How to handle carnivorous plants?

I have a problem and this one for a few weeks already: fruit flies – and not just in the kitchen. Once in a while I see one of those in the living room, the bathroom or in the kitchen. And because I wanted to get rid of them I was looking for a simple solution (of course ecofriendly). Therefore, what is more ecofriendly than a carnivorous plant? Yes, that was what I was thinking. So, I bought one. And put it in the kitchen. And? Nothing happened! Whaaaat? Why does it not work?
I started (of course) to do some research about these special plants.

And here are some interesting facts

The carnivorous plants had already been discoverd by Charles Darwin in the second half of the 19th century. These plants are not only capable of catching prey, but also of digesting flesh. These exceptional abilities make it possible for them, to survive in nutrient-poor areas. They derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming their prey (e.g. insects). It is said that there are more than 580 species in the world.

There are five basic trapping mechanisms:

  1. Flypaper traps (by using a sticky mucilage)
  2. Bladder traps (by sucking in prey with a bladder that generates an internal vacuum)
  3. Snap traps (by utilizing rapid leaf movements, e.g. the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
  4. Pitcher traps (by trapping  prey in a rolled leaf that contains a pool of digestive enzymes)
  5. Eel traps (by forcing the prey to move towards a digestive organ with inward-pointing hairs)
    (That´s what I had bought.)

It is important to say that these kind of plants are not dangerous for humans! They are as “dangerous” as a radish for you. That means – no danger.

How to keep them alive

Well, it´s not so easy like a any other of the usual plants in your home. In general, here are the most important tips.

  • The best would be to keep them in a terrarium.
  • In winter put them in a light cool room without dry air from a heater.
  • They also need a lot of light.
  • Water them from below. Therefore, put the water in the cachepot (about 2-3 cm). The earth should never get dry.
  • They also do not tolerate tap water. Especially that which has a lot of chalk (like they have in Bavaria). Instead use demineralised water or rainwater.
  • It´s not necessary to fertilize carnivorous plants

For more specific information you have to inform yourself about your specific plant. There are, e.g. some which like to be sprayed with water and others not. The tips above are just guidelines.

carnivorous plants_some tips

And what about my specific plant? Well, it looks interesting, but it´s not for catching fruit flies – it prefers ants 😀 .
So, next time I want to solve an insect problem, I have to do the research first 😉 .

Do you need some more tips for your indoor plants? Click here to find some more.

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