Venus Flytrap Care – Do They Need Direct Sunlight?

Venus flytrap needs bright and direct sunlight to survive. It is too hot in summer and it grows in wet spongy soil and that would not be possible in the desert.

The Venus flytrap, a well-known carnivorous plant, grows to 5-6 inches in diameter, with traps typically up to 1.5 inches in size. Therefore, one of the essential requirements of Venus flytraps is proper lighting.

It is famous as a potted plant in many parts of the world, but sadly most of the sold Venus flytraps have been grown or harvested from declining wild populations. As with all plants, the Venus flytrap derives its energy from the sun through photosynthesis.

Venus flytraps are expected to grow under direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day to stay healthy and optimally receive over 10 hours of direct sunlight. Venus flytraps can also develop with artificial lighting, but light specifications must be appropriate for carnivorous plants.

Proper illumination is essential to keep a Venus flytrap healthy. In the active growing season, Venus flytraps should receive a minimum of 12 hours of light. At least 4 hours of sunlight is recommended. The more direct sunlight the plant gets, the healthier it will be.

Sunlight Requirement for Venus Flytrap

While growing, grow your fly trap outdoors in full sun. Allow 6 hours or more of direct sun for solid growth. If full sunlight is not possible, plan for a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight with indirect light throughout the rest of the day. Your plant won’t be as vibrant or sturdy as one grown in full sun, but you will be able to maintain its overall health.

Venus flytrap and a sky.
Proper illumination is essential to keep a Venus flytrap healthy. I

Direct Sunlight Versus Indirect Sunlight

Venus flytraps may grow in a location where they receive direct sunlight for a few hours, followed by indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.

Six hours’ direct sunlight is the minimum recommended for Venus flytraps. However, Venus flytraps may survive under indirect sunlight as long as they receive a combination of direct and indirect sunlight with a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight.

Venus flytraps grow faster and seem much healthier when grown with more sun. Ideally, Venus flying traps will receive more than 10 to 12 hours of sunshine.

Venus Fly Trap Sunlight Tolerance

Venus flytraps cannot take too much sun. Therefore, extended exposure to light will only boost growth and enhance the plant—supply of 12 hours of sunshine, particularly during the growing season.

The only scenario in which Venus flytraps could suffer when exposed to a large amount of sunlight is if temperatures are aggressively elevated.

Venus Flytrap in a pot.
Extended exposure to light will only boost growth and enhance the plant

Venus flytraps can resist high summer temperatures over 90F. However, once temperatures rise above 100 F, Venus flytraps may dry up. Therefore, place the Venus flytraps in a water tray during warm summer days or partially cover them during temperature peaks.

Artificial Lights and Venus Flytraps

Venus flytraps require a lot of lighting to remain healthy, but such lighting does not require sunlight.

As a rule of thumb, Venus flying traps can stay healthy if exposed to more than 6 hours of sunlight or artificial lighting. When using artificial lights, provide long hours of light (10h ) using LEDs or fluorescent bulbs with over 1500 lumens.

Venus flytraps can be grown indoors, but providing enough lighting with fluorescent lights or LEDs is tricky. If you choose to use fluorescent lamps, keep the Venus flytrap less than 8 inches from the light to ensure that the Venus flytrap receives enough light to stay healthy. The nearer the plant gets to the light, the better.

A compact fluorescent light bulb is cost-effective when selecting a lighting installation for your Venus flytrap. Use bulbs labeled “cool white” or “cool blue” in the color temperature, which have a color temperature range of 6500-kelvin, perfect for growth.

Because artificial lighting can be less effective than sunlight, you should strive to provide light for more extended periods. Venus flytraps may also grow with sunlight and artificial lightings, such as growing them in the sills of windows or a sun porch.

Best Location Indoors for Venus Flytraps

Venus flytraps require constant and extended exposure to light all year long. Therefore, they should be strategically located. For example, if you grow your plant on a window ledge, I recommend using artificial lights to complement its growth.

Venus flytraps can grow on a windowsill as long as the windowsill receives over 6 hours of direct light. If the window sill fails to meet this requirement, use artificial lights as a supplement.

