Plants that eat bugs are ones that do a great job keeping the predators away from your plants. Also known as carnivorous plants, they eat thrips, earwigs, fungus gnats, and other small insects that may seem sinister.

Plants That Eat Bugs

These plants commonly grow in swamps, bogs, heaths, or deficient soils. These strange plants listed below have coping mechanisms that help them add meat to their diet.

A List of Plants That Eat Bugs

1. Albany Pitcher Plant

Albany Pitcher Plant

  • Climbing plant 
  • Colorful ribs 
  • Moist areas
  • Scrubby conditions
Eating process
  • Short time to process insect
  • Attracts them from pitcher hole
Colors available
  • Light green, purple, and copper. 
  • It has a waxy texture on the leaves

Albany is a beautiful plant with striking colors. This is a plant eats and grows close to the ground but is also climbing-friendly, when the right conditions are given to it, and it has large ribs on the sides with many thin hairs that the insects use as stepladders.

This plant is one of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow that has large colorful ribs with translucent windows to help with photosynthesis, thus it would help the plant grow.

The pitchers can be eight inches tall and about four inches wide, as it grows across the world in moist conditions and in scrubby conditions. It puts on a great show when mature is something that attracts the insects. Once the insect climbs into the pitcher, it can never get out again. 

This plant can trap and devour all pests, destroying your garden. You can grow it in your vegetable patch, ensuring you provide it with enough moisture. It is able to eats insects like earwigs, ants, and centipedes, within a very short time period. And the insects are attracted by sliding in through the large pitcher-shaped hole. It ends up in a liquid rich in enzymes, and the plant eats it alive.

2. Alice Sundew

Alice Sundew

  • The commonly cultivated carnivorous plant
  • It has reddish flowers that attract bugs
  • Prefers moist habitats 
  • Requires acidic soils
Eating process
  • 15 minutes time
  • Eats once a week
Colors available
  • Red, yellow, orange, and metallic violet
  • All the varieties grow up to at least 10 inches tall

Alice sundew is one of the most commonly cultivated sundews, it is a plant that is native to South Africa. It is a carnivorous plant belonging to the Droseraceae family. It produces scapes of reddish flowers that attract bugs to the plant.

The leaves close up to digest the prey and later open up to set another way to trap instects. It will repeat this process throughout its growing time.

This plant has what seems like raindrops on the leaves. Most of the time thirsty bugs come to quench their thirst with this watery substance which is glue-like and gets trapped. As a result of the latter, the leaves digest the prey and later unfurl, setting another trap.

3. Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap

  • Commonly sold as houseplants 
  • The trap is about an inch long.
  • Native to South and North Carolina 
  • Requires acidic soil
  • Requires humid atmosphere
Eating process
  • Traps insect with leaves
  • Has bug brushes the tiny hair twice 
Colors available
  • Green outer leaves and red inner
  • Grows white flower

Venus flytraps are commonly sold as houseplants, and it has a long flytrap measuring about six inches high and wide. It is one of the most common carnivorous plants that even featured in a science fiction movie, Little Shops of Horror.

Dionaea muscipula grows to about six inches high and wide with a trap about an inch long and to grow this well it is one that would grows across the world in boggy, humusy, and acidic soils. 

Larger cultivars have been developed for commercial sale with larger leaves and traps. The leaves snap, trapping the prey inside, and digestion begins immediately, when it lands on the leaves. And once it has finished and devoured the bug then, the leaves open again, ready for another one to land.

Although this plant is not one that has a variety of colors, but it is often green on the outside and red on the inside, where it would trap and eat the bugs. On the other hand, often it would bloom an indistinct flower that is white and pure in color.

4. Cobra Lily

Cobra Lily

  • Resembles a cobra snake ready to strike 
  • Also called the California pitcher 
  • Grows to 39 inches long
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • 50 percent humidity
Eating process
  • Traps bugs with capturing with hairs
  • Secretes enzyme to kill bug
Colors available
  • Yellow to purplish green flowers 
  • Has red dots on the leaves

Darlingtonia californica is closely related to other carnivorous pitcher plants of the Sarraceniaceae family. The name cobra lily came from the fact that this plant resembles the head of a cobra snake ready to strike. 

