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Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Black – How To Solve It?

Venus fly trap appears to be a peculiar choice for your household flora and fauna. However, such a plant can prove useful when eliminating insects and flies, ridding the atmosphere of unwanted pests. Furthermore, if you are skillful enough, feel free to extract its leaves and roots for medical purposes.

Given how versatile Venus fly traps can be, it is no wonder why many people are turning to this green. But sometimes, you end up questioning, “Why is my Venus fly trap turning black?” Check out the article below for more information.

5 Reasons Why Your Venus Fly Trap Turns Black

Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Black
Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Black? via Reddit

Various culprits are responsible for black Venus fly traps, including poor growing conditions, unsuitable diet, overfeeding, low temperatures for an extended period, and natural lifespan. 

1. Poor growing conditions

Like most other plants, Venus fly traps require a substantial amount of water and plenty of direct exposure to sunlight to thrive. 

Still, there is one difference regarding its living environment, and it is the soil. Being a carnivorous plant, Venus fly traps prefer the nutrient-poor ground to highly nutritious one. 

So, remove any fertilizers or compost in the soil, or else your plants are more likely to suffer. 

2. Unsuitable diet

Many homeowners are concerned that flies and insects are not enough to sustain a fly trap. Thus, they use human foods like minced meat or crackers as a supplementary diet. 

But these snacks are not easily digestible for Venus fly traps. Should you want to help your green, treat them with tiny bugs. Stay away from anything too big, as it can prevent the leaves from sealing completely.

3. Overfeeding

Another diet-related problem with Venus fly traps is the overwhelming amount of food they receive. Every time a leaf opens and closes, it consumes the much-needed energy for survival. 

Therefore, forcing the leaf to digest food will exhaust the plant and make it more prone to death.

Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Black 2
Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Black? via Reddit

4. Low temperatures for an extended period

When the temperature drops, Venus fly traps start their dormancy to save strength. By doing so, the plant turns some of the leaves into black and sheds them off. 

You can assist by using a pair of scissors and trimming the dead leaves. Once the weather warms up, rest assured that your fly traps will return vigorously.

5. Natural lifespan

Blackening leaves are not something to be worried about if they are the oldest ones in the bush. As the plant grows old, it is expected that the leaves will deteriorate. 

There is no need to fret, and you only need to let nature take its course.

How To Keep A Venus Fly Trap Inside Your Home

Despite their predatory looks, Venus fly traps are not as harmful. These fly traps are relatively easy to take care of, which means you will not encounter many difficulties while nourishing these greens.

  • Humidity: Venus fly traps do not do well in dryness. These plants enjoy lots of moisture in the air. If your home does not provide enough dampness, consider spraying some misty water over the plants.
  • Lighting: Venus fly traps need lots of lighting to grow. Ideally, sunlight will be the best, as it also contains UV rays used to kill fungus spores and mold. 

But it does not mean that artificial lights will not suffice. Keeping your Venus fly traps somewhere bright and airy makes sure they remain sturdy and healthy.

My Venus flytrap has finally come out of his hibernation period
“My Venus flytrap has finally come out of his hibernation period!” via Reddit
  • Water: Inexperienced gardeners make the mistake of using tap water for Venus fly traps. What they do not know is that the accumulation of minerals inside tap water may kill fly traps. 

Hence, you are only allowed to use distilled water or rainwater. And do not forget to pay attention to your watering techniques. 

Instead of spraying them from above, carefully sprinkle the water roughly 1cm above the soil surface.

  • Soil: The best ground to cultivate Venus fly traps should be high in acidity. If possible, look for sphagnum-based soil.


1. Should I cut off the black leaves of Venus fly traps?

Yes. Not only are black leaves an eyesore, but they also consume the energy otherwise reserved for functional leaves. If you spot any blackening, remove them as soon as possible. This way, you clear up the space for other budding leaves.

2. How to tell if the Venus fly trap is dying?

On each Venus fly trap, there is a body part called the rhizome. It connects between the roots and the leaves, located underneath the soil surface. If the rhizome is firm and white, your plants are in optimal conditions. 

Vice versa, a soft, squishy rhizome with black spots is the telling sign of your wilting green. 

3. What is the best way to cut off black leaves from a Venus fly trap?

All Venus fly trap leaves spring from a center bulb. Since both the healthy and black leaves share the same root, you need to watch your movements so that the whole chunk does not come off. 

Turn to a pair of small scissors and chop off the dead leaves only. Try not to let the sharp edges interfere with other leaves.

4. Why is my Venus fly trap turning brown?

Browning fly traps can be blamed on low humidity and dry soil. If you fail to provide your plants with enough moisture, chances are they will start drooping and turning to a different color. 

5. Should Venus fly traps be in direct sunlight?

Experts recommend at least 4 hours of direct exposure to sunlight for Venus fly traps to grow. The longer your plants are outside, the better.


After reading this article, hopefully, “Why is my Venus fly trap turning black?” should no longer be one of your concerns. Make sure to take care of your Venus fly traps properly and let them handle whatever pests fly inside your home.