Cultivating a carnivorous plant at home: the dionée

The cloneweed is a carnivorous plant native to America

The dionée is a carnivorous plant about ten centimeters in diameter. Also known as 'Venus flytrap', this plant is native to peat bogs in North and South Carolina in the United States where the climate is temperate to subtropical.

Indeed, there is only one species of Dioneae muscipula (Dionaea muscipula), but many variations of it are sold in the trade. They are very different in terms of colors and their morphology. The 'Shark Teeth', 'B52', 'Red Dragon', 'PomPom', and 'Red Piranha' plants are currently cultivated varieties, that is, plants selected from culture for their atypical characteristics.

The dionee is a carnivorous plant that feeds on flies

carnivorous carnivorous plant fly catcher


The dionée is a spectacular carnivorous plant, especially for its morphology. Its leaves are arranged in a rosette around a buried rhizome. Rosettes can be 10 to 15 cm in diameter and leaves up to 10 cm long. They have a very complex structure. The petiole performs the function of photosynthesis of the plant, and the limb - a trap function thanks to its jaw shape.

In reality, each leaf can close only 3 times, then it dies. This is why the closing of the traps must not be artificially provoked.

There are also some other specificities. First of all, the ambient temperature must be high enough for the movement to be fast. Otherwise the trap may not trigger. And again, if the prey is too big, it causes the destruction and death of the leaf.

The fly catcher is harmless, except for insects

Venus flytrap

Mechanism of the trap

When an insect touches the sensory hairs (6 in general) on the inner faces of the leaves of the dioneae twice within less than forty seconds, the closing of the trap is triggered by the two lobes and the peripheral teeth intersect creating a jail. The second contact is necessary because the plant protects against unnecessary action (eg due to the falling of a dead leaf). Indeed, we call this trap 'active' whose movement is one of the most impressive in the plant world.

The dionée also takes another precaution before eating prey. She makes sure that the insect is well edible with its digestive abilities. After the first movement, the eyelashes on the edge retain the subject for the time of the check; if it turns out that it is not suitable, the trap opens. If it's the opposite, it closes tightly.

When the plant has eaten prey, the trap reopens after a few days, releasing only the skeleton of the insect completely emptied of its substance. The remains are subsequently removed by the wind.

Once the prey is recognized, the leaves are welded together to form an airtight capsule

carnivorous plant eats a fly


The cloneweed is considered a carnivorous plant that adapts rather well to our climate. As it needs seasonal temperature variations, it should be grown outdoors outside in summer, and in winter, in a place with a sufficiently cool temperature (below 10 ° C). In winter, the plant takes a smaller form, the leaves remain on the ground. By cons, in the spring it forms pretty white flowers 2 cm in diameter.

This plant is really a curiosity of nature with its jaw-shaped leaves



The dionée loves the full sun which favors the coloring of the leaves. In hot weather, the pot should be placed in a saucer full of rainwater, deionized water or reverse osmosis water. In winter it is desirable that you remove the saucer and leave the soil just wet. Caution: watch that it is not too dry. In the cool season, the clone will rest: the leaves will die and the rhizome will bury itself.


To prepare the substrate, you will need a 2/3 mixture of peat moss and 1/3 quartz sand ( perlite , vermiculite ). The pot must be plastic, with drainage holes. It is important not to use calcareous materials that suffocate the roots. The use of a large pot leaves more space for the plant to grow, which avoids repotting each year.

Winter rest

In fact, the female clone needs a winter rest of at least three months. During this rest, watering must be reduced. During this period the growth of the clone is slowed down (if not stopped). In the event of a drop in temperature (below -5 ° C), the jar can be surrounded by bubble wrap and covered with a wintering veil.


By the end of March or the beginning of April, it's time to repot plants that are in an old substrate (2-3 years if the pot is small, 5 years if the pot is large). It is advisable to keep the mound and place it in the new container with substrate.


fly catcher

conquered fly catcher

a carnivorous plant


dionaea muscipula

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