Even though there is only one species, there is wide variation among plants. The typical plant is green, with a reddish-orange color on the inside of the mature trap. There is a ‘red-mouth’ variety that can range from bright red just inside the trap to a dark burgundy that colors even the teeth on the edge of the trap. There is also a ‘big-mouth’ variety that grows huge traps, and other varieties have ‘saw-teeth’ instead of hairs around the edge of the trap. We have plants that sprout a whole new plant from the top of the bloom spike, and have had one plant to produce two traps on one leaf!
Traps have ‘trigger hairs’ inside; an unwary insect that is attracted to the plant’s nectar will brush against the trigger hairs, causing the trap to snap shut. It literally squeezes the body fluids out of the insect and digests it, opening back up in about 4 days with just a carcass left! Each trap only closes about 4 times, then turns black, and new growth then replaces it. This is the reason you should not stick your finger in the trap – if you want to show your friends how the traps close, catch a fly, moth, cricket, or other small insect and feed your plant!
Venus flytraps are bog plants, growing in nutrient-deficient acidic soils like peat moss or long-fibered sphagnum moss. The pot should be set in a bowl or dish of water in a sunny location. The plants need acidic water; rainwater is perfect, or you can use distilled water and add a little vinegar to make it acidic. Do not use tap water.
In the winter the plants like to go dormant. This is their normal resting period, and the size of the ‘corm’ (similar to a bulb) will increase during dormancy. The best way to help your plant is to remove it from the pot, cut back the leaves, and put the corm in a plastic bag (closed but not completely airtight) in your refrigerator for 2-3 months. In the spring, replant the corm in peat with a little sand added, and put the pot back in water on a sunny windowsill. It usually takes about 6 weeks for your plant to grow large again, and they will also flower at this time.
This information was provided from our supplier at www.flytrapfarm.net
For more information on these plants I found this website to be helpful, http://www.flytrapcare.com/