How to Care for Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants offer Fun and Beauty in and around the Home

By Mark J. Donovan

What may be surprising to many is the fact that there are many types of carnivorous plants that are indigenous to every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica. Besides rain forests and other exotic types of places, carnivorous plants can also be found in many familiar countries, including the United States and Canada as well, as many countries in Europe and Asia. In the United States carnivorous plants can be found in nearly every state. So just because carnivorous plants may seem rare doesn’t mean they don’t exist or can’t be grown in your local region of the country.

It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones for your local climate and learning what you need to do to keep them healthy and alive.

When buying a carnivorous plant make sure that it includes information about its species and recommendations on how to take care of it. This way you can provide it with the proper sunlight, water and food to keep it growing healthy and looking great. In general most carnivorous plants require lots of sunlight, so make sure that you have a place within your home that has plenty of natural light. If you are planning to plant it outside make sure that it gets plenty of southern and western exposure will minimal shade.

Venus Flytraps, Sundews, and North American Pitcher plants, for example, all require typically 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day during their growing season. If they receive less than this amount of sunlight they will become stressed and most likely die.

There are only a few carnivorous plants that can live without direct sunlight and they include Butterworts, Asian Pitchers, and some Sundew variants. All of these types of plants prefer indirect sunlight.

If you plan to grow your carnivorous plants indoors and question the amount of natural lighting that you can provide to them, supplement their lighting needs with florescent lighting. Typically a 25 to 50 watt florescent light bulb works great. If you plan to grow your carnivorous plants indoors without any natural light, then plan to run the florescent light bulb 12 or so hours a day. The bulb should be positioned 8 to 12 inches over the top of the plant. Alternatively you can use compact florescent light bulbs to save on cost. Do not use incandescent light bulbs as they give off to much heat, not to mention they are more expensive to operate.

In regards to watering carnivorous plants, most are indigenous to bogs. As a result, they are use to having a very wet soil. For best success water your carnivorous plants so that the bottom of the plant container sits in a small pool or container of water. Also, use pure or distilled water. Chlorinated water can stress or kill a carnivorous plant. It’s important, however, to follow the directions for your particular carnivorous plant for watering. Some carnivorous plants, such as Asian pitcher plants prefer less water and should be watered only a couple of times a week.

To maximize the beauty and growth of your carnivorous plants repot them every year at the end of their growing season, which is typically in March.

By repotting your plants you give them room to grow and aerate their root systems, both of which are key for ensuring healthy and beautiful looking plants. Also, prune off any dead or dying leaves to prevent the risk of fungus growth and to ensure adequate sunlight to the base of the plants.

When repotting the plants use a 50/50 mixture of peat moss and perlite. Perlite provides drainage and the peat moss provides acidity and helps to retain moisture. Do not add fertilizer to the soil. Carnivorous plants get all of their nutrition from the insects they catch in their leaves.

Dress Up Your Home’s Exterior with an Arbor – If you’ve always wondered what to do about a side door entrance to your house or garage to make it more appealing, or just wanted to simply spice up the backyard, building an arbor may be your answer. The “How to Build an Arbor Ebook” provides detailed, step-by-step instructions and pictures on how to build an entrance-way arbor for your home. Order and Immediately Download today!. 100% Money-Back Guarantee if you are not satisfied.

Planning to have a Brick or Paver Walkway Installed by a Landscaping Contractor but not sure what questions to ask to ensure you hire the right one? See’s Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet. The Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet will help ensure that your walkway project goes smoothly and you get the finished walkway you are looking for.

Additional Landscaping Resources from

Free Home Addition Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on a house addition from one of our prescreened and licensed home addition contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your house addition price estimate.