Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants are a great addition to any indoor garden. These plants are not only striking, but they are also the workhorses of the plant world. Gnats and other pests will be lured into their traps and used as food. They have specific care needs, but are worth the extra effort!

nepenthes pitchers

Variations of Carnivorous Plants

Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes):

Nepenthes are a wonderful hanging plant that have pitchers that trap insects (and small creatures in larger varietals). They require some distilled water in the pitchers to convert it into the fluid that attracts the pests.

Venus Fly Trap:

Venus fly traps are the most well-known carnivorous plant, and for good reason! Their striking "mouth" traps are a fascinating feat of nature. Venus fly traps will go dormant and have the traps die off during winter months if summer-like conditions are not maintained. They are not as forgiving of neglect as other carnivorous plants.

Trumpet Pitcher:

If you don't want a hanging basket, go with a trumpet pitcher plant! These will grow up instead of hanging down off the ends of leaves. 

Sundew:

Sundew have hairlike structures that will trap pests on them. These plants are unique looking, and are also easy to care for. Just put in a bright window, and they will flourish. They will even flower in the summer.

Butterwort:

Butterwort may look similar to a succulent, but they're anything but! They have sticky leaves that will trap gnats on contact. They're essentially the fly-paper of the natural world.

Venus fly trap

Easy Care Facts:

Lighting:

Most carnivorous plants prefer medium-bright indirect light. They will lose color if not receiving enough light. Some will even go dormant if winter lighting is introduced. 

Water:

Watering is very important for carnivorous plants. In general they like to stay moist. Water at least every 3-4 days with distilled water. Carnivorous plants prefer distilled because the minerals and nutrients found in regular tap water can be damaging to their systems. 

Fertilizing:

Do not fertilize pitcher plants. Instead feed them insects, bloodworms, or fish food if you do not have loose insects around your home. Feed once or twice a month. They do not grow in nutrient rich soil, so you want to create their natural feeding patters.

Humidity:

Carnivorous plants love humid environments. They will benefit greatly from humidifiers and misting.

Temperature:

The ideal temperature in the day is 65-80 degrees. If temperatures drop too low, they will go into winter dormancy. 

Toxicity:

Carnivorous plants do have mild toxicity.

Tips and Tricks

Purchasing:

Because of the unique needs of pitcher plants, they can easily degrade while at the store waiting to be purchased. Make sure carnivorous plants look bright and colorful with plenty of thriving traps.

Repotting:

Carnivorous plants require a blend of soil that is nutrient devoid and moisture retaining. Most carnivorous plants will be able to thrive in an equal mix of peat and sand. Look up your specific plant for more indepth recipes.