It is a plant that is native to Northern California and Southern Oregon, and the climate that it requires is one that is warm either fully or partially sunny and it would thrive. It is one that is difficult to cultivate but can grow in boggy and mushy areas.

Its weird looks make it one of the plants to grow for fun. It can be difficult to grow when cultivated but does well in boggy and mushy areas.

The translucent windows on the plant’s leaves confuse the bugs leading them in, and that is when the insects think they are escaping, but they fly deeper inside. This is because it has some tiny downward-pointing hairs that would keep the insect from escaping.

5. Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

  • Has waxy oval leaves 
  • The pitchers mature and hang underneath the leaves
  • Requires acidic soil 
  • Growing across the world
Eating process
  • Needs a day or two to digest
  • Traps insects in the hole
Colors available
  • It has varieties with red and greenish flowers
  • Has a bulb trap of brown color

The Pitcher is another carnivorous plant that is tricky to grow. It requires the right soil conditions, boggy and acidic, to thrive. It does well in USDA hardiness zones three to six. Expose it to full sunlight all day for maximum growth. It is one that like to grow in wet rainforests with high altitudes.

Native to North and Southeast America, and it is commonly grown in different habitats, because it would thrive well. When this plant captures a bug or an amphibian, it would eat it wholly, for instance, note that the pitcher plant eats everything in a frog except the skin on its feet.

6. Yellow Pitcher Plant

Yellow Pitcher Plant

  • Yellow little flower
  • Tube like structure
  • Blooms from April to May.
  • High humid areas
  • Acidic soil 
Eating process
  • The leaves are filled with rainwater. 
  • Traps them in the tube
Colors available
  • This variety has yellow flowers 
  • The stems are bright green in color
  • .

The pitcher plant is famous for its modified leaf structure that holds water. The is the type of plant that has a modified leaf structure shaped like a vessel that holds and pours liquid, and in this tube, it is where the plant would trap the bug that it would eat. 

Native to Southeast U.S. and it is prone to grow in boggy, acidic, and humusy areas, where the humidity is relevantly high, to almost 80 percent. When it rains, the water gets to be filled in the tube of the plant and as it does so, the insects come to drink water as they would fly in to quench their thirst but don’t fly out as they would be trapped in. They are known fro their yellow flowers and other pitcher varieties can have medium green colors for their stems. 

7. Tropical Pitcher Plant

Tropical Pitcher Plant

  • Funnel-shaped to look like a flower
  • Its interior sides are extra slippery 
  • High humidity
  • Well fertilized soil 
Eating process
  • Eats every two to three weeks
  • Digestion period is 24 to 48 hours
Colors available
  • Colors range from red and yellow to green 
  • They grow up to four inches long

This tropical is native to lands that border the Indian Ocean, in addition to North America. It is one of the weirdest of all carnivorous plants. Commonly grown in greenhouses with sphagnum moss in pots. 

The pitcher blooms are known to hang down once mature. The tip of the flower secretes sweet nectar that attracts insects into this trap, and this is its key feature to capture prey. The prey is attracted by the leaves called pitfall traps naturally coated with sweet nectar that act as digestive fluids

This plant has over 150 species, some large enough to hold even birds and lizards. It’s hard to cultivate, especially for casual gardeners. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11 under full sun and shade but is commonly grown in greenhouses.

8. Sundew Plant

Sundew Plant

  • Shiny tentacles
  • Contains toxic sap
  • Zone six to 11
  • Organic and moist soil 
Eating process
  • Tentacle hair would trap insects
  • Eating takes 15 minutes
Colors available
  • Reddish in color with green leaves
  • Color varies due to varieties

Drosera spp. plant is native to all continents except Antarctica, not only that, but it is also one to grow actively across the world. Easily recognizable through their shimmering tentacles, which are coated in a sticky secretion. These plant gets their name from the sticky secretions covering the protruding leaves, and that is the enzyme that kills the bugs they would devour.

