Plants like the venus fly trap look beautiful and are found in numerous varieties. We are certain that you will find everything you are looking for after giving our article a read. Which plants have traps like the venus fly trap?

Adding Venus Flytraps and More to Your Garden

Which one is visually attractive? Do all of these plants have the same habitat? Continue reading to know more about all these questions and more. 

List of Plants Similar to the Venus Fly Trap

All the plants listed below are carnivorous – that means that rather than bugs eating them, they do the eating! These plants rely on prey for their nutrients. They are all similar to the venus fly trap but have important differences that you must note.

1. Butterworts

Butterwort, scientifically known as Pinguicula Spp, is a herbaceous perennial carnivore plant that belongs to the Lentibulariaceae family and is native to Central America. It has over eighty species and is a passive rapper, meaning it does not use rapid movements to trap the prey.

The plant’s leaves produce a gel-like substance to attract small insects like gnats and fruit flies. Once the insects get trapped, the acidic enzymes act and dissolve the prey to be devoured by the plant. 

– Growing Season

The plant is adaptive to hot and humid summers and cool and drier winters

Butterwort is a flowering plant that is mostly grown outdoors. It produces a rosette of yellow-green leaves that have a sticky surface. With proper care, it blooms once or twice a year with white, pink, or yellow flowers. 

Butterworts Unique Carnivorous Plant

– Specific Needs

Butterwort plants prefer indirect sunlight to part shade. They require moist, well-draining soils that are nutrient-poor and have an alkaline pH.

The plant easily propagates through root division. Pinguicula plants grow into multiple plants when they flower and are the best option for propagation. Uproot the whole child plant when you see it has grown up to its parent plant, and gently pull apart the roots after dusting off the excess soil.

Place the plant in potting soil, water it regularly to keep the soil moist in its early growth stages, and place it in the shade. You will see that it has started to develop roots within a few weeks.

Tap water is unsuitable for plants due to harsh chemicals like magnesium, copper, and calcium. Add distilled water to the plant to prevent the soil from drying completely. Furthermore, the plant does not need any fertilizer as it gets all its nutrient needs from the insects, but you can use soluble organic manure if it is in dire need. 

Butterworts are not fussy when it comes to pruning. But like you would for any plant, do get rid of tiny, dead, and yellow leaves. The plant does bear such useless leaves in its dormancy period of fall. Using a sterilized cutting tool will ensure minimum damage to the plant and lower the risk of spreading the disease, if any.

2. Sundews 

Contrary to its peaceful name, Sundew, scientifically known as Drosera, is a vibrant carnivorous plant. It is a tropical perennial that belongs to the Droseraceae family and is homegrown in the Cape region of South Africa.

It has over ninety distinct species. The shape of the green leaves depends on the species and can be round, oval, or narrow. Similarly, the plant size depends upon the species, but most commercially available plants are fairly small in size. 

There are special glands present on the leaves that secrete scented mucus to attract and capture the insects. Once the leaf captures the insects, it curls up to digest its prey and then uncurls to prepare for its next meal again. Surprisingly, this process takes four to six days to complete. 

– Growing Season

You can grow this plant all year round in subtropical conditions in subtropical conditions and show a slow growth rate with the onset of winter.

The Elegant Carnivorous Plant

Since it is a small plant, it is not more than 8 to 10 inches in height. It blooms in spring with a rose-like cluster of leaves and small white to pale pink flowers. The plant is quite pleasing when the dainty stalks reflect light. 

– Specific Needs 

Sundews show optimal growth under partial to full sun and thrive in boggy, sandy, and moist soils with an acidic pH. If you are growing plants in pots, combine equal parts of vermiculites, peat moss or perlite, and a bit of composted soil. This mixture will help achieve the required moisture and maintain the acidic levels.

There are many ways through which Sundews can be propagated. You can propagate them through seeds, leaf cuttings, and through flower stalk cuttings. However, the easiest way to propagate the plant is using leaf cuttings. You can take a whole leaf or a small portion and place it in water. It may take two weeks to two months for the cuttings to develop. 

Water the plant just as much to keep the soil moist and not soggy. But the water needs to be either in distilled form or rainfall water as the plant does not tolerate the high mineral content found in tap or spring water.

The humidity level must be at least fifty percent. Fertilize the plant with an orchid fertilizer once a month. 

Pruning a sundew is only necessary if the spread of the plant is getting out of control. Using a clean and sterilized pair of scissors when pruning becomes inevitable is a better option and would also get you leaf cuttings for your next propagation. 

3. Pitcher Plants

The pitcher plant, scientifically known as Nepenthes, is a carnivorous perennial that belongs to the Nepenthaceae family and is native to the southeast United States.

The yellowish-green pitchers have an apricot to orange pigmentation near the top and the rim as they mature and do not have any supporting stalks. Both the lid and throat have purple veins running down them. 

The plant is an effective way of getting rid of unwanted insects. They get fascinated and attracted by the visually pleasant plant and get paralyzed as soon as they come into contact with the nectar. The prey falls into the pitcher containing a digestive fluid where they decompose, releasing the nutrients to get absorbed. 

