Venus Fly Traps are one of the most interesting plants, and it is also one of the easiest to grow. One question that many people have about these plants is do they close at night?
The answer to this question is no! There is always a reason behind why the venus flytrap closes its trap, they can close 24 hours a day 7 days a week when healthy! Closing does require two trigger hairs being hit within a short time or one triggered multiple times signaling food.
So let’s take a look at why they close and if you should have any concerns. We will talk about the primary reasons for a trap to close and then how long you will have to wait for them to re-open afterward.
Two Primary Reasons Why a Venus Flytrap Will Close
There are two primary reasons why a venus flytrap will close its traps, and it can be due to either one or both of these. Understanding these reasons will help you understand how to care for your Venus Fly Trap.
Trap Triggered (By Insect or Other Event)
The most common reason is that an insect walked into the trap and managed to trigger the trap by hitting a couple of hairs that are located inside the trap, this then is the signal that it is larger prey and worth the cost to close and digest them.
This can be triggered by dropping other things into the trap like your finger, obviously, the trap can’t close in that case which will then slowly relax and open again.
It has been said by people on forums that things like a water drop from rain can hit hairs and trigger trap closures, but at most the plant will then relax and open back up as it only seals when the hairs are continuously triggered to digest the meal.
Trap At End of Life
The trap may close slightly if it is at the end of its life and starting to deteriorate, but it will not close completely. Typically this is after they are sprung a certain amount of times and that they have exceeded their use to the plant and that it needs newer traps to catch new prey.
This is the benefit to a carnivorous plant like a venus fly trap, they can live long lives and can build newer traps as needed since they are triggered by internal hairs in the trap that can and do fail over time.
Traps Do Open On Their Own
In most cases, the traps will open again once the reason is removed. For example, if you touch it and it closes, as soon as you remove your hand it will reopen. If it’s closed because it’s raining outside, as soon as the rain stops it will reopen.
After digestion, the trap will reopen to allow the plant to catch the next insect who wanders into it, this can be interesting with ants, as they signal out when they find food.
This signal then sends in many more ants which can mean a huge amount of food for a single plant as there can frequently be multiple ants in one trap and 10’s of traps all being triggered due to luring a single ant.
How Long Does a Venus flytrap Stay Closed?
If your plant should capture prey inside and close how long will it take for them to open back up to catch more prey? This is frequently asked by new owners and they can worry when it feels like it’s been a long time.
Since the trap will close and digest the process can take between five to twelve days after the capture to reopen and release the insect exoskeleton. The traps are only going to last three to five meals and then they will no longer capture prey and slowly will degrade and fall off to allow new trap growth.
This means once you start to fee a single trap you will have to wait for the processing to complete before it will reopen for the next chance at a meal.
Please take caution and note that just because the trap is open you don’t need to feed them all as this is a stressor on the plant.
Do Traps Die When They Close?
There are only so many times a trap can close before it uses up its energy and will need to be replaced, this is why you shouldn’t trigger traps for any reason other than feeding as it will shorten the trap’s lifespan irresponsibly.
Final Thoughts on Whether Venus Fly Traps Would Close At Night
Venus Fly Traps are many things, but they’re not lazy. They have a complex life cycle that includes trapping prey for food and then digesting them over the course of days to weeks before their next meal.
One thing you might notice about your venus fly trap is that it doesn’t close completely at night, it stays open so that any insect who wanders in can be captured by its traps.
Venus Fly Traps don’t need rest, they don’t need to conserve energy, and they’re always on the lookout for their next meal. So while you might be sleeping, your venus fly trap is wide awake and ready to eat!
Please take caution when feeding your plant as it’s very stressful on them – only do so every few weeks unless there are pests in your area that you would like to control organically.
Additionally, if a trap closes and seems to not open back up then please refrain from opening it yourself or trying to feed the plant as this may cause more harm than good.
The best thing you can do is wait until the process has been completed and the trap will reopen again.