Venus fly traps are one of the most mesmerizing plants in the entire world. Not only does it "eat" small critters and insects, it does so using a "mouth" that clamps down and traps its prey.
The Venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is a plant that's widely known for its uniquely carnivorous behavior and it's been featured in all kinds of media, inspiring the likes of Super Mario's Piranha Plant, Pokemon's Carnivine, and Usopp's Green Star: Devil from One Piece.
This geeky plant can be a practical addition to any office desk because it offers all kinds of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding a Venus fly trap to your desk.
1. It's Fun to Watch the Traps in Action
The best feature of the Venus fly trap is being able to watch the trap do its thing whenever a pest finds its way inside.
When the hair-like triggers are touched, the "mouth" clamps down and traps anything inside. Digestive juices are then secreted, which begin the process of "eating" the prey. After a few days, when the prey is mostly consumed, the trap opens back up.
Imagine watching it catch prey while you're working at your desk. It's a great reminder to take a spontaneous break, and you can patiently wait in anticipation as bugs come closer to triggering the plant.
2. It Gets Rid of Unwanted Pests
It's the nature of the Venus fly trap to catch insects using the sensitive hair-like triggers lining its leaves.
Every time it feeds, you know that there's one less pest roaming your home, and that's great for peace of mind. This is especially nice during the warmer months when flies and mosquitoes are likely to come out in full force, along with other pests like ladybugs.
Instead of buzzing around and annoying you, these pests will be attracted to the nectar-like scent of the Venus fly trap and land on them instead. It can help keep your home pristinely clean.
Of course, a single Venus fly trap can only eat one pest every few days, so it won't be enough to tackle a full-blown infestation. But with a few of these on your desk, they'll take care of the occasional ones.
3. It's a Low-Maintenance Plant
For some people, gardening and tending to plants is a fun activity that helps with relaxation and mindfulness. But if you're forgetful or just don't care to develop a green thumb, the Venus fly trap is great.
Once you get it set up with a pot on a saucer with water (to keep the soil moist), the Venus fly trap will do its own thing.
Caring for a Venus fly trap isn't as tricky as you might think. Insects will find their way to it, so you don't need to feed them (unless your place absolutely never has bugs). You might need to refill the saucer every once in a while, but nowhere near as often as a typical plant.
4. It Doesn't Take Up Much Space
Full-grown and healthy Venus fly traps don't require large pots like most house plants. In fact, they take up even less space than a bonsai tree.
The Venus fly trap can grow up to one-and-a-half inches (some varieties might grow larger but not by much), so there's plenty of space left on your desk for books, devices, and other bits.
5. It Adds Color to Your Desk
The color of the plant, which will ultimately depend on the cultivar you end up getting, can give your office desk a bright touch of color ranging from light red to dark red, light green to dark green.
Some varieties, like the "Akai Ryu" (Red Dragon), have a dark red coloration from base to traps, while others have greener bodies and only a bit of reddish color on the insides of the traps.
It also blooms a pretty white flower at certain times of the year. If you don't want that, you can always trim the flower stalk down to prevent it from stealing nutrients from the leaves and traps.
6. It's a Conversation Starter
Aside from its colors, the Venus fly trap can have different appearances and features across its varying varieties. No matter what kind you have, you can be sure that it's going to catch the attention of anyone who comes to chat or even just passes by your desk.
Some cultivars have interesting features like "fused teeth" (which make the teeth look webbed-like) and "wacky traps" (which give the traps an unusual appearance). If you need a conversation starter, any Venus fly trap will do the trick in a pinch.
Venus Fly Trap-Inspired Desk Figures
If you're not into having a real plant on your office desk, you might prefer one of the following Venus fly trap-inspired figures. These are the best alternatives as a desk add-on (but they won't eat bugs).
1. Piranha Plant Figure
The Super Mario games feature the iconic Piranha Plant that sprouts from the world's pipes. This 4-inch figure of the ferocious plant is a must-have desk item for any fan of the games.
The articulated head of the figure can be opened to make it look like it's ready to eat anything.
2. Funko Pop: Audrey II
In the Little Shop of Horrors film, Audrey II is a plant that brings fame and fortune to its owner in exchange for blood. This Funko Pop figure is less than 4 inches in height, making the bloodthirsty monster a cute collectible to display on your workstation.