– Growing Season

These plants show growth in spring, from April to May, that lasts till summer and enter their dormant state with the arrival of fall. They reach a height of 1 to 2 feet and the same width when spaced at a distance of 18 to 24 inches. 

The plant is a fragrant addition to any plant collection. Along with characteristics like evergreen and showy, it has been awarded the Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. 

Fascinating Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

– Specific Needs

The plants are full-sun lovers and prefer loamy and sandy soils with an acidic to neutral pH. However, the soil needs to be well-drained.

Propagating these plants can be done through tissue culture, seeds, and stem cuttings. People prefer propagating the plant through rhizome division as they find it more convenient than other methods.

You must divide the rhizomes every three years in spring so that the plant does not overcrowd the rest of the plants, especially when growing in containers. 

Gently tease the plant after taking it out of the pot and pull the easily separated rhizomes and get rid of the old and brown leaves. Cut the leaves so that each rhizome division has a couple of inches.

Now, replant the divisions into pots containing equal amounts of peat moss and perlite. Coarse sand instead of perlite does the job too. Water the plant frequently as it has high watering needs. 

You do not have to worry about adding fertilizers to these plants as the digested insects fulfill their nutrient requirement. However, if the plant is showing unusual behavior, like growing extra pitchers, adding a small amount of liquid fertilizer causes no harm. 

Pruning the plant is necessary when the flowers start to wilt. Use a pair of garden scissors to remove the flowers like you would deadhead other plants, or you can cut off the stems from the plant’s base. 

4. Cobra Lily

The cobra lily plant, scientifically known as Darlingtonia Californica, is a carnivorous perennial that belongs to the Sarraceniaceae family and is native to North America. A unique and eye-catching plant with leaves resembling a cobra’s head has earned it its name.

The curling leaves rise from the plant’s base and have round, hooded foliage. The startling plant has a never-ending appetite that causes it to eat small vertebrates and insects. 

The hooded leaves lure the prey through their irresistible aroma. Once the insects are in the trap, there is no escape. The plant releases digestive enzymes to decompose the animal matter

– Growing Season

The plant grows in spring with red flowers and has a slow to medium growth rate. It reaches a height of three to four feet. It can survive in almost all weather conditions and is mostly grown as an ornamental plant because of its white-spotted green leaves. 

The Evil Looking Cobra Lily

– Specific Needs

Cobra Lilies grow well when provided with six to seven hours of sunlight a day, but they can also tolerate partial shade. The soil needs to be moist, well-drained and aerated to allow the roots to breathe and cool down, and the pH level should be a little acidic to a little alkaline. 

Water the plant with rainwater, once or twice weekly, to help cool down the roots. You can use distilled or spring water alternately, however keep the plant avoid giving the plant tap water as it contains toxic chemicals. The humidity level needs to be at least fifty percent, easily achieved with a humidifier or by placing a tray with water and pebbles near the plant. 

Furthermore, fertilizer is not needed as the plant gets all its nutrients from the decomposed insect and animal matter. Trim the dead stems and brown leaves in winter to promote the plant’s growth when needed. 

5. Monkey Cup Plants

The Monkey Cups, scientifically known as Nepenthes Spp, are perennial carnivorous plants that belong to the Nepenthes family and are native to Asia. The Viney plants have green leaves that have pitchers dangling from the edges. Pitchers are formed by the swelling of the leaves’ mid veins, and as a result, hollow cups contain fluid at the bottom. 

The insects come running to these plants because of their attractive color and the fragrance of the nectar secreted. Cups are slippery from the inside, with hairs facing 

downwards. The slippery walls slide the insects down to be digested by the hungry plant.

– Growing Season

Monkey Cups can be grown all year round as long as all the growing conditions are fulfilled. The stems can be as long as three meters. They have a slow growth rate and may take anywhere from five to ten years to mature. 

– Specific Needs

The plants are happy as long as they receive indirect yet bright sunlight. Soil needs to be moist and well-drained, and acidic soils. 

Exotic and Unusual Carnivorous Plant

Propagating the plant through the stem is an easy and effective way. The cutting must be slightly above the node when the place shows active growth. Remove the leaves at the bottom, leaving a couple at the top.

The cutting needs to be placed facing downwards in sphagnum moss. Water the cutting and place the pot in a shaded but humid area that receives bright sunlight. It starts to grow in a month or two, after which it can be transplanted into a larger pot.

The monkey cup plant thrives in damp soil. Add mulch to the top layer of the soil to prevent the water from evaporating. During the summer season, water the plant regularly. The plant has fewer watering needs in the winter season. 

Fertilizing the plant is unnecessary as it gets all its nutrients from insects. You can add the nearby roaming insects into the trap if you have it in your office, or letting the plant stay outdoors to stretch its muscles and catch a fly or two will do your plant all the good it needs.

Use a pair of garden scissors to cut the stalk at the base and any brown or yellow leaves showing stagnant growth.

