Carnivorous Plants Terrarium – Before setting one up, remember…
Setting up a carnivorous plants terrarium is an exciting task because it takes your hobby of keeping carnivore plants to a whole new level. Terrariums also allow you to properly display your carnivorous plants and show off the specimens you have grown yourself. Just like when keeping any of these plants at home, there are some special points to remember when you grow carnivorous plants in a terrarium setting.
What plants to choose: Not all carnivorous plants can be properly housed in a terrarium environment. The plants that do best will all be temperate plants that have similar basic requirements. Most people will find that they have luck with such species as the Australian Pitcher plants, Sundews, Marsh Pitchers, and Nepenthes pitcher plants. These plants will do well in the humid environment created in a terrarium.
Lighting: Your carnivorous plants terrarium will require more specific lighting than you would need for other carnivorous plants at home. To help generate the adequate humidity in the terrarium, several special flourescent bulbs designed for optimal plant growth should be placed close to the top of the terrarium. Signs of inadequate lighting are basically weak, thin plants and leaves. Watch out for lights that are too hot as they may literally cook the plants inside the terrarium.
Covering: Your carnivorous plants terrarium needs a proper cover. An ideal cover will be transparent to let adequate light through. It should cover 80 to 90% of the top surface area. An adjustable lid is perfect since it will allow you to change the opening if your terrarium becomes so humid that there is too much condensation.
Water: Like all carnivorous plants, the specimens in your terrarium will definitely benefit from a clean source of water. The best water to use is either fresh distilled water, rainwater, or reverse osmosis water as these types have very low salt levels and should not harm your plants. Because there will be a high humidity in your terrarium be on the lookout for fungus or other diseases that can threaten the leaves and stems of your plants.
Feeding: The plants in your carnivorous plants terrarium should not need any special feeding routine. If insects are not getting into the tank, then you can supplement with live or dead insects at the rate of one insect per plant every 3 to 4 weeks. Try to avoid fertilizing any of your carnivorous plants.
If you are growing carnivorous plants at home and considering transplanting them to a terrarium, here is a guide for terrarium plants. For further reading on the subject of cultivating carnivorous plants at home, The Savage Garden by Peter D’Amato is an excellent resource.