Home Plant Profiles Carnivorous: Nepenthes, Butterwort, Venus Fly Trap, Sundew

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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


Plant Profile Series

 
 

 

CARNIVOROUS PLANTS

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This oddity of nature is the stuff of horror movies. Carnivorous plants grow in places that lack nutrients in the soil so they eat insects to provide their nutrients. There are many forms, including Nepenthes (the Pitcher Plant), Venus Fly Trap, Butterwart and many others.  They grow in all but the most extreme climates and with a little research you just might be amazed to find that some may grow near where you live!

Contrary to popular belief, these plants do NOT want to eat hamburger or other meat products. One insect will supply enough nutrients to last several weeks. 

 

TEMPERATURE / WATER: Warmth and humidity are key to growing healthy carnivorous plants. Water with rainwater or distilled water. Some growers have better success growing them in a closed container such as an aquarium. This helps keep the humidity high.

LIGHT: Provide moderate light, with no exposure to sun.

Carnivorous plants are specialty plants with limited availability. Nepenthes are grown in 8" hanging baskets and sometimes in 3" or 4" pots. Sundew and Fly Traps are usually grown in 4" pots.You may on rare occasions see assortments of carnivorous plants in bog gardens.