One Venus Flytrap Dormancy Period to Another (with pictures!)

How’s it going, growers? Some of you still wondering about dormancy? Cool! I thought I would provide some visual references to the Venus flytrap dormancy period. I have three images below of my typical Venus flytrap pot, all taken at different times of the year.

Venus Flytraps
Venus Flytraps freshly potted and just coming out of dormancy

In the above photo from last March. you can see the larger traps from last season are on short, wide stems. These grew in the fall of 2013, in preparation for dormancy. Short-stemmed leaves hugging the ground is one of the first signs of oncoming dormancy, although some varieties of Venus flytraps stay close to the ground regardless of what time of year it is.

Venus Flytraps in Summer
Venus flytraps in the summer, at the height of their growth

Now this above photo from July is obviously not during dormancy, but actually the middle of their growing season. I’ve included it to illustrate the difference between seasonal growth habits. Notice how all of the traps are standing tall on longer, erect stems. Also yes, this is the same pot! Such an explosion of growth in just four months! It’s super cool to see these photos side by side.

Venus Flytraps Dormancy Period
Current Venus flytrap dormancy period

And now just last week. Lots of the tall, summer leaves have died back and the growth is short and close to the ground again, though bigger and much more crowded than last season! The difference in color is pretty astonishing too. I’ve never seen those traps in the center cluster look so deeply red before. Check out the cluster in the lower left corner of the pot though. I believe it’s same plant as in the front right in the July photo. That one stayed mostly green and tall all year long.

I should note it’s been a slightly warmer than usual November here in California. Venus flytraps in colder climates may die back even more, if not completely. Remember also the above photos are only my typical Venus Flytraps. The dormant period can look vastly different on different cultivars. I don’t usually take photos of my all-red cultivars because they look really ragged and sad during dormancy. But I did today, for science!

Crimson Sawtooth Venus Flytrap
Dormant vs Growing FTS Crimson Sawtooth

My FTS Crimson Sawtooth (above) definitely looks sadder today than it did during the summer! Before I got more red flytraps, I remember I worried so much because it died back so far every winter. I thought it was sick or I did something wrong. At this point though, I’m pretty certain that is just how red flytraps tend to be. I’ve had the Crimson Sawtooth for about five years now! Below are some more of my red little ones.

Red Piranha Venus Flytrap
Red Piranha, almost underground!
Pink Venus Flytrap
Pink Venus
Red Dragon Venus Flytrap
Red Dragon (Akai Ryu)

This little Red Dragon division (above) has been notoriously slow-growing all season long. It finally just started putting out noticeably bigger traps right before dormancy! Oh well, I’ll enjoy them next season.

Maroon Monster Venus Flytrap
FTS Maroon Monster

My FTS Maroon Monster is the biggest and fastest growing of my red flytraps. I’ve had this one for the shortest amount of time, only two months, but it grew about four new traps in that time!  This is its first dormancy with me, so we’ll see later on how winter affects it.

If you have any further questions on the dormancy period, be sure to read my other posts: Winter is Coming! A Guide to Venus Flytrap Dormancy and Is my Venus Flytrap Dormant or Dead? And don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you’re still confused! I will be happy to answer as soon as I can. 🙂

12 comments

  1. Nicholas says:

    Hello, I noticed on my vft the new leaves (the ones sprouting up) are blackening at the tips and dying. Is this normal? I give it distilled water, it is in pure peat moss and gets direct sunlight on my windowsill. Is this normal?

    • Maria says:

      Hmm. New growth dying is a bit concerning. If you recently repotted or haven’t had the plant long, it could be normal stress. If it’s been established for a month or so, there’s probably something else going on. If it’s an unglazed clay or terra cotta container, it may be mineral burn, and you should repot into a plastic, resin, or fully glazed container.

      If the pot is fine, maybe dig up the rhizome to make sure it’s still white and firm. If so, just leave it and keep giving it care. It will bounce if all the conditions are right.

  2. Dennis Austin says:

    I have a 2 VFT I bought from Amazon
    the first had a lot of black from being in a box dark all the time
    I tried 2 different growing methods, I trimmed the first, repotted it and left it outside
    on that one there is a stalk erect and looks to be unfolding the leaf but the would be trap has a black tip
    The other is still in the media and pot it came in and is in a soilless terrarium since I got it
    it to has a black tip on 1 leaf even though its inside and both got distilled water
    the one outside is in a tray of water
    why am I getting the same results with different methods
    I am no stranger to a VFT a I grew a Big Jaws VFT from 3traps to 7 before it perished in dormancy, but I never seen this!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Dennis! The plants are just reacting to the stress of a new environment. It can be several weeks before they fully produce new traps. Patience is all you need!

  3. Cate says:

    Just got my first VFT and it’s Nov in Minnesota…already in the 40s during the day. Is it too late to repot him if he’s going dormant? I don’t think the nursery where I bought him used the sand/peat mix (looks like regular potting soil). Vinnie (we named him) has 2 new growths close to the ground and 1 fully black tall mouth + 2 partially black tall ones. He’s in plastic and we’re using distilled water but I’m afraid to repot him if he’s trying to sleep 🙁

    • Maria says:

      Hi Cate! Dormancy is actually the best time to repot your plants! They won’t be as stressed as during the growing cycle. If they’re sleeping, they’ll barely notice. If they’re growing, it interrupts that process and they have to take more time to adjust. So go ahead and repot the little guy! 🙂

  4. Beatriz says:

    Hi! I just recently bought a baby VFT(named him arnold) and im super excited because I’ve always wanted one and after reading a lot on your site I’m very excited to continue growing them and getting more! it’s November and its not cold yet but will be soon.. idk if they are going through dormancy or not? and if so do you think it will be okay to move him to a new pot? and is water bottle water okay to use? Thank you so much!

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