Venus flytrap near the window.
Venus flytraps can grow on a windowsill as long as the windowsill receives over 6 hours of direct light

A south-facing sunlight window is your best option. As long as the Venus flytrap receives 4 hours of direct sunlight into the window, it should thrive. A windowsill facing east or west may also work.

If you live in a basement or flat with only north-facing windows, you may need artificial lighting to help your plant grow properly. Venus dies if grown under fluorescent lights all year long with the same light every day.

Best Outdoor Location for Venus Fly Traps

The best part of growing your Venus flytraps out is that you don’t have to worry about making sure they get the proper light. Instead, they will obtain all the light they need to be healthy.

Venus flytrap in a whote pot outside.
You can put the plant into the full sun directly outside your house.

It is best to provide shelter against the noon sun in a dry and stifling climate so that Venus flytraps are not burned or dried. Again, shading fabric will work well. Similarly, a faint light through the leaves of a shade tree will provide some respite from the intense sun while providing adequate light for optimum health.

Acclimate Your Venus Flytrap

Venus flytraps that grow in sheltered or heavily controlled conditions, such as indoors under artificial lighting or in a greenhouse, will take some time to adapt to outdoor growing conditions.

Slowly bring the plant into the sunlight to keep its leaves from burning and dying. Venus flytraps from sheltered environments require gradual exposure to sunlight to prevent sunburn.

Begin by giving it an hour or two of direct sunlight during a few days. Then, raise exposure to sunlight to a few hours for a few days and continue until you can leave it in the sun all day.

Alternatively, you can put the plant into the full sun directly outside your house. All leaves burn, turn yellow or brown, and eventually darken. However, the new leaves and traps will be fully hardened by sunlight.

How to Toughen Your Venus Fly Trap

There are some ways to harden Venus flytraps. These include:

1) Place the plant in a place protected against the full sun but receiving brilliant indirect sunlight. These places include under a large tree that shades the area all day, under a shade cloth, or under a deck where a particular dappled light still gets through.

2) Place the plant outside early in the morning each day for a set period, then return the plant inside or to a more protected area. Begin with an exposure time of 30 minutes and gradually increase the exposure time for a month until the plant is outdoors in full sun throughout the day.

3) Position the plant outdoors in full sun, provided it is early enough in the growing season, and the sun is not too intense. Again, people in northern latitudes may fare with this much more easily than those in the South.

Can Venus Fly Trap Survive in Low Light Conditions

Under suitable artificial lights, Venus flytraps can live free of sunlight. Direct sunlight is ideal for Venus flytraps, but fluorescent light and LED can meet the requirements of these plants. It is advisable to provide 10 hours of artificial lighting inside.

Venus flytrap in a whale pot.
Direct sunlight is ideal for Venus flytraps.

Irrespective of the climate and your living situation, you can grow healthy Venus flytraps. Artificial lights allow anyone to grow a Venus flytrap. If you can put your plants out, do so. Venus flytraps grow outdoors with ample access to water, light, and insects. However, outdoor growing is not always an option.

Signs That Your Venus Fly Trap Is Not Getting Sufficient Sunlight

Venus flytraps won’t last long if they do not have good light exposure. So these are some key signs to identify if your Venus flytrap suffers from light starvation.

Large petioles: Occasionally, Venus flytraps produce large petioles to aid photosynthesis. Broad petioles are a frequent sign of poor light exposure. However, it would be preferable to consider many different types of Venus flytrap, and some have thinner/broader leaves.

Discoloration: The healthy flying traps of Venus present vivid colors. Venus flytraps do not have bright red traps unless they have access to a large amount of lighting. When Venus flying traps suddenly lose their color, it may mean terrible growing conditions (not enough light).

Droopy: Sometimes, Venus flytraps begin to look droopy when they don’t have enough access to enough water or light.

Lack of traps: In extreme cases, Venus flytraps stop growing in their leaves with insufficient lighting. The plant does not produce traps since its principal objective is photosynthesis. However, when light exposure is corrected, the plant will regrow leaves with traps.

Bottom Line

Proper lighting is essential for the maintenance of a healthy Venus flytrap. The more direct light received by the plant, the healthier it is.

Last update on 2023-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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