3 Main Causes Of Venus Flytrap Root Rot (& Treatment)

Venus flytraps, when exposed to humid circumstances, will cultivate root rot. This root rot, in turn, weakens the flytrap and, without treatment, will cause irreversible harm. Symptoms to watch out for include a bad odor, an increase in black leaves, and changes in the texture and color of the plant’s bulbs. If you notice that your Venus flytrap has indications of root rot, the best option is to replant it.

Continue reading to discover more regarding root rot in Venus flytraps, how to save a Venus flytrap with root rot, how to prevent it, and more.

Can Venus Flytraps Suffer from Root Rot?

The most common disease found in overwatered Venus flytraps is root rot. Soggy circumstances encourage the growth of bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen and would not grow much or at all in situations with abundant oxygen. When the medium is kept wet for too long, these bacteria can quickly damage the plant’s bulb.

Venus flytraps are not aquatic plants, and they do not thrive in the moist circumstances that many Sarracenia and Darlingtonia do. Venus Flytraps can be found in sandy savannahs, nutrient-poor grasslands, and barrens with a high-water table, but not in swamps, lakesides, or bogs. 

With Venus Flytraps, it’s far preferable to strive for “moist, not wet” in terms of culture. Of course, you’ll need to get them wet to water them well, but then the medium should be left to dry to barely damp before watering again, or, if using the tray of water approach, the water should be left to dry entirely before filling it again.

top view pot of dead dionaea muscipula plant on the floor

Venus Flytrap Root Rot Causes

Too Much Water or Moisture

Too much water is the most prevalent cause of root rot. Venus flytraps, like other plants, require water to thrive, yet it is simple to overwater them. It’s essential to keep the soil wet but not saturated. When a plant is submerged in water, it is vulnerable to bacterial infection. The root turns a reddish-brown color when the infection sets in before entirely decomposing.

Feeding Your Plant Unacceptable Food

It is a bad idea to feed your plant processed meat, sugars, or anything else it wouldn’t find in nature. Providing your Venus flytrap food it would not usually consume can almost guarantee the presence of root rot and the health of the trap to deteriorate. In order to correct this problem, remove the dead leaves and begin properly feeding your plant.

Are you Utilizing the Right Kind of Soil?

Venus flytraps, like other carnivorous plants, require nutrient-poor soil. If you use regular potting compost or anything that contains fertilizer, your plant will, in turn, unfortunately, be harmed. Use live or dried sphagnum moss, peat moss combined with lime-free horticultural sand, Perlite, or pure peat moss.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Root Rot Disease in a Venus Flytrap?

Your Plant Has a Rotten Odour to It

Root rot is distinguished by its unique putrid odor. Close your eyes and sniff your plant for any strange odors. A trap digesting an insect will often emit a faint odor, but a healthy Venus flytrap will not emit a terrible odor. If you detect an aroma coming from your plant, it most likely has root rot and will need to be treated to survive.

If your see white mold growing in your Venus Flytrap, it could be a sign of something else.

The Number of Black Leaves on your Plant has Increased

The leaves of Venus flytraps shed naturally, with fresh leaves emerging from the bulb after older ones become black and fall off. While it is normal for a Venus flytrap to have some black leaves, an abundance of these dying leaves is a major indicator of root rot. A Venus flytrap with more black leaves is more likely to suffer root rot.

The Appearance of Black Patches

The presence of blackish patches on the bulb indicates that rot has commenced. These dark splotches may either stay in patches or overtake the entire leaf. This is sometimes accompanied by a terrible odor that permeates the roots. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. One can remove these black patches on their plant; however, in order to correct root rot, the entire plant must be repotted.

Colourless Leaves

A healthy Venus flytrap has brilliantly colored leaves and lobes. The trigger hairs on the traps are straight, and the traps are highly sensitive. The emergence of unhealthy traps and the loss of color in the leaves suggest root rot. If your Venus flytrap looks to be losing vibrancy, it may be time to repot it in order to prevent more root rot.

Colour and Texture Changes to A Flytrap’s Bulb

The most obvious way to determine if your Venus flytrap has obtained root rot is to look for drastic changes to the bulb. However, the bulb of a Venus flytrap is found underground with its roots. Therefore, one will have to remove the plant from its pot in order to inspect the bulb for root rot.

If the bulb appears white with pink around the edges, your plant is healthy. However, a bulb with root rot will display dark streaks or blotches. The feel of a dying bulb is sticky and gooey.

Can You Save a Dying Venus Flytrap from Root Rot?

If you know or think your plant has root rot, repotting it is the best approach to keep the illness from spreading and offer your plant the most excellent chance of survival.

Take Your Plant Out of the Soil

Carefully remove your Venus flytrap from the contaminated dirt. Before placing it in a new container, the roots and bulb should be washed with filtered water. Ensure to also remove all big particles of soil manually. It’s also possible to use rainwater.

The Plant’s Affected Area Should Be Removed

After you’ve removed your plant from the ground, cut away the damaged section of the bulb and roots. One can also remove any blackened or drooping leaves from their flytraps at this time. The major emphasis of your plant should be on healing and growing robust roots and leaves.