Have sticky tentacle-like hairs that respond actively to touch, that is how it would be able to trap the insect, and even fish in some cases. Just as an insect touches the hairs and is immediately grabbed and held in place by these tentacles. Lastly, when the leaves then curl and close the plant leaving the insect to be digested.

Some are extremely tiny, like a penny, while others are up to the size of small bushes. They grow in USDA zones 6 to 11 but largely depend on the species. Grow it under full sun and part shade, although some species may prefer full shade.

9. Big Floating Bladderwort

Big Floating Bladderwort

  • Lacks roots
  • Prone to float in water
  • Thrives in full sun
  • Grow in boggy and aquatic areas
Eating process
  • Snap and eat the insect
  • Eats them in the water
Colors available
  • Yellow, blue, and purple
  • Color always depends on the species

The big floating bladderwort lives in water and traps aquatic animals in cup-shaped leaves. It has over 200 species, most of which are terrestrial or aquatic. This is one of the most complicated and ingenious trapping mechanism, because of the way that it grows and eats bugs.

This plant is one that lacks roots and floats in the water with an upright stem that holds up the leaves, moreover, it would tend to be smaller and eat tiny prey like protozoa or mosquitoes.

The key feature about this plant is how it would devour the insect, which would be triggered by the hairs that would snap open when touched, and the insect is suddenly drawn into the water. And lastly, it is devoured in the water, and the cycle continues.

These plants suck water using an elastic bean-shaped bladder. This bladder snaps open when an insect, like a water flea, touches the trigger hairs. The sudden opening sends the insect into the plunger.

The plant releases the water through the filtering membranes but eats the insect. Most aquatic plants are grown to perform the vital task of eating mosquito larvae as a way to eliminate stinging mosquitoes

10. White Trumpet Pitcher Plant

White Trumpet Pitcher Plant

  • The prettiest of the carnivorous plants. 
  • Have stunning dark veins in a pattern. 
  • Stands outgrown in a white background.
  • Native to Southeast
  • Grows in marshy areas
  • Requires acidic soil
Eating process
  • Eats every few weeks
  • Attracts bugs into the sap
Colors available
  • Leaves are white with dark veins
  • Flowers are red.

The white trumpet is native to the Southeast and is the most stunning carnivorous plant. It grows to one or two feet tall, blooming in April and May in USDA hardiness zones seven through nine, and it would grow in many countries in boggy, humusy, and acidic soils.

The pitcher flower has transparent flowers that attract insects, and once the insect tries to fly on it, it is captured and eaten, however, this would last the insect for quite a long duration to stay without any food as it would keep its nutrients, which would be for two weeks.

11. Sun pitcher plant

Sun pitcher plant

  • Pitcher like sap
  • Long pitcher size
  • High humidity
  • Full to partial shades of sun
Eating process
  • Traps in the opening 
  • The sap weakens the insect
Colors available
  • Red, yellow, or green 
  • Has multiple varieties

Try growing this plant, and you will sweat it out! Sun pitcher is the most difficult plant to cultivate. This is a plant that has a pitcher-like shape that holds water, the pitcher size can range from six to 16 inches long, depending on the species, and this is how it has been characterized by.

Native to South America, although it is one that would grow very well in many countries worldwide in sphagnum moss as potted plants.

When it has the opening that gets filled up with water or the toxin, that is where it would attract the pest and any insect attracted to the water gets into the trap. In this process, the water drowns the insect making it ready to be eaten. 

However, with precise temperatures and high humidity levels, you can successfully grow it. Most of the species do well in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11. Provide full sun to part shade, and this plant will thrive at its utmost potential.

12. Butterwort

Butterwort Plant

  • Similar to a succulent’s features
  • Bright pink flowers
  • Sticky leaves
  • Grows in rocky areas
  • Moist soil
Eating process
  • Captures bugs with sticky leaves
  • Curls leaves and digests
Colors available
  • Violet flower
  • Green leaves

Butterwort is an attractive terrarium that does excellent when provided with the right growing conditions, and it is a plant that is native to North America, Europe, and North Asia. The leaves’ size depends on the species but can grow as small as an inch or as big as a foot long. It thrives under moderately bright light and moist soils, and in boggy, wet, and rocky areas.

