Carnivorous Plants for Home Gardeners

Although not always easy to grow, several groups of carnivorous plants can thrive with the right soil mix, regular moisture, sun and humidity. And an occasional bug, of course.

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Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Carnivorous Native Pitcher Plant

Pitcher plants, sun dews, Venus flytraps...there are some very interesting "meat-eating" plants which, given the right conditions, can become a fascinating gardening hobby.

Carnivorous Plants on a Sunny Windowsill

A mixture of peat moss and either sand or perlite will help these plants stay moist but not wet. They require full sun and humidity to thrive.

Venus Flytrap

Like other carnivorous plants, Venus flytrap typically slows growth before going  dormant in the fall and winter, but perk back up in the spring—just like in nature. Protect them from hard freezes.

Venus Flytrap

The two lobes of the snap-trap shut in an eyeblink, then slowly tighten around their prey. Because individual traps get worn out after just a few feedings, feed only every few weeks.

Sundew

The "Alice" sundew (Drosera aliciae) is one of the easiest to grow. More sun, more red color.

Cape Sundew

Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis) is one of the easiest sundews to grow, as long as it gets sun and humidity.

Sundew

Sundews come in many shapes and forms. Feed every few weeks with a combination of small insects and finely-crushed fish food pellets or flakes mixed with a little rain water.

Threadleaf Sundew (Drosera filiformis)

Threatleaf Sundew has long, thin tendrils covered with sticky glands that entrap and curl around prey.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher plants (Serracenia) are native to North America, and grow in full sun in wet, nutrient-poor soils. They have separate flower stems and elongated specialized leaves which trap insects that fall and slip into digestive juices.

Pitcher Plant in Container

This wild pitcher plant (Serracenia) grows so well in a container, it has won a blue ribbon at the Mississippi State Fair flower show—not far from where it naturally roams wild throughout the moist Gulf Coast wetlands.

Potful of Carnivorous Plants

Most carnivorous plants grow best in a mixture peat moss and either sharp sand or perlite. They also need hours of direct sun, regular moisture and humidity.

Carnivorous Plant Box

A moderate size box with clear sides and top makes a great container for growing a collection of carnivorous plants

Tropical Pitcher Plant

Tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthese) are often too large for home gardeners, but thrive in bright, humid conditions and an occasional spider, fly, roach or cricket in one of its hanging cups filled with digestive juices.

Nepenthese

To help tropical pitcher plants and other carnivorous plants feed better, try refrigerating crickets, bloodworms (available at pet stores), spiders or flies to slow them down a bit.