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Watching Venus flytraps catch insects is what makes them fun, but did you know they can also eat fish food? There is a lot of discussion about this online, and in this article we will shed light on this topic and if fish food is really good for the plant.
Venus flytraps can eat fish food as long as it is wet and small enough to fit in its trap. Fish betta pellets, mealworms, bloodworms and flakes are all suitable for Venus flytraps.
Are Fish Food Safe For Venus Flytraps?
There is plenty of back and forth about this online, but in general it is safe for Venus flytraps to eat fish food. Assuming your plant is healthy, fish food is not going to cause indigestion or other health issues.
If you want to give fish food to Venus flytraps, make certain it is no bigger than 1/3 or 2/3 the trap size. Anything larger than that could kill the trap, though not necessarily harm the plant.
Soak fish food in water before feeding it to your Venus flytrap. This will make it easier for the trap to eat it. The plant digestive juices cannot break down hard objects, which is why they have a hard time eating cockroaches or hard shelled beetles.
There are a lot of fish food options to choose from, but you have to follow those two guidelines. Wet the food bits first and it should be no more than 1/3 or 2/3 the trap size. Venus flytraps eat bugs for their nutritional value, nitrogen in particular. Fish foods can offer similar benefits provided it is of good quality.
How Much Fish Food Can Venus Flytraps Eat?
Outdoor Venus flytraps have access to a lot of bugs, so there is no point feeding them fish food. If you see one of its traps closed, resist the urge to give it more food. Feeding multiple traps could weaken the plant as it requires lots of energy to digest bugs.
Indoor Venus flytraps should be fed every 2 weeks and only one trap each time. Outdoor Venus flytraps do not need to be fed since they can catch insects easily.
If your Venus flytrap is indoors, feed one trap with fish food. Do not give your flytrap any more until the trap has reopened.
Most Venus flytraps take 12 days to digest food, and you can expect the same for fish food. Roughly that is every two weeks which is sufficient.
You can mix and match fish foods and swap them with live or dead bugs. As long as you do not overfeed the traps everything should be fine.
What Fish Food Should I Give Venus Flytraps?
If you just want to get to the food stuff, here they are. If you want to know a specific product, we recommend Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets as it is not only good for fish but for carnivorous plants too.
- Fish pellets
- Freeze Dried Bloodworms
- Freeze Dried Mealworms
Fish pellets are among the most popular fish food for Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants. Just sprinkle a bit of water and it is ready to serve.
You can use tweezers or toothpicks to place pellets in the trap. Be careful so you do not end up triggering the sensors or the trap will suddenly close. No worries though because Venus flytraps cannot hurt you.
Flakes and pellets have a lot in common, but beginners may find pellets easier to prepare. Unlike flakes, pellets can be plucked and placed in the trap without making a mess. This is not to say flakes are no good, but you have to be more patient.
Fish pellets are highly recommended by Venus flytrap growers because of the benefits. With proper feeding pellets help Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants grow faster and stay strong.
Freeze Dried Bloodworms and Mealworms
Freeze dried bloodworms and mealworms are widely used as food for carnivorous plants. Next to bugs, mealworms are probably the most widely given food for flytraps.
Mealworms and blood worms provide essential nutrients for Venus flytraps and they are are affordable. Unlike other bugs, you can find frozen mealworms and bloodworms in any pet store, online or brick and mortar. Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms for instance, are widely available and a healthy choice for Venus flytraps.
You are not limited to freeze dried bloodworms and mealworms. Freeze dried crickets are great for carnivorous plants too. No matter what freeze dried food you give, add a few drops of water first.
There is a lot of debate which is better, live vs. freeze dried fish food. Some say live food have more of the nutrients Venus flytraps need. But freeze dried food does not carry the risk of ailments. They also last longer than live food so it is a more practical choice.
As long as your Venus flytrap gets plenty of air, light and proper watering, freeze dried food should be fine. Nutrition free soil is essential too, so do not use cactus soil as that is bad for Venus flytraps .
These are not food for plants anyway, but nutrients. The real food of Venus flytraps is glucose which is produced with photosynthesis. Fish food and bugs serve as supplements.
Fish flakes are the most widely available fish food, but can Venus flytraps eat them? The answer is yes, they can.
Remember to water the flakes before giving it to the plant. A Venus flytrap only needs a small bit and that should be enough. There are two main types of fish flakes, tropical and cold water. The major difference between the two is that cold water flakes have more carbohydrates and protein. But either one will work fine for Venus flytraps.
Fish flakes will last for about a month after opening. Because Venus flytraps only eat a small amount, you might end up with a lot of unused flakes. It is better to buy a small package first so you do not end up wasting it.
Fish eat live worms and so can Venus flytraps. But it is better to stick with dead mealworms and bloodworms as there is no risk of damage to the traps.
Live worms might eat their way out of the trap for one thing. If the worm is too big, parts of it will stick out and will rot. The plant digests some of the worm, but the parts left out will decay and could spread over the other leaves.
If it only kills one trap that is okay as another will take its place. But if the rot spreads it could affect the rest of the Venus flytrap. This could happen with large insects too, so you need to be careful when feeding it live prey.
Can Venus Flytraps Eat Fruits and Human Food?
Fish can eat bits of fruits, vegetables and various types of meat. They are considered fish food, so is it okay to give these to Venus flytraps?
Venus flytraps cannot eat fruits, vegetables, hamburger meat or any human food. They do not have the physical means to properly process these. Forcing the trap to eat human food could kill it.
Humans and animals produce digestive fluids to dissolve food. Venus flytraps do the same, but their enzymes are not designed for hamburgers, cheese, apples or other foods people eat.
If you place bits of cheese in the trap and stimulate the triggers, it will close. But after a few hours or days it will open and the food will still be there. The plant will not be able to digest the food because it is not part of its diet.
In some cases a Venus flytrap might attempt to digest it. Hamburger meat might be too much for its enzymes though, so when the trap reopens the meat will still be there with some digestive juice all over it. The worst case scenario is the plant does consume it but the trap withers and dies. So stick with other fish food.
If you ever get tired of feeding bugs to your Venus flytrap, give them fish food. They are easier to find than bugs, and not as messy too. As long as the food bits are small enough, your flytraps will have no problems digesting them.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.