6. Bladderworts

Bladderworts, scientifically known as Utricularia, are homegrown in the coastal plains of the United States. They are aquatic plants that can be grown both as perennials and annuals.

The bladders are attached to the branches by the stalks, and these branches are modified forms of leaves. 

Bladders are pear-shaped with a diameter of two to four millimeters. The flap opens at one end to form a door for the prey. Tiny hairs resembling the antennae of insects can be seen surrounding the door. Numerous tiny glands inside the bladders absorb most of the water and expel the unwanted water outside, creating a vacuum for the insects to enter. 

Flower of Aquatic Bladderwort in Pond

– Growing Season

The red and yellow flowers pop their heads out of the water from May to November. It can survive winter with the help of winter buds. The plants have a slow growth rate as the days shorten. Bladders are bean-shaped and are between the size of a pinhead and a quarter of an inch.

– Specific Needs

The bladderworts require full sun for optimal growth, and the soil pH can be slightly acidic and alkaline. Aquatic bladderworts are propagated through cuttings that are normally up to three nodes long. The seeds take a longer period to germinate.

Bladderworts are low-maintenance, meaning they have little watering, pruning, and fertilizing needs. Since they are aquatic plants, they get their water requirements fulfilled from their habitat. The trapped insects fulfill all their nutrient needs. Remove the dead brown leaves and stem in winter, or trim the plant when it has grown more than your requirement. 

7. Waterwheel Plants

The waterwheel plant belongs to the Droseraceae family and is native to Africa, Asia, Europe, Korea, and Japan. They are included in the list of threatened species. 

It is an aquatic plant with quite a unique appearance compared to the rest of the discussed plants. The plant has no roots, and its stems float in water.

Waterwheel plant traps have two lobes that float off the water surface because of the air sacs. The trap shows a rapid movement, within ten to twenty milliseconds, as soon as the prey, usually small fish and eelworms, come in contact. 

The traps have hair-like triggers that detect the potential meal nearby. Once the hair-like structures encounter the prey, it becomes quite impossible for the insects to escape. 

– Growing Season

Waterwheel plants grow all year round and have a slow growth rate. The plant should be between 5 to 9 feet. It does not grow well after exceeding 9 feet. In summer, the plant blooms pinkish flowers with five sepals and petals.

Rare Unique Waterwheel Plants

During the winter, the plants use turions, underground buds, to protect themself from the cold climate. They continue going down until they have reached a warm-enough space. During the dormancy period, these plants have a slow growth rate that lasts till the beginning of the growing season. 

– Specific Needs

The plant needs full light exposure, clean standing water, and acidic soil for active growth.

Propagating with three nodes long cutting gives effective and quick results. Tissue culture produces the same results, whereas seeds take longer to germinate. The plants also reproduce through flowers above the water surface. Flowers open for a few hours and then come beneath the water surface for the completion of the process. 

The plant does not have specific fertilizer needs; however, you can add fertilizers to the soil’s acidity. If you are sowing the plant in a water-filled container, you must replace the water every few days to avoid the formation of algae, as they both are everything but good friends. 

Crowns are the only part of the plant that needs vigilance apart from the dead leaves and branches. They might grow above the soil when subjected to unfavorable conditions and need to be cut down to allow the plant to thrive like before. As for the rest of the plants, trim any dead stems or leaves. 

8. Catapulting flypaper trap

This species has flypaper (like the butterworts) and snap-trapping (like the Venus fly trap) abilities. It is endemic to Australia and has a very interesting way of securing its prey.

They use sticky outer tentacles to catch insects and other small animals. When prey puts pressure on the tentacles a reaction is set in motion that sees the meal fly towards the center of the plant where it is digested.

Unique Way to Catch Insects

– Growing Season

You will probably need to keep these in a cold greenhouse. You will only use supplemental heating to keep the temperatures above freezing. 

– Specific Needs 

This is a tricky plant to cultivate due to its very specific temperature requirements – both for gemination and further growth. The plants need to be fed regularly to maintain health but at least it grows well in standard carnivorous plant soil mixes. 


Venus fly trap is a common plant we all know of, but other plants function similarly to it. If you do not know, want to grow the famous fly trap, or want to try something different, other plants perform just as well.

Whatever you decide to grow, always remember the following important points from the article above:

  • Consider growing pitcher plants if you are looking for a visually attractive carnivore plant.
  • One of the fastest carnivore plant trappers is the waterwheel plant. It is a matter of milliseconds that the prey gets gulped down without it even knowing. 
  • Bladderworts and waterwheels are aquatic plants that will make a unique addition to your plant collection. 
  • Cobra lilies are a way of adding color to your garden as they bear bright red flowers. Not only will the plant get rid of insects, but it will also create a pleasing effect. 
  • Monkey cup plants, sundews, and pitcher plants will add a sweet fragrance wherever you decide to plant them. 

After discovering these plants similar to venus fly traps and their unique characteristics, which plant would you like to grow?


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