Carnivorous Plants – Secrets of the best care!
Much joy and excitement will be had when you buy your first of many carnivorous plants. Whether it’s a sundew, venus flytrap, or pitcher plant that’s your first purchase of this type, you might quickly realize you don’t know how to give it the best care. If you find yourself in this situation, this is the right place for you! Your questions may include: when should I water it, do I need to fertilize it, or can I give it insects myself? The goal of this post is to help show you the basic carnivorous plants secrets.
If you are like most people who dabble with flesh-eating plants, you probably purchased your first plant one somewhat spontaneously. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips that will definitely help you keep your carnivorous plants in top health. The proper method of watering your specimen will ensure it stays healthy and green. These plants evolved in moist, humid environments and thus, you should try to mimic this somewhat for your venus flytrap, pitcher plant, or sundew carnivorous plant. The best way to keep the humidity high is to place your plant in a bowl or other dish near a sunny window. Maintain a constant water supply in the dish and you should be able to aim for 70% humidity. Another way to keep the plant’s surroundings humid is to grow it in a carnivorous plant terrarium.
When it comes to fertilizing your carnivorous plants, you should know that this thought has been debated in recent decades. Generally, the thought is that you don’t need to worry about fertilizing pitcher plants, or any flesh-eating plants. Because the natural environments of these plants are especially low in nutrients, providing concentrated nutrients in doses found in fertilizers could potentially damage your plant more than it might help it. If the roots are burned chemically, they plant will suffer and might not survive. If you think your insectivorous plant is suffering from a nutrient deficiency, you should consider manually feeding it a few bugs now and then.
Though you may not be inclined to admit it, your home is likely able to provide the few bugs that your carnivorous plant needs to thrive. Most venus fly traps will be healthy if they can catch just one or two insects every month! If your home or office (or wherever you may keep your plant) is too clean and tidy to be able to provide a few bugs here and there, then it will be a good idea to try feeding your plant by hand. For example, if you have a venus flytrap, try stunning a bug (ant, spider, fly, etc) in the freezer for a few minutes, then dropping it into the trap. The trap will quickly close, then when the insect revives, it will wriggle around enough to trigger the full seal. Do not go wild feeding your plants though – one insect every month will usually be adequate.
These tips should help you get through the exciting first few weeks with your plant. For more carnivorous plants secrets, Growing Carnivorous Plants by Barry Rice is a great book.