Carnivorous plants cultivation

Carnivorous plants cultivation

Carnivorous plants cultivation

First of all it is necessary that they are always wet, not just humid, just wet, immersed. You can water continuously or immerse them in a little water which will be added often, or use the simplest method which consists in the use of a very deep saucer, a tray, a large bowl where the semi-immersed pot will be placed in the water. Carnivorous plants can grow in soggy soil even half submerged, but most carnivorous plants prefer soil that is wet, but not soggy, around 1/4 of the water of the saucer. For this reason, it is much easier to fill the container halfway, so if the alternative is to forget to add water and let them dry, it is better to add a little more. Water must always be added to the saucer container and never to the earth directly. This avoids washing away the sticky mucilage of sundews and other varieties and prevents the valves from closing.

The right water is not that of the tap

For carnivorous plants always use demineralized water, such as rainwater or distilled water. You can keep a bucket near the gutter to collect rainwater. Distilled water can be purchased at a grocery store. Condensate from an air conditioner or heat pump is another mineral-free source of water at no cost. Demineralized water through reverse osmosis is perfect for carnivorous plants that grow in nutrient-poor soils. The minerals contained in tap water can "super-fertilize" and "burn" plants. However, some low-mineralized waters can, for a short time, make up for the lack of completely demineralized water. The fixed residue is specified on the water label, which must not exceed 14 mg / liter.

The quality of the soil

Nutrient-poor soils adapted to carnivorous plants are often rich in peat and sand. It is possible to recreate this type of environment by using sphagnum peat, but not other types of peat that are too rich in minerals. The sand must be cleaned and washed. You can use sand for games or horticultural sand, indifferently, as long as it is well cleaned. Never use beach sand or sand based on limestone, because the salt content, even if minimal, damages the plants. The mix ratio is about 1 part peat to 1 part sand and works well for most carnivorous plants. The Dionee, those with the "mouths", prefer a little more sand, while the Nepenthes prefer a lot more peat, but the important thing is not so much the proportion as the quality of the mixture which must be composed only of peat of clean sphagnum and washed sand.

Light, lots of light

Carnivorous plants, as a general rule, grow best in sunny conditions; only some prefer partial exposure to the sun, generally those that appear more delicate and low, which are those that grow in swamps.

Usually the habitat of the carnivorous plant tends to be open and sunny; moreover the full sun brings out the red pigmentation of most carnivorous plants. Many carnivorous plants grow quite well in front of windows, indoors in a sunny room. Any north windowsill works well. Plants can grow well even under artificial light, with a timer set at 12-14 hours. Fluorescent tubes designed for plant growth work better than regular light bulbs.


Carnivorous plants grow wild in swamps, so the growing environment should replicate these conditions. As mentioned, this can easily be accomplished by simply keeping the plants wet at all times. Since it is not possible to water carnivorous plants, you can choose to use a humidifier positioned near the plants to increase the general humidity of the air, this in addition to the normal water tank of the saucer. Do not seal the plants in a hermetically sealed container as this will invite fungi and molds to settle there which can kill the plants in no time.Air circulation is essential in all plants that have such a high humidity rate.


Most carnivorous plants like a normal room temperature. It should be borne in mind that carnivorous plants are generally tolerant of temperature, which can vary a little without damaging results.

Feeding and Fertilization

As a general rule, they do not feed or fertilize. Grown under the conditions described above, the plants will be able to collect insects on their own, which will be sufficient as a supplement to their "diet". They typically look for one or two insects a month, no more. The traps should never be stimulated empty or inserted pieces of raw meat inside.

Freeze-dried insects found in pet stores provide an excellent source of nutrition. Carnivorous plants grown without additional insect feeding will not be able to develop, but care must be taken and not overdoing it. The ideal would be for the plants to catch their own insect on their own.

Note that, in case of catching a large fly, it will take the plant 12-24 hours to kill it, now in which the buzzing of the fly trying to free itself will be heard, all the time. For this reason it is good that they are not placed in places where they can cause disturbance.

Carnivorous plants need to hibernate

Many carnivorous plants are native to temperate climates and require a period of hibernation (dormancy). This is a natural protection mechanism that allows plants to survive the cold of winter. Some carnivorous plants, such as sundews, form winter buds, others produce winter leaves, while others simply shed all existing leaves. Carnivorous plants go into dormancy when winter conditions begin. If they are not allowed to rest, the plants will die. When the plants begin to show signs of dormancy, the water in the saucer must be reduced and the soil only slightly moist. Reduce the amount and duration of daylight. Keep them cool for 3 to 6 months, depending on the area of ​​origin. This can be done by placing it in the basement or on a balcony in the shade. A refrigerator is fine, as long as the temperature is not too cold, enough to freeze them. Carnivorous plants do not need light during vegetative rest, indeed, darkness would be the preferable solution.

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