires a dormant period where the plant slows down and enters a state of hibernation.

But don’t worry, with the right care and attention, your Venus Fly Trap will make it through even the toughest of winters!

How Often Should I Water My Venus Fly Trap?

When it comes to watering your Venus fly trap, it’s important to keep in mind that these plants require specific conditions.

You should aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. This means watering about once a week, depending on the climate and humidity levels in your area.

It’s also important to use distilled or rainwater instead of tap water, as tap water often contains minerals that can harm the plant.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, while under-watering can cause the plant’s leaves to turn brown and die.

So be sure to monitor soil moisture levels carefully and adjust your watering frequency accordingly.

How Long Does A Venus Fly Trap Live?

The Venus fly trap lifespan typically ranges from two to ten years, depending on how well it’s cared for.

While they may go dormant during the winter months, it’s important to differentiate between a dormant plant and a dead one.

Signs of a dead Venus fly trap include blackening leaves or a complete lack of growth.

However, if the leaves are still green and healthy-looking, there’s a chance that the plant is simply in dormancy mode.

It’s important to understand the specific needs of your Venus fly trap to ensure it stays healthy and alive for as long as possible.

Can I Feed My Venus Fly Trap Anything Other Than Insects?

Venus fly traps have a specific nutritional requirement for insects, as they rely on the nutrients from their prey to survive.

However, some plant enthusiasts have experimented with alternative diets for their Venus fly traps. While there is no research indicating that alternative diets can support the long-term health of these plants, some have tried feeding them things like fish food or small pieces of tofu.

It’s important to note that Venus fly traps evolved to consume insects and their digestive systems are adapted specifically to break down insect proteins. Therefore, it’s best to stick with their natural diet if you want your Venus fly trap to thrive.

Can I Keep My Venus Fly Trap Outside All Year Round?

Keeping your Venus fly trap outside all year round is possible, but it requires some overwintering tips and special outdoor care.

While these carnivorous plants are native to wetlands in the southeastern United States, they still need protection from harsh winter conditions.

To ensure your Venus fly trap survives the winter months, you can either bring it indoors or provide a protective layer of mulch around the plant’s roots.

Additionally, make sure the plant is not sitting in standing water to prevent root rot.

With proper care, your Venus fly trap can thrive outdoors year-round.


So, is your Venus Fly Trap dead or just taking a nap? It’s hard to tell sometimes, especially during the winter months when these carnivorous plants become dormant.

But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world if your plant looks a little lackluster. In fact, it’s perfectly normal for Venus Fly Traps to go into hibernation mode when temperatures drop and daylight hours decrease.

To ensure that your Venus Fly Trap stays healthy and alive, make sure to water it regularly and avoid overfeeding it. These fascinating plants can live for several years if cared for properly, providing endless entertainment with their unique feeding habits.

And while they may only consume insects, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching them at work in your home or garden all year round. So go ahead and embrace the dormancy period – your Venus Fly Trap will thank you for it!

Josh Koop

I have been fascinated with carnivorous plants since I was a little kid and my dad had me watch Little Shop of Horrors and ever since these plants have just absorbed my attention as they are amazing. I hope to share this love with everyone now and help grow you all into carnivorous plant lovers also!