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Indoor Plant of the Month – Carnivorous Plants
Most people know that plants attract insects via their flowers for the purposes of pollination. But did you know that certain plants also attract insects in order to eat them?
Insect eating plants or Carnivorous plants are usually found growing on land or water which is deficient in nitrogen, for example, acid bogs. Over thousands of years they have developed clever ways of making up nitrogen deficiency by catching insects. Carnivorous plants are found in all parts of the world, from the freezing plains to the hot tropical rain forest.
Carnivorous plants use a variety of methods and techniques to snare their prey, whichever technique they use, speedy traps, sticky stamens or the hairy and steep mazes they don’t allow their prey any means of escape. Most varieties catch small insects, however there are carnivorous plants which entrap larger insects, frogs and even mammals up to the size of a rat!
As houseplants, Carnivorous plants are very interesting and fascinating subjects to grow. Many are highly decorative and lend themselves perfectly to arrangements with pebbles and grit which refer back to their natural habitat. You can easily create an environment similar to that of nature and start a collection!
Secrets for Success…
- Good light position including some sun.
- Never let the compost dry out. In winter keep moist. From March to October stand in 1-5cm of water.
- Only use rainwater or distilled/de-ionised water.
- Do not use Plant Food, repot only in Carnivorous Plant compost.
- In winter, allow to become dormant – keep cool but frost free, except Nepenthes – temperature 16-24⁰C, no direct sun, keep moist.
PLEASE NOTE: HARD ALKALINE WATER IS POISONOUS TO CARNIVOROUS PLANTS, SO THE USE OF RAINWATER OR DISTILLED WATER IS IDEAL. ON A TEMPORARY BASIS, BOILED AND COOLED WATER CAN BE USED.