How to Take Care of Carnivorous Plants

How to Take Care of Carnivorous Plants

Growing plants at home has turned into a popular hobby, but some folks are after something different. They do not want to grow the same plants that everyone else has chosen. In pursuit of something more unorthodox, some homeowners may have fallen in love with the idea of caring for carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous plants may sometimes look like they are ripped straight out of a sci-fi movie. Upon seeing them in action, they can be amazing and terrifying. It is easy to see why they appeal strongly to some people.

Not many are aware of caring for carnivorous plants. The tips included here can serve as general guidelines for that particular pursuit. They are worth bearing in mind for anyone interested in these plants that like to dine on living prey.

Choose the Right Type of Soil

The first thing homeowners need to do if they want to grow a carnivorous plant is to choose the right type of soil.

Instinctively, one might think that carnivorous plants will be fine with regular soil. If they are good enough for most plants, they should be fine for the carnivores too.

Some might even think that carnivorous plants need nutrient-rich soil. They may think that the specific diet of those plants means that they require plenty of nutrients to thrive.

It may come as a surprise to learn that carnivorous plants need the exact opposite.

Carnivorous plants are not fond of regular or nutrient-rich soil. Many carnivorous plants are not familiar with nutritious soil because it is not their natural habitat.

What these plants prefer is a pot full of dirt that does not contain a lot of nutrients. The plants are content to meet their nutrient needs through consuming their preferred food.

The good news is that bags of pre-mixed soil specially formulated for carnivorous plants are already available. If those are not available, mixing sand with low pH peat is a good alternative for growing carnivorous plants.

Venus flytrap. How to take care of carnivorous plants
A Venus flytrap waiting for its prey

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Pick a Good Spot for the Carnivorous Plant

There are two main concerns to keep in mind when selecting the right spot for a carnivorous plant. Those concerns are related to sunlight and food.

First, we have sunlight: it is essential to put the carnivorous plant in a spot where it can absorb plenty of the sun’s rays. Out in the wild, these plants receive a lot of sunlight. Depriving them of that basic need could lead to them not growing properly.

The ideal spot for a carnivorous plant would be any place exposed to sunlight. The spot in question could be somewhere in the garden or inside the home near a window. As long as that spot gives the plant easy access to sunlight, it will be good enough.

When it comes to food, positioning does matter, but it is not as important. Many homeowners do place their carnivorous plants outdoors so they can interact with insects all the time.

Still, keeping the plant indoors is an option. Caretakers need to remember to keep a window open so the plant can hunt for food.

Venus flytrap in a pot. How to take care of carnivorous plants
A Venus flytrap growing in a pot

Grow the Carnivorous Plant in the Right Pot

When figuring out how to take care of carnivorous plants, one must remember to look for the right pot or container. Folks cannot assume that their old pots will be good enough for carnivorous plants.

So, how should people go about selecting suitable pots for their new carnivorous companions? Evaluating them based on their material composition and size is recommended.

Material Composition of the Pot

One must avoid using a pot made from porous material when caring for a carnivorous plant. The problem with porous materials like terracotta is that they allow too much water to seep out of the pot.

If the water keeps exiting the pot, the soil will dry out, and the carnivorous plant will suffer. Something like that happening consistently can slowly kill the plant.

Thankfully, there are plant containers that are made from non-porous materials. Glazed ceramic pots pair well with carnivorous plants. In lieu of those ceramic pots, people can also use cheaper plastic containers.

Size of the Pot

The size of the pot will also determine how well it can accommodate the carnivorous plant.

Pots that are too small can actively get in the way of the plants growing properly. They can stop the roots from stretching out and make it more difficult for the plant to absorb water.

Then again, a pot that is way too big can cause the carnivorous plant to waste its energy. Instead of focusing on food, the plant may spend too much energy trying to fill out the large pot. It may compromise the growth as a result.

After choosing a carnivorous plant, it is important to see how long its roots tend to grow. With that information in hand, selecting a pot of the right size will become an easier task.

A group of pitcher plants. How to take care of carnivorous plants
Pitcher plants growing close to one another

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Be Selective When Watering Carnivorous Plants

Regular watering is important for growing any plant. However, one should approach the task of watering carnivorous plants differently. When it comes to most houseplants, using tap water to keep them hydrated is not an issue. Doing that is no longer advisable for carnivorous plants.

The problem with regular tap water is that it often features a significant amount of mineral content. Those minerals can seep into the soil and affect the growth of the carnivorous plant. They can damage the plant’s roots and cause growth problems.

Homeowners can try different methods to get the water they need for their carnivorous plants. For instance, cleaning up the tap water could work. By filtering or distilling tap water, people can make it suitable for growing carnivorous plants. Folks who already have water filters or distillers at home can set aside some for their new companions.

Alternatively, homeowners can also collect rainwater and use that for their carnivorous plants. Carnivorous plants thrive on rainwater in the wilderness. It will still work when used in the home setting.

When it comes to the act of watering itself, caretakers are free to provide a lot of water. Carnivorous plants absorb plenty of water in their habitat. They will do fine even if you give it too much water.

Carnivorous plants can be attention-grabbing additions to any home, but they can be more demanding regarding maintenance. People interested in growing them must be aware of that fact. They must know how to care for carnivorous plants properly, or the whole endeavor can turn into a botanical disaster.