How to care for carnivorous plants is a method that is both unique and fascinating as they get their nutrients by attracting, trapping, and consuming other living creatures.
Most carnivorous plants are found in the North American part of the world, especially the Venus flytraps and pitcher plants. These indoor plants can also be found underwater like the Utricularia and have different sizes, shapes, and colors.
For you to know more, read this carnivorous plant care guide by our team of gardeners.
- How to Care For Carnivorous Plants With the Right Approach
How to Care For Carnivorous Plants With the Right Approach
To care for carnivorous plants with the right approach, you must water them properly, and provide the correct light requirement, and the temperature and humidity they need. You should also fertilize them appropriately and prune them when needed. You may propagate them to grow them further by division or seeds.
The carnivorous plants are low-maintenance beauties that can grow well in nutrient-poor soil. The Australian pitcher plant, Venus flytrap, waterwheel, and bladderwort are some of the best carnivorous plants for beginners, or try the care instructions for a successful journey.
– Water Properly
Carnivorous plants prefer water with low minerals; in this case, you should use reverse osmosis, distilled, or rainwater only when irrigating the plant. Do not use tap, bottled, or well water as it can kill your carnivorous plant, which is why you must use osmosis water is 98 percent free from chloride, mercury, lead, fluoride, and sulfate contaminants.
If you want to use chlorinated water, allow it to sit in an open container for 48 hours before using it. These are the type of plants that like to be kept wet, so ensure you water again when the soil is still slightly wet. They can be watered in different ways, and irrigating over the potting soil is commonly used.
You can also use bottom watering because this method fills the plant tray at the bottom of your carnivorous plant with water. Be sure the potting medium is in contact with the water so that it can absorb it, and check after about ten minutes to see if the soil is completely moist.
You can also use a water bath method whereby you fill the container with lukewarm water and then lower the pot in it up to the plant’s stem. You can lift the pot when the water stops bubbling and allow the excess to drain before placing back your carnivorous plant in the cachepot.
– Condition Light Requirements
Most carnivorous plants thrive well in a sunny spot, just like the Trumpet pitcher and Venus flytrap, which is also known as the Dionaea muscipula and. Some varieties like the Butterworts and Nepenthes, commonly known as the tropical pitcher plants prefer indirect sun.
In short, it is best to expose your carnivorous plants to sunlight for a maximum of six hours in the morning. The east-facing window is more likely to give your plant the best exposure to light because this way, it will grow much stronger.
On the other hand, you can also use artificial light if there is limited sunlight around your home. Get a standard fluorescent light and hang it 12 inches above your carnivorous plant. You should keep it on for 14 hours a day in summer and eight hours during winter.
– Supply the Right Soil
Use a mixture of grit, perlite, and sphagnum moss, and in such a way, a carnivorous plant compost is also ideal as it contains little to no nutrients. Do not grow your carnivorous plant in garden soil because it can die, and this would be a chaotic approach one can take.
The carnivorous plant also grows well in acidic soils with a pH of 3.0 to 5.0; this is how the roots will thrive when the right conditions are given in this matter.
– Provide Proper Temperature Conditions
Carnivorous plants prefer different temperature ranges, very common to most varieties of this plant like the pitcher plant prefers high temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during their growing season, which is in the summer season. You must remember that temperatures higher than this can burn your Venus fly.
On the flip side, during winter dormancy, some carnivorous plants may not produce leaves if the temperatures are below 58 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why during winter, the temperature range must be given and kept so that it wouldn’t go through a vulnerable period when growing.
– Ensure the Right Humidity Provisions
High humidity levels are ideal for most carnivorous plants; even when they are located in a terrarium, the range provided should be between 50 and 90 percent humidity. The plants need air circulation, so do not seal the terrarium. However, some carnivorous plants, like the tropical pitcher plant, thrive well in closed terraria.
You may also use a spray bottle to mist the plants. You should spray the rain or distilled water once or twice a day. If the weather is dry and there are low humidity conditions indoors, you can increase the frequency of spraying.
– Fertilize Appropriately
You can add Osmocote fertilizer pellets to your carnivorous plant, so note that you should put one to two pellets in each pitcher. The fertilizer can help improve the growth of the plant, enhance the development of the peristome, and increase the size of the pitcher. The pellets work perfectly in pitcher plants like the Cephalotus and Sarracenia purpurea, which are naturally filled with liquid.
You should add the fertilizer every two to three weeks during their growing season. When you are growing it as such, you must make sure the pitchers have liquid inside; otherwise, the nutrients may not be absorbed. After adding the fertilizer, use an eye dropper or pipette to squirt water into the pitchers if they are dry.
– Pruning the Plant
Prune your carnivorous plant to remove blackened and dead leaves; on the other hand, you can also trim to encourage new growth and get rid of the ones that could be weighing them down.
Note that these plants are herbaceous, and this is why there is no need to prune them if everything is okay. Pruning the carnivorous plant is usually done in winter because the pitchers and foliage wither and turn brown during this season.
– Propagate them Through the Division
Cut a healthy leaf from the adult carnivorous plant when it has new growths, and transplant it to give the mother plant the right space to grow, and to have more of them in different pots.
Put the leaf in a capped jar filled with sterilized water, but if the leaf is skinny, and tendril-looking, sealed test tubes can work perfectly fine. You can also plant your leaf in a 50:50 mixture of perlite and peat moss.
Place your container in a spot with proper lighting; now, you must be sure to change the water when it gets cloudy. You should also remove moldy or browned cuttings as they may not grow. The leaf cuttings can be transferred to their permanent plastic pots after a few months after they have developed some roots.
Get the divisions when you start to see new growth emerging, as when it’s growing, you would see that spring is the best time to collect divisions, as this season will enhance the growth. Use your fingers to separate the divisions so that they don’t get damaged. Check for dying or dead foliage so that you remove them.
To stimulate new growth, snip off the ends of your rhizomes on the outer edge of the divisions. Plant your new Venus fly in a pot and water it thoroughly, and remember to keep it moist until established.
– Plant Using Seeds
Get a seed starting tray or a three-inch pot and fill it with a mixture of perlite and sphagnum peat moss using a ratio of 50:50. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the potting medium. Do not cover the seeds and put the pot under the LED light that is six inches above.
Keep the substrate moist by misting it with deionized or distilled water that is free from minerals and salts. You should cover the pot with plastic so that the fungus gnat larvae will not eat the seeds, and now you should expect to see the seeds germinating within three to nine months. Using the stratification method for some species, you should also know how to grow carnivorous plants from seeds.
If you get the seeds that ripe in the fall, make sure they undergo the stratification process. You should put the seeds in a refrigerator for about four to eight weeks; then, you should note that growing a carnivorous plant from seeds takes time, as it needs three to four years to reach over two inches. The Venus flytrap is an example of a slow-growing variety, but others, like sundews, are fast growers as they can reach the flowering size within the first year.
You now have the knowledge of how to feed carnivorous plants to keep them healthy, but below is a summary of the main points, so let’s quickly go through it:
- The carnivorous plant prefers high temperatures not exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The American pitcher plant is one of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow.
- The carnivorous plant thrives well in high humidity levels that are between 50 and 90 percent.
You now know some of the different carnivorous plant names and how to care for them. Get yours today and enjoy raising carnivorous plants the perfect way.
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