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Where can I legally buy a Venus’ flytrap plant? Can they be kept as an indoor plant?

Will Drabold
StarNews

A Venus’ flytrap grows on a nature trail behind Alderman Elementary School in Wilmington. The plants grows naturally only within a 50-to-90 mile radius of Wilmington. It inhabits savannas and bogs where the soil remains moist and poor in nutrients. StarNews file photo.

Venus’ flytraps can be bought legally at a variety of stores.

Fly Trap Farm is a well-known seller in Brunswick County but flytraps can be bought at many nurseries and chain stores in Southeastern North Carolina.

The problem with buying them legally stems from verifying where the flytraps come from, said Brandon Dean, a game warden with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

When poachers dig up flytraps on private or public property, they often sell them to local nurseries and say they dug them up on their own property, which would be legal, Dean said.

Therefore, a nursery may believe it is selling legally dug flytraps when they really were poached.

As a buyer, it is difficult to avoid this problem. Buying flytraps from those who grow them in nurseries using micropropagation techniques is both legal and sustains the longevity of the plant.

Southeastern Community College sells flytraps grown in the lab for $5 a piece, said Becky Westbrooks, head of the tissue culture micropropagation program at SECC.

The flytrap can be kept as an outdoor plant, but it requires disturbed soil that is low in nitrogen and high in acidity to thrive. If being kept inside in soil bought to suit the plant, it should be watered with distilled water, not tap or rain water, Westbrooks said.

RELATED LINKS:

What is a Venus’ fly trap?

What is the Green Swamp?

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