How Big Can Venus Fly Traps Grow? Maximum Sizes and Varieties

With their fascinating insect-trapping leaves and unique appearance, Venus flytraps are arguably the most famous and popular carnivorous plant in the world. Their unusual growth habits and appetite for live bugs captures people’s imaginations. A common question many new growers have is just how big do these exotic plants get?

Typical Venus Flytrap Size

Most standard Venus flytrap varieties reach about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in diameter when fully mature. This refers to the spread of the plant’s rosette shape as it grows outward along the ground. In terms of height, they remain quite low, with most of the leaves and traps extending horizontally across the soil surface.

The size of the individual traps can also vary depending on growing conditions and genetics. Typical traps measure 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in length when fully open and waiting for prey. Under optimum conditions, the largest traps may approach 2.5 inches in size. Trap size is also dependent on cultivar which leads us to the real giants.

Giant Cultivars Can Reach Record Sizes

While common flytrap varieties max out at around 6 inches diameter, specialized cultivars have been bred and grown to much more substantial proportions These “giant” varieties can achieve truly massive trap and plant sizes under the right conditions

Some of the key factors that allow giant Venus flytraps to reach their full potential growth include:

  • Optimal lighting – FULL outdoor sun is best
  • Maximal prey availability – A sign of optimal feeding
  • Ideal growing media – Usually a peat/perlite/sand mix
  • Adequate moisture – Consistent without overwatering
  • Proper seasonal dormancy – Enhances growth

The largest Venus flytrap on record was an incredible 6.7 inches (17 cm) across! This was an unusual mutant known as the ‘Alien’ cultivar grown by expert Jeremiah Harris. The specific traits that result in such gigantic proportions are still being studied.

In addition to overall plant size, trap dimensions on giant cultivars can exceed 2 inches long, allowing them to consume larger prey. Typical giants include:

  • ‘B-52’ – Bred for vigor and size by Henning von Schmeling
  • ‘Big Mouth’ – Features very wide, flattened traps
  • ‘King Henry’ – A classic giant cultivar from the 1970s
  • ‘Akai Ryu’ – Known for blood-red trap coloration
  • ‘DCXL’ – Massive traps on huge plants

So in optimal conditions, Venus flytraps can grow leaps and bounds beyond the usual 4-6 inch mature size, with traps to match. The right genetics, growing environment, feeding, and care will allow giants to reach their true potential.

Growing Conditions Impact Size

Even with a giant cultivar, maximum size may not be achieved if certain conditions are lacking. Here are some key factors:

Sunlight – Giant cultivars require very bright light, even full sun, to spark explosive growth. Indoors just won’t cut it.

Soil – A mineral-free mix of peat moss, perlite and sand provides ideal drainage and moisture.

Water – Consistent moisture is important, but avoid soggy soil. Let pots dry out between waterings.

Feeding – Ample live prey triggers growth. A sign of good feeding is rapid trap growth.

Dormancy – A winter dormancy period enhances size gain the following season.

Space – Flytraps struggle with cramped roots. Give them room to spread out.

Follow these tips, and your giants will have the necessary conditions to maximize their genetic potential and reach epic proportions.

Size Factors in the Wild

In their native growing range of the Carolinas, flytraps never achieve the sizes they can as cultivated plants. Why is this? Several reasons play a role in limiting natural flytrap growth:

  • Nutrient deficient soil – Provides minimal fertilization
  • Crowding – Plants compete for space and nutrients
  • Partial sunlight – Often shaded by taller vegetation
  • Harsh winters – Can damage or kill uncovered plants
  • Lack of feeding – Low insect populations

By optimizing all these factors that are less than ideal in wild bogs, cultivated flytraps can grow much larger. This demonstrates the remarkable plasticity of this species when provided with ideal growing conditions.

Caring for Oversized Specimens

Once your giant cultivar matures and reaches its maximum size, some adjustments to care may be needed:

  • Use larger pots to accommodate the spreading roots
  • Increase watering frequency to compensate for bigger pots
  • Stake heavy traps to prevent breakage
  • Prune old leaves weekly to stimulate new growth
  • Transplant mature plants annually to refresh soil
  • Divide overcrowded clumps to reduce competition

With extra attention to their requirements, your giant Venus flytrap will continue thriving at any age and size. Enjoy watching your plant reach its true genetic potential!

Colorado Springs man grows world’s largest Venus flytrap


What is the biggest thing a Venus flytrap can eat?

Large traps can handle larger insects like grasshoppers and centipedes, whereas small traps need smaller prey like gnats, ants and flies. Venus flytraps grown outdoors year round do not need to be fed at all and will capture and consume on their own what they need to support healthy growth.

How big can my Venus flytrap get?

Assuming that you grow your plant well, and assuming that you continue to grow it well for a few years, it will reach a maximum size of about 13 cm (5 inches) in diameter. Mind you, that is the size of the entire plant! A single leaf trap may be a tad larger than 3 cm (1 inch) in length.

Can a Venus flytrap get full?

After three to five meals, the trap will no longer capture prey but will spend another two to three months simply photosynthesizing before it drops off the plant.

How big should a Venus flytrap pot be?

Venus flytraps will experience restricted growth if the pot is not large enough to let them expand. An adult Venus flytrap needs a container that is at least 4 to 5 inches (10.5cm – 12.7 cm) in diameter and more than 6 inches (15.24 cm) deep. Consider choosing a wider pot for Venus flytrap that tend to hug the ground.

How long does a Venus Fly Trap take to grow?

If you would like to grow Venus Fly Traps to their adult size, keep in mind the life cycle timeline. It takes 3-4 years for a Venus Fly trap to reach a mature size: a diameter of 5-6 inches and traps that are approximately 1 inch in length. Many plant nurseries sell Venus Fly Traps that are already adults and are at full size.

What is the world’s biggest Venus flytrap?

Here is a rundown of some popular varieties with remarkable qualities: Dionaea muscipula ‘Alien’ – This cultivar won the 2022 Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s biggest Venus Flytrap. The plant boasts curved traps that are a whopping 2.24 inches long, with both short and long sawtooth bristles.

What is a giant Venus flytrap?

Mentioned earlier, the Dionaea B-52 is also referred to as the Giant Venus Flytrap because its traps average 2 inches in length, doubling the expected length of a standard plant. Another very large flytrap variety is the Dionaea Ginormous, which mimics the B-52 dimensions. The SD Kronos is reported to produce traps of 1.5-inches or slightly larger.

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