How to grow Carnivorous Plants?
Animals eat plants - but in some cases this fact is turned round. In this case plants eat small animals like flies, ants and so on.
The reason for this behavior is that some natural lifeplaces don't have enough nutrition for normal plants. In fact of this these plants have found a fascinating way to get their nutrition. Every year in spring you can buy some of these plants in bigger garden centers.
If you want to grow these fascinating plants successfully you should know some important growing rules.
The Basic rules:
- Most of the carnivorous plants need very much light! Full sun is required
- Most of these plants need very wet soil, because they grow in bogs.
- Watering only with clean rainwater.
- The temperature should be like the temperature of their natural lifeplaces.
- Don't use normal flower soil! Only peat or peat with sand is good for these plants.
- Don't use fertilizers!
- Be careful with insecticides!
Some more special information:
Most carnivorous plants need very much light. Outside, cultivated plants should have a sunny place (no trees near these plants).
Inside, cultivated plants should have a southern window in summer and an extra artificial light in winter.
If you cultivate the plants in a terrarium you can place some neon lamps near the terrarium. Don't use normal bulbs or special plant growing lights.
Professional growers use sodium-high-pressure-lamps.
Exceptions are plants which grow in the tropical rainforests. They do not need so much light in summer (place them at an east window) and only a little help in the dark winter.
Water and watering:
Using the wrong water is the most common failure of beginners.
Clean rainwater is the base of culture of carnivorous plants. Do not use drinking water because of the calcium and sodium minerals. If you want to make sure that your water has no harmful minerals you can use purified water.
Most of these plants need very wet earth. Use the water tray method with always a half up to an inch standing water.
The temperature should be like the temperature of their natural lifeplaces.
So you can grow some sundew plants of Europe and northern America for example outside in your garden.
For tropical pitcher plants you need all days of the year warm temperatures.
To know the right temperature requirements of your plant is very important - this is one of the most common failure of beginners.
You must also know that some plants need a winter rest period with colder temperatures.
Only peat or peat with sand are good for these plants. Peat has nearly no minerals and is also the earth in the natural lifeplace of these plants. Normal flower earth has too much minerals and will kill your plants. You can get special earth for carnivorous plants in the garden center that is recommended for most plants.
Food and fertilizers:
You don't need to feed your plants. If you want to feed you plants use only alive insects - don't use meat or cheese - you will kill the leaves.
Do not use any fertilizers - you will kill your plants.