If your Venus flytrap has been overcome by root rot, you may also remove some unhealthy or dead traps to aid your plant to stimulate growth and direct emphasis on the health of the healthy and new traps.

Repot your Venus Flytrap Plant in New Soil That is Free of Contaminants

Before repotting your Venus flytrap, clean and scrub the pot well before refilling it with fresh soil. This guarantees that no root rot contaminants are transferred. Place your flytrap into the clean soil with care. When filling the earth, make certain that the roots are well packed and that the dirt completely covers the roots.

How to Prevent Root Rot in your Venus Flytrap

Repot Your Plant Yearly

The soil compresses when plants are kept in the same place for an extended period of time. Since roots must fight their way through the ground, soil compression slows plant growth. Furthermore, as the earth is compacted, it may store more water. Repot your plant once a year to minimize soil compaction. Furthermore, the new soil is less likely to retain fungal or bacterial components.

Watering and Maintaining Your Venus Flytrap

Venus flytraps require water to survive. As a result, you must still water your flytrap but do so with caution. After watering, push the dirt with your fingertips. You should be able to feel the wetness in the soil. Your fingertips, however, should not feel wet or have a swampy feeling.

Use the Correct Soil and Ensure There’s Enough Drainage

Venus flytraps require nutrient-free, well-drained soil. Fortunately, you can manufacture your own. It is suggested that you use sphagnum peat moss or long-fibered sphagnum moss in combination with sand or Perlite. These mosses retain moisture to provide the atmosphere required by a Venus flytrap, while the Perlite acts to drain and soften the soil. These items should be available at any gardening store.

Keeping Your Plant in its Ideal Humidity

A warm climate is ideal for your Venus flytraps. If you water your plant properly, the warmer atmosphere will also help avoid root rot. You want to provide them with an area where they may enjoy temperatures ranging from 21 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Overall, humidity is unimportant for mature plants; they may thrive in extremely low humidity, but high humidity is essential for starting plants from seed or working with juvenile plants.

Reduce Watering During Hibernation Period

Flytraps require a temperature range of 0°C to 12°C (32°F to 53°F) for winter dormancy. During hibernation, watering should be done less often and with less water. The plant will not photosynthesize as much at lower temperatures, taking less water. Therefore, to avoid root rot, one should still water the plant but only to make sure the soil does not dry out completely.


How Do You Save a Dying Venus Flytrap?

Many people mistakenly believe that a drooping or ill Venus flytrap is sick, and they, therefore, overcompensate with nutrients or water, destroying the plant. However, to save a dying Venus flytrap, it is essential to remove the plant’s plastic covering and ensure that the space it’s in has an excellent ambient humidity level.

If your plant seems to have overgrown the container, it may also be time to upgrade the pot. Venus flytraps are strange plants that appreciate strange things and behave considerably differently than their non-carnivorous counterparts, and as a result, they are frequently misinterpreted. However, simple care, understanding what to look for, and providing a consistent supply of live bugs with no human food should make Venus flytrap maintenance a snap.

Can I Bring My Venus Flytrap Back to Life?

In order to successfully bring a Venus flytrap back to life, one must first distinguish what is wrong with the plant. For example, the plant may be housed in the wrong soil type, overwatered, underfed, or more. You’ll need to repot your plant right away if you’re using regular soil with minerals and fertilizers.

Standard dirt will rapidly destroy your Venus flytrap. You may buy or build your own nutrient-free carnivorous plant mix for your Venus flytrap. Use moss, such as peat or long sphagnum moss, plus a draining agent, such as sand or Perlite, to make your own. 

Venus flytraps are also picky about the type of water they may use. Never use tap or bottled water to water your plant. Instead, you’ll need mineral-free, nutrient-free water. Before setting your flytrap in a tranquil environment with unnecessary stress, give it the care and attention it needs. Mechanical stress should be avoided at all costs.

Place your plant in a location where continual movement will not disturb it. Avoid changing drapes and curious pets.

How Do You Save An Overwatered Venus Flytrap?

Since an overwatered Venus flytrap can cause more significant issues and illnesses for the plant, such as root rot, it is critical that one act quickly to prevent their overwatered flytrap from these possible difficulties. If you notice that you’ve overwatered your plant, you should consider repotting your plant in properly moistened soil.

However, if your plant is potted in a container with proper draining, keep an eye on the plant for the next few days. If your plant begins to show signs of illness or drooping, immediately repot it with the correct soil mixture.


Venus flytraps are subject to root rot when grown in humid circumstances. If your plant begins to look ill or loses leaves, you may have root rot. Root rot weakens the plant, and if conditions do not improve, root rot may kill it. A foul odor, an increase in black leaves, and changes in the color and texture of the plant’s bulb are all signs of root rot.

You can rescue your plant even if it has root rot. The most straightforward technique to preserve your plant from root rot is to repot it completely. However, you may avoid diseases like root rot by storing your Venus flytrap in a container that sufficiently drains the water and moisture from your plant in the first place.

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