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Why Won’t My Venus Fly Trap Close? (5 Surprising Reasons)

Venus flytrap is carnivorous. It is a very interesting plant to have and grow in your home. The bright green traps with red spikes will grab attention and liven up your humble abode. However, these plants are not easy to grow and take care of, even for experienced plants.

One issue that you may face with these plants is the movement of their fly traps. The traps may stop working in some cases, leaving you wondering – why won’t my Venus Fly Trap close?

There could be several reasons for the Venus flytrap not closing in on insects or otherwise. Given that these plants take up a big portion of their nutrients from the insects they swallow, the issue of their traps not closing needs to be addressed immediately.

Keep reading to know the causes behind your question – why won’t my Venus fly trap close? Let’s begin.

Why Won't My Venus Fly Trap Close 1
Why won’t my venus fly trap close? – via Reddit

5 Reasons Why won’t My Venus Fly Trap Close

Being a carnivorous Venus flytrap is a plant that feeds on insects that it traps from the environment. However, the plant does get some portion of the feed and required nutrients from the soil like other plants, but insects are also the main food source.

If you have this plant at home and face the flytrap not closing, you must read this guide to know the answers to your question – why won’t my Venus flytrap close?

1. Not The Right Soil

One of the top reasons behind your question, why won’t my Venus Flytrap close, is the mix of soil. The Venus Flytrap needs a certain kind of soil mixture to grow properly. There should be enough nutrients for the flytrap, especially nitrogen.

The Venus flytrap is opposed to the mineral content of the soil. It does not do well in soil with a high pH. The optimal pH for the plant is between 5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. So, you have to be careful while adding fertilizer not to overdo it as it can disturb the natural pH of the soil.

A regular soil mixture won’t be enough for the flytrap plant to thrive. It would be best to have a mixture of peat moss and sand for the plant. Combine them in equal ratios of fifty and fifty per cent.

Also, make sure the soil is well-drained as you will probably keep the flytrap plant in a pot, so it needs to be able to drain well and not remain soggy. 

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2. Not Enough Sunlight

The Venus flytrap is a native plant to Carolina, where the weather it grew in was swampy, so it thrives in hot and humid weather with plenty of sunlight. You need to ensure the plant is getting enough sunlight throughout the day.

If you have planted the Venus flytrap outside, set it in a spot that is not shaded and receives ample sunlight directly. If you have kept the plant inside, make sure to keep it near a window that gets lots of direct, bright sunlight for at least 6-10 hours a day.

If your Venus plant is in a corner or at the back in a dark corner where it does not get the right amount of sunlight, it will be unable to close its traps and may even die.

3. Dormancy

Like most other plants, the Venus flytrap also goes into dormancy or hibernation during the winter months. There is not enough sunlight in the winters to keep the flytraps energetic and thriving. So, the plant takes a break.

Moreover, there are few active insects during winter, making it hard for the flytrap to catch food. Generally, the plant does not need to feed and keep active during the winter months, so it becomes inactive or dormant to preserve energy till the next season of growth.

 The plant may not close its flytrap during this dormancy period and even shed them to save energy. If you notice the static behaviour of the flytrap between November to March, it is probably due to the hibernation period.

Keep giving water and sunlight to the plant, and it will go back to normal in the spring season.  

Why Wont My Venus Fly Trap Close 2
Venus fly trap wont close? – via Reddit

4. Insects Are Too Big

Another reason for the flytraps not closing is that the size of the insects you are feeding is too large. If the insect doesn’t fit inside the plant’s trap completely, it will be released eventually and will not be digested.

Spiders, crickets, and fruit flies are a perfect size, and they can easily fit into the trap, but adult cockroaches cannot. Only when the insect is fully inside the trap will the plant release digestive juices to fee on them.

Also, remember that the plant does not need too many insects, and it will do just fine on one to two insects per month. So, go easy.   

5. Dying Plant

It could also be that your plant has reached its end-stage and is dying. After the plant’s lifecycle has been completed, it does not feel the need to feed itself and dies. During this time, the plant will not close its trap.

Soon the flytraps start to turn black and fall off. If the traps haven’t turned black yet, but you think the plant is dying, check for symptoms of hibernation so as not to confuse dormancy with death.

The dormancy period can turn into the death of the plant if you keep it away from sunlight and do not give it proper attention, like a suitable amount of water. The Venus flytrap might start dying due to a lack of proper conditions.


I hope this answers your question of why won’t my Venus fly trap close, and you can get to solving these issues with your plant. Venus flytrap is a charming plant to keep at home. It is a very rewarding experience to see the plant grow and catch insects.

But you must remember that the Venus flytraps can only open and close only a few times, after which it dies. It will grow new fly traps with time. So, cherish it while it is still healthy.

If you have any tips on the opening and closing of the Venus flytrap, share them with your fellow gardeners.