You have probably seen some of these plants in greenhouses — ones that trap and eat insects. The most common one is the Venus flytrap. You might also think that this and other carnivorous plants are probably difficult to grow; however, if you provide them with the right environment, they can be relatively low-maintenance plants, especially if they are feeding themselves by trapping insects. You just need to give them a bog in which to live.

Step 1:

You will need a large glass container, such as a fish bowl, in which you will create your bog. Place about one inch of some type of drainage material, such as sterile gravel or decorative stones, in the bottom of the container. Cover this with a light layer of sand. You will then need to add 3-6 inches of pre-moistened sphagnum moss. Do not pack the moss down. Tip: Try to find an unmilled moss that still has long strands intact. This type of moss does not deteriorate as quickly as the milled variety. Even better, try to find some live, green moss, which is often carried by places that specialize in terrariums.

Step 2:

Poke a hole in the moss in with you will plant your carnivorous plant. Move the moss back around the plant to hold it upright and in place.

Step 3:

Slowly pour some water into the container until it collects in the bottom drainage layer. Carnivorous plants prefer a constantly moist environment; therefore, you should add more water whenever you notice that the tips of the moss are starting to dry out and are looking a little lighter in color. Replace the moss as it deteriorates. You do not need to fertilize you carnivorous plants if they are catching insects. Tip: If your plants are not catching insects, fertilize once a week during the spring and summer months using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Some carnivorous plants of interest:

Venus flytrap (Dionaea):

The Venus flytrap grows to be about 4 inches tall. You will recognize it from its trap, which is actually a leaf that has a crease down the spine and several teeth along the edges. The “mouth” closes when an insect is drawn in and then is digested by the plant. After the insect is digested, the trap is reset. Most traps will work 3-4 times before they turn black and then die. New traps, however, are regularly produced. This is a native of the bogs in the Carolinas.

Sundew (Drosera):

Sundews grow to be 2-12 inches tall. Some varieties form floppy-looking rosettes. Sticky green to reddish hairs on the leaves and stems trap the insects. Do not use pesticides on this plant.

Pitcher plant (Sarracenia):

The pitcher plant grows 6-24 inches tall, depending on variety. Hollow tubes, or pitchers, are formed from the leaves. (It reminds me a little bit of a Jack-in-the-pulpit.) The edges have short hairs in green, purple, or red with yellow and are what trap the insects which are then digested in the bottom of the pitcher. Greenish-purple to wine-red slightly drooping flowers are produced in the spring or summer.

As long as you give your carnivorous plants the proper care, you will be able to enjoy them for years. They like bright sun and high humidity. (They make ideal terrarium plants.) They are not bothered by pests, since they tend to eat them. Do not, however, allow them to dry out completely. Other than keeping them moist and perhaps fertilizing them if they are not catching insects, there is very little that you will need to do to keep these carnivorous plants thriving.Just be careful not to mess around with them too much because being carnivorous, they might attack you if provoked and to prevent them from drying out, you can try the technique of plastic for greenhouse.

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Norma is a professional writer and an aspiring author currently writing her first book. She loves to write about technological advancement and is a gadget lover herself.

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