This is one that would be easily confused with alpine flower, and it has beautiful magenta to blue pansy-like flowers, which would look so graceful and bright when they grow. On the other hand, it also has leaves that are sticky, like they are covered with a layer of sticky and shiny hairs.

Have sticky hairs that snag insects until it produces digestive juices to eat them up. What it does is basically, it sucks out all the nutrients it needs from the insect.

13. Monkey Cup

Monkey Cup

  • Has green leaves
  • Has a mid-size pitcher 
  • The sweet-smelling nectar attracts bugs
  • Wet soil
  • High humidity
Eating process
  • Produces plenty of digestive enzymes 
  • Flies attracted to the nectar get trapped
  • The plant digests them over time
Colors available
  • Has green, brown, and red. 
  • Colors may vary depending on the species

The Monkey cup is a plant that attracts bugs with its nectar, and it is native to tropical regions of Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia, it grows in many other countries that are high in humidity and have wet soils.

The reason why it attracts a big number of flying bugs is due to the excessive nectar it produces, and when they settle on it, it would trapp them and digest for three to five days long. 

It is an insect-feeding plant that gets its name from the cup-like pitchers produced. It is easy to grow this plant if you provide proper growing conditions – direct sunlight, well-drained moist soils, and frequent watering. Not only that, but it requires intermediate maintenance, significantly when growing in tropical conditions.

14. Tropical Liana

Tropical Liana

  • Very rare carnivorous plant
  • Does not like other insect-eating plants 
  • Has two types of leaves
  • Native to tropical western Africa 
  • grows in wet but not soggy soils
Eating process
  • Eats with glands
  • Traps on leaves
Colors available
  • Has a green and glossy leaves 
  • May resemble a colorful fern or palm fronds

Liana has two green and glossy leaves that look like a palm or decorative fern. One set does not disturb the insects, while the other, the more attractive, have glands that eat insects. Its stems that reach up to 165 feet long require more growing space. You will commonly find it growing in botanical gardens.

One set of leaves is lanceolate leaves insects alone. On the other hand, it has another long, slender set, and is very attractive with glands that capture the insects. This is how it would eat the insects, through the glands that are on the leaves, as it would trap them and slowly ingest them.

15. Waterwheel Plant

Waterwheel Plant

  • Long
  • Flat leaves
  • Green hairs on leaves
  • Grows best in an aquarium 
  • Acidic soil 
Eating process
  • Eats aquatic larvae 
  • Traps them with hair
Colors available
  • Has green stems 
  • The stems are green or brown

The waterwheel plant is an endangered species it has a less eye-catching carnivorous plant that has long, ropy green stems and releases sketched flat leaves and green hairs at regular intervals. However, it has the ability to also grow in boggy mashed in nature or where water is acidic.

Traps the larvae and insects of the water medium on its leaves when they attracted to them, and this would be done with the small hairs to trap these insects and digest them. It is different from all the other carnivorous plants as it has no roots and it lives in water. It is an endangered species as it is the last surviving species from its genus. Growing it goes a long way in preserving it.


Plants that eat bugs are carnivorous plants that enjoy eating meat, while others eat organic manure. To grow these plants, here are a few pointers to think about

  • Ensure you have the right growing conditions and space to allow these plants to thrive without being restricted.
  • Grow the endangered species too to keep them from becoming extinct, you will be helping the ecosystem to become more stable.
  • Our top favorite plants include the Albany plant, sundew, cobra lily, and white trumpet as it is interesting to watch their prey on innocent insects.
  • Most of these plants do well in boggy mashes so you can grow more than one that shares the same growing conditions.

Carnivorous plants are interesting not just to read about them but to watch them. You can visit the nearest plant centers to learn more about them and maybe catch them in action.

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