A young friend of mine requested a Venus Flytrap for her 9th birthday. You gotta love that kind of kid.
I remember having one when I was young. I was fascinated. I caught flies to feed it. Sometimes, I gave it a little raw hamburger. Sometimes, I teased it with a toothpick just to see the trap snap shut.
Venus Flytrap Dionaea muscipula is native to the sunny bogs of coastal North and South Carolina. They eat spiders, flies, caterpillars, crickets and slugs. Movement against the trigger hairs inside the specialized leaves cause them to close. The digestive juices inside the leaf dissolve the insect. In 5 to 12 days, the leaf opens and the exoskeleton is washed away by rain or blown away by a breeze. (Sounds like a Halloween story.)
According to The Garden Helper Fly Trap Tips:
… the growing medium must stay moist, but never soggy.
… Flytraps will consume 2 or 3 flies each month.
… purchase small crickets at a local pet shop as food or dead flies and insects may be used
… Never, never, never feed your Flytrap hamburger. The fat content in burger will be fatal to your plant..
… Artificially springing the trap… drains the plant's energy. If this is done too often, the trap head will become less sensitive and possibly die.
I’m glad I didn’t read Garden Helper when I was a kid.