Friday, June 15, 2007

Venus Fly Traps are Our Latest Pets

Venus Fly TrapI've always wanted to have one of these things--what kid didn't see National Geographic footage and think these were the coolest?

Well as I am "Queen of the Impulse Buy" I now own one--make that two--Venus Fly Traps. Yes I was in Lowe's a couple weeks ago buying the mulch for my garden when the display caught my eye.

"The kids would love this!" I thought (and you all know I was thinking completely of them).

So I took them home and planted them in a terrarium and now I guess you'd say I have a killer garden. (Ha! Killer garden--get it?)

But seriously, I found out that these plants are only native to North Carolina. No kidding! The whole big fat world and that's the only place they grow in the wild. Each trap can catch three meals before it withers up and dies. The trap closes over the insect and then digests it slowly using juices to dissolve the insect's soft insides. Then the trap opens five days later and the insect's shell is left to blow away in the wind.

Oh and I also learned that you shouldn't feed them hamburger or bologna, it could kill them (which explains why my brother's plant died). But it's kept the kids busy catching and feeding flies for the latest pets in our house. I'm thinking we ought to name it--any suggestions?

Which leads me to Google: "Can you overfeed a Venus Fly Trap?

If I can get some video of it closing on a fly I'll post it, it's really pretty cool. In a circle-of-life-and-death sort of way.

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32 comments:

my4kids said...

Thats pretty cool. I didn't know they only grew in one place...

la bellina mammina said...

That looks really cool!

Char said...

That's so cool... and I just have to share with you - seems I was as excited about my venus fly trap as you are! I named mine Audrey... see http://babeless.blogspot.com/2007/04/feed-me-seymour.html

And apparently, I overfed mine, because it is now dead as a doornail. Very sad!

jchevais said...

FEED ME SEYMOUR! I mean Scribbit.

Sorry... Little Shop of Horrors moment...

kddub said...

so weird, in a good way though.

can't come up with a clever name yet, but will want to hear what you all decide!

Blondie said...

Yeah--plantie love!! I always get the urge to touch those, but I know it can kill them. They can only close those traps so many times...

Patois said...

Oh, wow, I'm going to be copying everything you do. Soon, I'll have another child so I have four, too. And I'll send my husband to law school. Yeah, and I'll move to Alaska. Or maybe I'll just get them to offer you more than $20,000 to be a swapped wife. But I'll never let you back!

In case it doesn't go without saying, I'm joking. But I'm still getting me a Venus Fly Trap!

Kelly said...

I had no idea Venus fly traps died after eating three meals. What a bummer! Enjoy yours while you can.

P.S. Will it eat mosquitoes? Because that would be handy

Ally Bean said...

Just curious-- were you planning on feeding it bologna? Is that typical fly trap food?

Scribbit said...

Nope, Ally, I wasn't going to but my boys would have tried it until their Uncle set them straight on the issue.

Jeana said...

Oh, I've got ideas.

"Womenarefrom"

Venutian (The author of that book referred to woman as venutians; you know, natives of venus)

Dawson--this because my son has the nickname of Flytrap because he has a talent for falling asleep anywhere with his mouth wide open like a--well, you get it. Although your kids would probably not find this as funny as we would.

Charlotte--after the original flytrap. Of course your pet doesn't need a web. Webs are for suckas.

Did the plant in "Little Shop of Horrors" have a name?

Oh! In tribute to your most recent adventure at the grocery store, how about Cheech?

Chong?

Summer said...

I love Venus Fly Traps. Our few atemtps to grow one have failed terribly. You'll have to share your secret.

Ni Yachen said...

I have always wanted a venus fly trap. Almost bought one last year when they went on sale at Lowes. I also wanted the pineapple plant they had.

J Fife said...

We had one years ago. Killed it by feeding it hamburger. Ha! Too bad blogs weren't around then. They could have saved a little fly trap's life.

Marie said...

Hi! I was afraid of venus fly traps as a kid because I watched the movie "Little shop of horrors" with my older brothers when I was like 4 or 5 years old. Did you ever see that movie?

I bet my kids would love a fly trap. Something to think about.

Cece said...

Ok, that is the coolest thing I've seen in a LONG time!

Now I feel the need to watch Little Shop of Horrors! lol

Jane said...

I had those little lizzards called anoles when I taught kinder. They ate crickets nearly as big as they were. It was really cool in the circle of life kind of way. I totally get this!

Our anoles were Huckle and Lowly and I loved those literary names. They died and we got Chucky and oh I can't remember some other Rugrat name.

Rebecca said...

And you thought your son's owl pellet project was gross! This isn't far off the mark, either!

chelle said...

I learn something every time I stop by here! Too cool!

Leslie said...

Very cool.

SusieQ said...

In Florence, Oregon there's a little rest area called "Darlingtonia Botanical Wayside"...how's that for a name of a rest stop? Anyway, they have a nature walking path that is full of venus fly traps. We used to scare our younger siblings by walking through the path and telling them that the traps will eat little children. Kind of mean, now that I think about it. Sorry Jared and Sally.

Jenn in Holland said...

I'm dying to see that video. This is once instance where "being a fly on the wall" might not be the best position, eh?

Michael said...

Hi--greetings from another Alaskan who also digs carnivorous plants--the after a flytrap snaps shut 3-6 times it will die (turn black/shrivel). Don't dispair or MORE importantly throw it out--new traps will grow...

My Ice Cream Diary said...

My hubby had a fly trap for awhile and he loved it. You can over feed it. I think you are onlu supposed to feed it once a week (I was known to over feed it because it was just too cool to have to wait so long). you are also supposed to make sure the food is still alive. This makes feeding tricky but you just pull the wings off the fly or remove some of the legs from a spider (ew). you are also supposed to water them with distilled water and they have to hibernate half the year. And that is the extent of my very questionable fly trap knowledge. Ours did die, but that was expected since i was living under the same roof.

Damselfly said...

Wow, look at that!

Actually, I read that the more you feed it, the shorter its lifespan.

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

We had one of these plants. It died. Killer momma... (frown)

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Anonymous said...

Would like to get one but no flies around in the winter. Can you feed the small crickets? What else can they eat? Does the entire plant die after the it is done eating? Many many questions!

Scribbit said...

They don't need flies to survive, so all winter they've been without and are doing fine. Crickets would be awfully big but if they could handle it it would work I guess. Each trap eats three times before dying and new ones grow.

Anonymous said...

i live in westvirginia i just dont have luck with flytraps i need to know how to grow a;oe and is it real touchy

Anonymous said...

The over feeding rule is dont feed up to or more than half of the heads at one time, the plant can't stop itself using energy to shut its trap and eat, if it use's to much energyit will die. It will only eat live food and should only be given rain or distilled water, I keep mine inside of a propergator for humidity.

LinkGuru Web Directory said...

Thats Nice....

Its colour its features are really fantastic. And all of the things are so natural in it. This plant catch things in it i think soo..that will be its speciality.