Why Is My Venus Fly Trap Turning Yellow?

Want to know why is your Venus Fly Trap turning yellow? Without a doubt, the Venus Flytrap is the coolest plant in my collection. It’s bright, colorful, and unique. Even the name is wonderful.

And all that before you get to the fact that it lets you see the amazing sight of watching a plant snap up an insect! For some reason, these plants have a reputation for being difficult to grow.

It’s completely undeserved. In fact, they are among the easiest plants to care for as long as you have the right soil, water, and enough light for them. Without these factors, the leaves may respond by turning yellow or brown.

These are certainly not positive signs for the health of your trap, but there are ways to address them. Here I’m going to outline the colors you should see in your plant and the possible causes of those yellow leaves.

Colors of a Venus Fly Trap

colors of a venus fly trap

Green and red. These are the two colors you want brightly displayed on your beautiful Venus Flytrap.

Bright red inside the trap is a great sign in your Flytrap as it means that it is receiving plenty of sunlight. The trap has developed this red color to mimic a flower and help it catch its prey.

If the trap begins to lose this red color inside the traps it needs more lighting. The color is fading because the plant is putting its energy into other processes to save itself.

You can fix this by putting the plant in a better spot where it can receive more light. The optimal amount is 12 hours for a Venus Flytrap. If you cannot place it in a spot with enough light, invest in artificial light.

The outer part and leaves of the Venus Flytrap should be a bright green. Read on to find out what it means if you see black or yellow leaves on your trap.

Black Leaves and Dormancy

While we are discussing improper coloring, let’s mention the Flytrap turning black. This is actually not your Venus Flytrap dying, but instead heading into dormancy. Many people mistakenly throw their traps away when this happens.

During the winter months, the plant will lay dormant for 2 to 3 months. During this time, the leaves may turn black and die as the plant reduces in size.

If they are by a window or in a terrarium, move your Venus Flytrap somewhere cooler during these winter months. You can safely trim off any dead growth.

Yellow Leaves

yellow leaves

Although leaves may turn brown before they blacken during their natural cycle, yellow leaves signal bad growing conditions.

For your Venus Flytrap to thrive, you need to have the proper soil and water sources, and ensure the soil is kept at the correct water levels.

Below, I’ll go over these points in more detail.

Improper Soil

improper soil

Counter to many other plants, you actually want nutrient-poor soil for a Venus Flytrap. Remember, your Venus Flytrap catches its own food. Avoid any brand of soil that contains fertilizers as these will kill your Venus Flytrap.

Avoid peat-moss brands like Miracle-Gro or Scott’s. Opt for a fertilizer specially designed for a carnivorous plant. A 1:1 mix of peat and perlite is a good medium for growing carnivorous plants.

As an extra tip, cover this soil with long-fibered sphagnum moss. This prevents the perlite in the mixture from floating to the top during heavier rains.


Opt for standing your traps in water rather than watering them from above. Venus Flytraps need soil that is moist without being waterlogged. Stand the pot in about ⅓ inch of water.

In winter, they need even less water and the soil should be kept just damp. If the soil is too humid it can cause yellow discoloration in the leaves and may start to rot the roots of the plant.

You need to start spacing out your watering routine immediately.

Press down on the soil with your finger. The soil should be damp, but your finger should not get wet. If it does, resist the temptation to add more water until the soil has become drier.

Improper Water Source

improper water source

Using incorrect water is a common culprit when it comes to figuring out what’s harming a carnivorous plant. These are plants that have evolved to survive low-nutrient soil, and the minerals in common tap water or bottled water can kill them.

For your Venus Flytrap, you will need pure water. This can be rainwater distilled water or deionized water. You can buy distilled or deionized water from a DIY store, or order it in bulk. Or, you can simply collect water.

If you need a larger supply of water for many plants, you can invest in a reverse osmosis system. This allows you to produce suitable water yourself from a compact unit that can be installed under your sink.

Unique Plants

The care of Venus Flytraps, or any carnivorous plants, have some specifics that may be difficult to learn at first. However, as soon as you learn the ropes they become easy to care for.

Ensure you are using the right materials and you should avoid any major problems with these wonderful plants.