Why Do Venus Fly Traps Stink: What Do I Smell?

Venus Fly Traps are exciting and exotic plants. Their uniqueness is what draws many people to plant them in their garden. But only after that they realize that their uniqueness comes at a cost. Many carnivorous plant gardeners claim that Venus Fly Traps along with some other carnivorous plants sometimes can produce an awful rotting…

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Venus Fly Traps are exciting and exotic plants. Their uniqueness is what draws many people to plant them in their garden. But only after that they realize that their uniqueness comes at a cost.

Many carnivorous plant gardeners claim that Venus Fly Traps along with some other carnivorous plants sometimes can produce an awful rotting smell.   

While the Venus Fly Trap doesn’t stink usually, they can smell bad sometimes for plenty of reasons. They can smell bad for their soil, during the digestion period that can last up to 10 days, when food is not digested properly and if their leaves turn brownish and start to rot.

As you can see, a Venus Fly Traps can smell for a variety of reasons. And that is why I highly recommend you to read this complete article to learn in depth why do Venus Fly Traps stink.

I’ve also discussed in detail about ways you can work to prevent this smell and much more useful information. So, keep reading.

Do Venus Fly Traps Stink? 

Carnivorous plants have a distinct funny odor to them in general but that odor doesn’t necessarily smell bad or stinks.  

Venus Fly Traps do not usually stink or smell bad. Rather they give off a pleasant smell in order to attract insects and other prey. Their nectars actually smell sweet and beautiful. But the smell is not potent enough for you to notice. 

Naturally, your Venus Fly Traps should not smell bad. It should give off a funky odor sometimes but the smell is not particularly bad.

If your Venus Fly Trap is stinking, there might be something wrong with it or it’s simply just the soil. And sometimes it’s just the smell of the left-over carcasses of their prey. 

The rotting flesh smell they sometimes produce by regurgitating the digested remaining of their prey actually smells good to bugs like flies who depend on rotting flesh to survive.

Also not just the rotting smell but they also produce sweet nectar-like flowers which attract bugs. We can’t smell this nectar but the bugs can.

Also, unique composition of their soil can also be a reason for bad odor. A component in their soil called sphagnum moss is well known for its unpleasant smell.

Does Sphagnum moss Smell Bad? 

Sphagnum mosses have a funky odor although it’s not that terrible. However, it’s definitely unpleasant. Venus flytraps require poor nutrient soil that has zero fertilizers and the best way to make such soil is to add sphagnum moss or peat moss. 

Sphagnum moss smells like regular moss when you buy it but after it gets wet along with the other soil ingredients, it gives off a weird smell. This smell can stink out the whole room.

That’s why enough ventilation is required. So, it’s best to keep your plants outside. 

Reasons Your Venus Flytrap Might Smell

Besides the soil smelling bad, there can be some other reasons as to why your Venus flytrap stinks. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons- 

Digestion Period

The most common reason behind your Venus flytrap stinking is it’s still digesting the food. In case you didn’t know, Venus flytraps digest food for a long period of time.

Usually, the plants digest within 3 to 7 days depending on the size of the insect. However, it can even last up to ten days. 

During this period, the plant can sometimes emit an unpleasant smell. 

Incomplete Digestion

Sometimes the Venus flytrap fails to completely digest the food. This usually happens when the plant traps larger insects. There is a limit to the maximum size the Venus flytrap can trap and then digest. 

For example, a small flytrap cannot possibly eat a centipede. Even if it somehow manages to trap it, the small plant will most likely fail to digest it properly.

Basically, if the trap is not big enough, it will fail to trap the insect properly and some parts of the insect will stay out rotting and molding. This, later on, creates a terrible smell.

In the end, the plant fails to digest the bug completely and ends up puking the partly digested body out emitting a more disgusting smell. 

Soil Mix

The Venus fly trap soil contains an odd mixture of sand, sphagnum moss, and perlite. Now, this moss can give off an odd smell especially if it’s kept wet for a long time. The smell is not particularly terrible but it’s noticeable. 

Rotten Parts

Bad odor coming from your Venus flytrap could also indicate that your plant or any part of it is rotting. If you notice that any part of the plant is showing a brownish to blackish color, it means that part is rotting and needs your attention. 

This also happens due to indigestion or if the size of the bug is too big for the flytrap. In that case, bacteria will infect the flytrap and produce an unpleasant odor. If any of the leaves are dark brown then it is already rotten and should be trimmed. 

Now that you have learned the possible reasons as to why your Venus flytrap smells bad, let’s take a look at how you can cope with this smell. 

How to Manage Venus Fly Trap Stink? 

As mentioned earlier, Venus flytraps can stink for many reasons. The most important thing now is how you can stop this from happening or at least manage it. The best way to prevent bad odor is by simply giving the plant more attention and care. 

Follow the simple steps below and hopefully, your plant will not bother you with a horrible smell anymore.

Keep the Plants Outside 

The best way to deal with the bad odor is to keep the plants outside. If you keep them outside, you will naturally be able to avoid any odor coming from the plant or the soil.

Moreover, during the digestion period, the plant will stay out and the smell will eventually go away as the digestion is over. 

Throw Away Undigested Parts 

If the smell is coming due to indigestion and you notice that the insect is too big for your Venus flytrap, it’s best to remove the insect. You can do this with the help of a small tweezer.

However, if you notice that the bug is not so big then leave it be. The Venus flytrap needs to digest it completely and it will eventually finish the digestion. 

Trim Rotten Parts

The easiest solution to remove this bad smell is trimming the rotten leaves and flytraps. Venus flytraps have no problem losing a few leaves and traps here and there.

They can always sprout a new one, so trimming the rotten leaves will not harm the plants at all. 

Avoid touching the rotten parts with your hands as the smell is very strong and it’s really hard to get the odor out. Simply trim the rotten leaves and other darkened parts with scissors while wearing a glove. This should solve the problem. 

Don’t Overwater

Sphagnum moss has the ability to hold water about 10 times than what it weighs. But watering the soil too much may result in emitting a bad smell. So, it’s best to water the soil in an adequate amount. 

Don’t Feed Them Frequently

As mentioned earlier, Venus flytraps take a long time to digest their prey. As a result, if you keep feeding them frequently then it may not digest properly and cause more bad odor. Feeding them once or twice a month is more than enough.

Final Thoughts on Why Do Venus Fly Traps Stink

While your Venus Fly Trap can stink if no care and attention is paid to keep the plant clean this is actually very normal for the plant and how it would live in the wild.

Choosing to bring them inside means you are changing their environment and will want to do the appropriate actions to maintain cleanliness and they can be much less stinky.




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