Carnivorous plants fill a niche in nature by growing in soil that is deficient in nitrogen (an essential element for plant growth). Few other plants can grow here.
They overcome this deficiency by 1. Attracting 2. Catching 3. Killing and 4. Digesting nitrogen rich insects for their nutrition.
DO NOT feed with insects, nature has designed the plant to attract and catch its own. If you catch an insect and stick it in the plant, it won’t know it has caught it, and therefore won’t digest it. The plant needs the thrill of the catch to release its digestive juices to break down the insect.
In a home situation, with the plants growing in small pots, you can help the plant a long a bit by feeding it Seasol and Powerfeed mixed together every 8 weeks during Spring, Summer and Autumn at about 2 ml of each per litre water. DO NOT use or recommend any other fertilisers.
REPOTTING: For best results, repot in winter when the plants are in dormancy, every 2 years. However repotting can be done all year round.
Sarracenias, Venus Fly Traps and Drosera - repot in Sphagnum Peat Moss with perlite mixed in. DO NOT use any other types of peat moss, or you will kill them.
Nepenthes - repot in a mixture of 75% orchid bark, and the other 25% made up of perlite, sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss.
For more growing information, please visit our Growing Information Page. You are welcome to copy any of this information for your customers.
WHERE TO DISPLAY YOUR CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
Carnivorous plants need a nice brightly lit area in your nursery. Usually inside your gift shop is too dark.
They need protection from the hot afternoon sun, and protection from the wind and rain. So under cover, but well lit, is best.
Carnivorous plants, such as Venus Fly Traps, Sarracenia and Drosera, are bog plants, so they need to sit in a tray of water at all times. DO NOT overhead water, or you will splash the peat moss up on to the labels. DO NOT allow to dry out.
With the hanging Nepenthes baskets, just keep some water in their basket saucers at all times.
In winter, Sarracenias and Venus Fly Traps go dormant. If you have some left in your nursery, cut off the dying traps about ½ cm from the base of the plant, keep moist and they will grow back in spring. You don’t need to keep them warm over winter because they need this dormancy period to gain strength for spring. Nepethes will not go dormant, just keep protected from frost.
Not all insects are eaten by Carnivorous Plants. Some use the plants for homes and eat the bugs that have already died inside the plants.