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Cultivation of carnivorous plants

Cultivation of carnivorous plants

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Cultivation of carnivorous plants

First of all it is necessary that they are always wet, not just wet, just wet, immersed. You can continually water it or immerse it in a little water that will be added often, or use the simplest method which consists in using a very deep saucer, a tray, a large bowl where the semi-immersed vase will be placed in the water. Carnivorous plants can grow in the soaked soil even half-immersed, but most carnivorous plants prefer wet, but not soaked, soil to around 1/4 of water around the saucer. For this reason it is much easier to fill the container in half, so if the alternative is to forget to add water and dry it, it is better to add a little more. Water should always be added to the saucer container and never to the ground directly. In this way we avoid washing away the sticky mucilage of the sundas and other varieties and avoid closing the valves.

The right water is not that of the tap

For carnivorous plants always use demineralized water, such as rainwater or distilled water. A bucket can be kept near the gutter to collect rainwater. Distilled water can be purchased at a grocery store. Condensation from an air conditioner or heat pump is another source of mineral-free water at no cost. Demineralized water through reverse osmosis is perfect for carnivorous plants that grow in nutrient-poor soils. The minerals contained in tap water can "super-fertilize" and "burn" the plants. However, some oligomineral waters may, for a short time, make up for the lack of completely demineralized water. The fixed residue that must not exceed 14 mg / liter is specified on the water label.

The quality of the land

Nutrient-poor soils adapted to carnivorous plants are often rich in peat and sand. It is possible to recreate this type of environment by using sphagnum peat, but not other types of peat that are too rich in minerals. The sand must be clean and washed. You can use sand for games or horticultural sand, indifferently, provided it is well cleaned. Never use beach sand or limestone-based sand, because the salt content, even if minimal, damages the plants. The mixture ratio is about 1 part of peat with 1 part of sand and works well for most carnivorous plants. The Dionee, those with the "mouths", prefer a little more sand, while the Nepenthes prefer much more peat, but the important thing is not so much the proportion, as the quality of the mixture that must be composed only of peat of sphagnum clean and sand washed.

Light, so much light

Carnivorous plants, as a general rule, grow best in sunny conditions; only a few prefer partial sun exposure, generally those that appear more delicate and low, which are those that grow in the marshes.
Usually the habitat of the carnivorous plant tends to be open and sunny; moreover, the full sun highlights the red pigmentation of most carnivorous plants. Many carnivorous plants grow quite well in front of the windows, indoors in a sunny room. Every north sill works well. Plants can also grow well under artificial light, with a timer set at 12-14 hours. Fluorescent tubes designed for plant growth work better than normal bulbs.


Carnivorous plants grow spontaneously in the marshes, so the growing environment should replicate these conditions. As already mentioned, this can be easily achieved by simply keeping the plants wet at all times. As it is not possible to water the carnivorous plants, you can choose to use a humidifier positioned near the plants to increase the general humidity of the air, this beyond the normal water tank of the saucer. Do not seal the plants in a hermetically sealed container because this will encourage fungi and molds to settle there, which can kill the plants in a very short time. Air recirculation is essential in all plants that have such a high level of humidity.


Most carnivorous plants like a normal room temperature. Keep in mind that carnivorous plants are generally tolerant of temperature, which can vary somewhat without harmful results.

Feeding and Fertilization

As a general rule, they do not feed or fertilize. Growing in the conditions described above, the plants will be able to collect insects on their own, which will be sufficient as supplements to their "feeding". They usually look for one or two insects a month, no more. Traps should never be stimulated by vacuum or pieces of raw meat placed inside.
The freeze-dried insects found in pet stores provide an excellent source of nutrition. Carnivorous plants grown without supplementary insect feeding will not develop, but care must be taken not to overdo it. The ideal would be for the plants to capture their own insect.
It should be noted that, in the event of capture of a large fly, the plant will also need 12-24 hours to kill it, now in which you will hear the buzzing of the fly trying to free itself, all the time. For this reason it is good that they are not positioned in places where they can cause disturbance.

Carnivorous plants need to hibernate

Many carnivorous plants are native to temperate climates and require a period of lethargy (dormancy). This is a natural protective mechanism that allows plants to survive the cold of winter. Some carnivorous plants, such as sundew, form winter buds, others produce winter leaves, while others simply lose all existing leaves. Carnivorous plants enter dormancy when winter conditions begin. If they are not allowed to rest, the plants will die. When the plants begin to show signs of dormancy, the water in the saucer must be reduced and the soil left only slightly damp. Reduce the amount and duration of daylight. Keep them fresh for 3 to 6 months, depending on the area of ​​origin. This can be done by putting in the cellar or on a balcony in the shade. A refrigerator is fine, as long as the temperature is not too stiff, enough to freeze them. Carnivorous plants do not need light during the vegetative rest, on the contrary, darkness would be the preferable solution.