Carnivorous Plant

Carnivorous plants are some of the most interesting plants that Mother Nature has produced. It is commonly believed that these plants are very difficult to care for, but there are really easy to care for species. Carnivores, as carnivorous plants are also known, usually catch small unicellular organisms with their transformed leaves, but also insects or arthropods. Large carnivorous plants also catch and digest larger prey such as frogs and rodents. Carnivores grow slowly. They need a lot of light and water and are otherwise self-sufficient. There are a total of five types of traps, the glue traps, hinged traps, suction traps, pit trap traps and trap traps. The name suggests how the plants catch their food.

Caring for carnivorous plants

Caring for carnivorous plant

With a few exceptions, carnivorous plants are not difficult to cultivate. You need a lot of light and sufficient water and not tap water, but soft water, rainwater that is as clean as possible. Hibernation depends on the type of plant.


Carnivorous plants shouldn’t be too dark. A place directly in the window is ideal. There are even a number of suitable specimens for east and west windows. Murder windows are usually too dark and there is not enough light inside a room either.

  • As much light as possible!
  • A south-facing window is ideal.
  • Midday sun is not ideal, however, so it is better to shade a bit.
  • Only the butterwort also thrives in the north window.
  • If there is too little light, use artificial light, 120 to 150 watts per square meter!
  • Since carnivores like high humidity, this point should also be taken into account when assigning a location!
  • The plants do not stand well directly above a heater. The air there is too dry. The glue droplets of the sundew dry up.
  • A small terrarium or aquarium is ideal where all carnivorous plants find a home together. Here you can regulate the humidity well. Around 70 percent is ideal.
  • In summer, the plants can be placed outside, but make sure that the air humidity is high!
  • Many of the plants, such as pitcher plants, need the sunniest place to bring out the color.
  • Native species can also be cultivated in the garden, preferably in a bog bed. They include: Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera angglica, Drosera intermedia, Drosera filiformis, Pinguicula vulgaris, Pinguicula alpina and practically all Sarracenia and hybrid species. More on this under garden culture.

Plant substrate

There is special carnivore soil available in stores. This is best suited for carnivorous plants. However, it is sinfully expensive. An alternative is white peat, but it must be absolutely unfertilized! Potting soil is absolutely unsuitable.

  • Carnivorous
  • Mix white peat with quartz sand as an alternative solution
  • Under no circumstances use soil with fertilizer or potting soil!
  • In order to increase the humidity, it makes sense to put the pots in large, water-filled coasters or bowls, preferably several together.


Carnivorous Plant

It is ideal to plant carnivorous plants in an aquarium or terrarium, as this allows the humidity to be regulated. However, you must not close it, otherwise heat may build up. It is important to note that the appropriate plant substrate is used!
Most carnivores are planted in pots. There is nothing special to consider. It is a little different when it is kept outdoors. A water reservoir is absolutely cheap for both types of plants.

Garden culture
For most carnivorous plants it is sufficient to put them outdoors in their pots in summer. However, some species can also be planted out. You can bury them in the bucket or create a bed for them directly, a so-called bog bed. In any case, there are a few things to consider:

  • Very sunny location!
  • Somewhat protected place!
  • It is important that there are no deciduous trees nearby!
  • Don’t use garden soil, not a little!
  • Plant according to size so that everyone gets a good light!

Burying the tub
Since keeping it in a tub is not ideal in winter because such a planter can freeze through, it is better to bury it in winter. However, this is not ideal either, because the water storage capacity may be too low under certain circumstances. So you have to water a lot in summer. It is therefore practical to install a water storage tank in the vessel or to use a vessel with a water reservoir.

Keeping in a bog bed
The bog bed is comparable to a large bucket, except that the pond liner is usually used for this. This gives you more design freedom. Here, too, it is important to have a water reservoir, a sunny location, no foreign nutrients, i.e. no trees!
Snails and birds are problematic in keeping them in the open air. It is an ideal environment for snails. They love carnivorous plants. But birds are worse, especially blackbirds. Due to the constantly moist earth, they are rooting and looking for food every day. They also like Sphagnum for building their nests. Small and sensitive carnivorous plants such as sundew and fatty herbs usually do not survive such a blackbird attack. Only close-meshed wire netting can help. Networks are unfavorable.
In winter, carnivores are threatened when the ground freezes. Then they often dry up because they cannot absorb moisture. Even frosts without a protective blanket of snow are dangerous.

