Don’t believe everything you see on TV. The cinema will surely have made you afraid of carnivorous plants, after having seen them devouring someone in some movie. But nothing could be further from the truth. Carnivorous plants are an excellent option to bring your home or garden to life with their exotic colors. They are carnivorous because they feed on some insects, so you are in no danger of having one in your home. Plus, they’ll catch insects for you. If you want to venture into having a carnivorous plant, here are some recommendations.
Types of carnivorous plants
If you are thinking of having a carnivorous plant, the first thing you should do is choose the type of plant you will have. Choose depending on the type of climate in which you live, as there are plants that live in tropical climates and others that do not.
Tropical carnivorous plants
We do not recommend a tropical species if you do not live in this type of climate, as controlling the environmental conditions and keeping them in the optimal parameters can be a bit difficult.
Carnivorous plants from other climates
These plants are well adapted to cold or temperate climates, although they will not survive if temperatures drop too low.
Carnivorous plant care
Carnivorous plants are quite hardy and do not make too many demands on the quality of the soil. They grow in almost any kind of soil. In fact, if you try to add minerals to the soil where it is grown, the plant will probably die. Let it grow in poor substrate. There are even special substrates for carnivorous plants.
Keep in mind that if your carnivorous plant is in a pot, it should not be a clay plant. Mud could add minerals to the irrigation water and damage the plant. Use a plastic pot with holes in the bottom to encourage drainage and moisture. If fungus like moss forms in the pot, don’t worry, this is good for your plant’s growth.
Carnivorous plants grow in swamps, so if you want them to develop healthily, they should be in a moist environment and you should water them quite often. Give your plant water every three to five days in hot weather.
Your plant’s soil should always be wet, but don’t water it. To water, leave your plant’s pot on another pot of water, making sure you cover at least two centimetres of the base of the pot with water. An ideal way to do this is to use the saucer under the pot. Always leave the saucer full of water so that the plant can drink it when it needs it.
However, you cannot use just any kind of water to water your plant. Tap water may have some chlorine or other mineral residues that can damage it. Ideally, water with rainwater that you collect. But, if the latter is impossible for you, don’t worry. You can buy mineral water or you can use tap water after leaving it to stand for half a day.
Temperature and lighting
Be sure to place your plant in a place where it will receive plenty of sunlight, such as near a window. If you have a tropical carnivorous plant, you should keep it in a warm, but not too hot environment. A temperature between 20°C and 23°C will be fine. If, on the other hand, your carnivorous plant is one that is adapted to cold climates, you should keep it in an environment with temperatures between 5 °C and 8 °C during a period of the year so that it can hibernate.
We’re sure you’ve been wondering up until now, when is it my turn to feed my plant with bugs? And the answer is that you’d better not. It can handle its own insect hunting and feed on the ones it needs.
If you don’t have it in an open space where it can hunt, find out what kind of insects your type of plant can eat. You can probably feed it mosquitoes or other insects that are not too big.
Should you fertilize your plant’s soil? The answer is a resounding NO. As we mentioned, excess minerals in the soil could kill the carnivorous plant.
After the carnivorous plant has been fed more than twice, its mouths will probably die, so it is advisable to cut them with scissors. You should also cut off the dry leaves.
During pruning, be as careful as possible and don’t touch the plant as little as possible. In fact, in general you should try not to touch the plant or its mouths. Don’t worry, nothing will happen to you if you do. But carnivorous plants are very sensitive, they can be stressed by touch and mistreated.
As you may have seen, carnivorous plants are not at all dangerous and are plants that you can easily keep at home with a little care. So, go ahead and have one and tell us about your experience.