Create a Carnivorous Garden

Create a miniature bog garden that's sure to subtract a few insects and entertain the kids.

How to Create a Carnivorous Garden

  • carnivorous plants (used here: Venus flytrap, pitcher plants, sundew)
  • wide, shallow container with no drainage hole
  • fluorescent lights (if you're keeping indoors and don't have an atrium or sunroom)
  • pinecones, pine needles, decorative objects (no alkaline materials)
  • water that's low in salts and minerals (rainwater is preferred; if not available, use distilled or reverse-osmosis water)
  • dried Spanish moss

Step 1: Plan the Layout

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Some plants are meat eaters — for them, a juicy bug is a delicious treat. These plants don't derive all of their nutritional needs from insects. In fact, they mostly get their food the way other plants do: they make it. But an occasional buggy snack gives them a boost of vitamins and minerals they wouldn't otherwise get.

Carnivorous plants love high humidity, moist soil and bright light, so we're creating a container bog garden that you can keep by a very sunny window or move outside on the patio. Just be sure that the bog garden gets as much sun as possible (or, supplemental lighting with fluorescent tubes) and maintain an inch or three of water in the bottom

To get started, place the plants, still in their pots, in the container and arrange them until you're pleased with the look.

Step 2: Water Your Garden

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Add about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the container.

Step 3: Add Decorative Material

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Create a Carnivorous Plant Garden

Place dried Spanish moss, pinecones and other items that will give your garden a boggy look. 

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