Watering and fertilizing

Carnivores do not tolerate lime. Calcareous irrigation water kills the plants pretty quickly. The harder the water, the faster the plants will say goodbye. It is always poured into the coaster. There the water level should be 2 to 3 cm after watering. This water must first be consumed before watering is started again. In between, the plant should be dry for about 2 days, so do not water immediately! The earth needs air, it only works without water.

  • Do not use hard water!
  • Rainwater is good, but it’s not ideal in the big city either.
  • Distilled water or demineralized water is better.
  • Anyone who has a reverse osmosis system and lets their tap water flow through there can also use this water for carnivorous plants.
  • The plants also like it when they are sprayed with this water. This ensures a high level of humidity, which they like a lot.
  • Never fertilize!


Carnivorous plants do not need to be fed. They take care of themselves. Even in winter they occasionally catch a fly or a spider. But if you want to feed them so that you can watch the process, you have to use live insects! However, they shouldn’t be too big. The insect size is calculated to be about a third of the size of the trap.


Winter can be difficult. Many of the carnivorous plants get too little light. That is not so bad if they are not too warm at the same time. So if the location is too dark, the temperatures have to be lowered considerably. Plant lamps are ideal for overwintering.

  • The brightest possible location, but at temperatures between 5 and 10 ° C.
  • The lighter the place, the higher the temperatures can be.
  • Growth stops at cool temperatures.
  • Leaves can turn brown.
  • Many of the carnivorous plants need cold winter quarters. You are taking a rest.
  • Pitcher plants and Venus flytrap – from 10 to 15 ° C.
  • Pitcher plant and water hose – from 20 to 25 ° C.

To cut

Carnivorous plants do not need to be pruned. Only dead parts are carefully removed, but only when they are completely dry. If a plant gets too big, especially in the terrarium, it is better to divide it up before cutting it. That looks unnatural in the end.


Carnivorous plants multiply via seeds, cuttings or division of the rhizomes. All types are not really easy and not really for beginners. You need a lot of dexterity and you have to look after the plants on a daily basis.

  • Seeds – Seeds do not have a long shelf life. Some seeds require pre-treatment, i.e. cold or heat. Only place seeds on the substrate, almost all of them are light germs. Keep moist at all times!
  • Leaf cuttings – either press the cuttings onto fresh substrate and just cover the leaf stalk with a little substrate or put everything in a glass of distilled water and cover it. The first option is better, because the cutting takes root in the substrate. Keep fresh plants very moist at the beginning! Get used to normal water levels slowly!
  • Root cuttings – simply cut off a piece of the root and plant it separately. Keep everything moist. Not all plants can take it!
  • Rhizome division – take the plant out of the pot and break it into several parts. Plant everything separately. Proceed carefully!

Diseases and pests

Carnivorous Plants Diseases and pests

With good care, diseases are rare. Of course, no plants are protected from pests. It is important that you regularly check that everything is in order and that you quickly discover diseases and pests. Then it is relatively easy to do something about it.

  • Gray mold – occurs mainly in winter, when it is kept wet and cold. Affected parts must be removed! Pour less! Isolate plants! It is best to put it lighter and more airy! Remove dead plant parts!
  • Moldy plant substrate – just an optical flaw . This can be remedied by repotting in a more airy substrate and an airy parking space. Keep it less humid, especially in winter, and ventilate well!
  • Aphids – also do not stop at carnivorous plants. Many of the plants are sensitive. Rinsing off helps, but difficult with the more tender plants. Aphid spray is better. Plant protection suppositories have a long-term effect.
  • Scale insects – especially on hard-leaved plants. Very harmful. Help brings leaf shine spray (Kontralineum solution).
  • Spider mites – timely detection is important here. Control with aphid or mite spray.
  • Caterpillars – when staying outdoors. Best to collect!
  • Snails – when cultivated in bog beds. Collecting or slug pellets

Carnivorous plants are not as difficult to care for as is often assumed. But they are nothing for people who do not have much time for plants. You have to check your sweetheart every day to see whether they are satisfied. Obtaining suitable water is also not always easy, at least for city dwellers. Otherwise one can only recommend the culture of the carnivores. They are really interesting plants. Children can also get excited about it, because something is happening with these plants. You don’t just stand around. It is best to start with a plant, e.g. a Venus flytrap. Personally, I find sundew the easiest to grow. Mine was in the kitchen in the north window and in the summer on the south balcony and even bloomed.

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