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Insectivorous Plants

Insect eating plants. Yikes. Watch out! Keep those fingers out of the way.

Venus fly trap (Dionaea), pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, and bladderworts are all insectivorous and carnivorous.

Carnivorous and insectivorous plants are those that maintain their life by trapping and eating insects and other creatures. All survive in the bogs of America. Because of this when cultivated and brought into the created home backyard bog they should not be fertilized. Their roots are too sensitive and it is not necessary.

However, the soil should have a higher than normal acid content. Using sphagnum or "peat" moss will provide this as it continues to decay. You can also ad a mixture of different grades of orchid bark to the peat. Just be sure that it is well soaked to hold water. Some sand will help to anchor the plant.

When adding water, the best choice is rain water. Keep in mind that if the rain is collected from the roof it might contain minerals so containers of directly collected rainwater are better. Distilled water can be another source.

Humidity is ideal for insectivorous plants. Something between 50% and 90% is ideal. A terrarium would make an excellent place to grow these plants.

Most insectivorous plants need some circulation around them. The exception is the nepentles (tropical pitcher plants) which love stagnant air.

Unfortunately, the plant's worst enemy is fungus. In no time it can wipe out an entire colony.

Bright light or full sun is required by most of the plants. Despite this they do not need the hot temperatures. Temperatures of 70F to 90F is fine. In the winter most will take temperatures down to  50F.

Some carnivorous plants need a period of dormancy and some will die back because of the season. Do not be confused thinking that perhaps they have expired. Everything needs a rest. Their tubers and roots just need to recoup for their next spurt of growth.

As mentioned before, fertilizing is dangerous. But, after the plant has flowered and has been zapped of a lot of energy, use a mild organic fertilizer like fish emulsion, bone meal, or dried blood. This will do nicely.

Happy Bogging!