Houseplant of the month: Carnivorous plants

Houseplant of the month: Carnivorous plants

They look like they come out of a fairy tale, with their odd shapes and dazzling (mix of) colours. Yet, carnivorous plants, or otherwise referred to as meat eaters, ensure that insects do not live happily ever after. They lure flies and spiders with their appearance, catch and digest them to obtain sufficient nutrients. With which these houseplants once again prove that nature, just like many fairy tales, is beautiful but relentless.


Catching prey

The most well-known carnivorous houseplants are the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), Sundew (Drosera), Pitcher plant (Nepenthes) and Sarracenia. What all of these have in common is that they lure their prey closer to them with their scent and colour, in order to catch them. They do have their own method for this.

The Venus flycatcher uses its hairy leaves, if these are triggered, an electric charge will close the trap and the plant will form a cage. The Sundew got this name due to its sticky tentacle tips, which resemble drops of morning dew. These tentacles both attract and catch prey. Moreover, the edges of the leaves are provided with snap tentacles, immediately folding up when disturbed, making sure that the sticky dew is touching the prey. This whilst the Pitcher plant and Sarracenia both have the form of a pitcher to which insects are lured while in search for nectar.


Origin of carnivorous plants

In nature, carnivorous plants live in low-nitrogen soil areas, such as swamps. The Venus flycatcher is originally from the North Carolinian swamps whereas the Sarracenia grows in peatlands, also in the United States. The Sundew can be found in Australia, New Zealand and in Europe and the Pitcher plant resides in swampy areas of tropical rain forests on different continents. Nevertheless, the plants are quite rare, so you won’t spot them in nature very soon.  


Looking after carnivorous plants

Besides the great looks and functionality, carnivorous plants are also rather easy to take care of:

  • most carnivorous plants like the full sun;
  • and a swamp environment, so its recommended to stimulate one;
  • they prefer to drink rainwater, distilled water of soft tap water;
  • Carnivorous plants don’t need any plant food – after all, they catch their own meals;
  • in order to prevent fungi, remove dead brown leaves and pitchers;
  • don’t give them any meat, it will cause traps to rot;
  • repot carnivorous plants in spring every other year;
  • traps will wither in winter but reappear in spring.

You might also be interested in:

Top 5 things to store for your winter supply

When the colder days approach, along with harsher weather conditions and the garden goes to sleep for a short time, you may want to stay home some days in the warm with your feet up and watch a movie. It does mean, however, that you will need to think ahead to what food you will need over the winter months that you can gather from the garden or allotment now. This is a great time of year to start storing lots of fresh food to use up the produce you’ve grown and still enjoy it all winter long. 

How to make a bee-friendly garden?

Bees are big news these days, and we all know how much we need them. But what with climate change, pesticide use, disease and loss of habitat, bees face a lot of challenges at the moment. Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do as gardeners to make life better for our bees.

Home trend: growing Ivy indoors

It’s so easy growing Ivy indoors with little care needs and so many varieties to choose from, you can really play with where you grow Ivy in the home and also the different pots and ways to display it. Since Ivy is so versatile, it can be grown in any room indoors and in plenty of fun ways to soften room decor and be aesthetically very pleasing. Whilst some people prefer not to grow it outside as it can take over, Ivy is actually a great source of food and shelter for wildlife so it’s an essential plant for both inside and outside. 

3 x cosy summer night DIY ideas

We have some cool DIY ideas for cosy summer nights. If it has been really hot outside, it is great to cool down during the evening or if the weather has taken a turn for the worse there is nothing like being indoors and creating something fun for yourself or your family and friends to enjoy outside when the weather warms up. From Hygge methods in the garden and soothing lights and accessories, there is always something fun to create with a little cosy twist. We hope you enjoy these great ideas.