Carnivorous plants are low in nitrogen

Carnivorous Plants: House Plants of the Month

They offer an unusual look, extravagant shapes and a good story: Carnivorous plants attract spiders and insects with their colorful and whimsical appearance. They catch and digest the small animals in order to feed on them. The most famous carnivorous plants are Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), pitcher plant (Sarracenia), sundew (Drosera) and pitcher plant (Nepenthes). Their hunting techniques differ from each other: The Venus flytrap uses catch leaves that close in a flash. With sundew, the prey sticks to the tentacles of the leaves. Also ingenious: the leaves of Sarracenia form a tube in which the insects are caught. Vessels also develop in Nepenthes. This plant has pitchers that hang down from the ends of the leaves.

In the wild, carnivorous plants grow in relatively humid areas with low-nitrogen soils, for example in swamps and bogs. The pitcher plant is native to Southeast Asia, the Venus flytrap and pitcher plant from North America, and the sundew is found on every continent except Antarctica.

What to look for when buying carnivorous plants

  • When buying carnivorous plants, the size of the pot determines the price.
  • Depending on the species, the color, the length of the pitchers (Nepenthes) or tubes (Sarracenia) or the number of leaves (sundew) can be decisive.
  • The root ball of the plants must be sufficiently moist when buying.
  • Since they require high humidity and a lot of light, they are unsuitable for long periods of standing at the point of sale, there is a risk of drying out or yellowing of the leaves.

Assortment selection of carnivorous plants
The pitcher plant (Nepenthes) is a soloist, Venus flytrap (Dionaea), sundew (Drosera) and pitcher plant are offered in mixed pallets.
Pitcher plant: The jugs of this extravagant eye-catcher vary in length by a few centimeters and can be up to 30 cm long. They are actually transformed leaves that form when the plant gets enough light. Insects find some nectar on the lid of the pitcher and crawl inward on the edge of the plant in search of more. You will find more nectar directly below the edge of the jug, but underneath there is a smooth, wax-coated slide that you use to fall into the jug. The fidgeting of the animals activates the plant glands, which emit a strong acid. In this way, the insects are digested within two days. Only the shell of the animal remains. The plant grows as an epiphyte in trees.
The Venus Flytrap is the most spectacular of the carnivores. The leaves of this carnivore consist of two parts that can close. If an insect or a small spider sits on it, the locking mechanism is activated. However, the plant is not so easy to fool. To be sure that there is actually prey on the leaf, six whiskers of the leaf must be touched twice. If they are touched only once, the two halves of the leaf do not close.
The sundew forms perfect rosettes on the ground and has red tentacles with sticky, glittering drops at the ends. The plant owes its German name to these. Small insects stick to the drops and are held in place by the mobile tentacles on the leaf surface, where they are digested.
The pitcher plantis very effective at catching insects. The plant attracts the little animals with nectar, which falls from the slippery edge into the hose and is digested there.

Care tips for consumers

  • Most carnivorous plants like full sunlight.
  • Mimic a swampy environment: the plants thrive on acidic, moist potting soil.
  • Carnivorous plants prefer rainwater, distilled water, or soft tap water. In regions with hard water: boil the water, let it cool down, done.
  • The plants do not need any fertilizer, they catch their own food.
  • Dead brown leaves and calyxes should be removed to prevent fungal attack.
  • Carnivorous plants should be repotted after about a year (in spring).
  • Do not feed carnivorous plants with pieces of meat, because the traps will rot.
  • In winter the traps of the plants wither. Don't panic, they will reform in the spring.

Sales and presentation tips
Carnivorous plants in small format are well suited for open and closed terrariums or large, flat bowls that can be created as mini swamps. Offering these ready-made arrangements helps counter the prejudice that carnivorous plants are complicated while actually being very easy to care for. The larger specimens get along better in their own cachepot, but - presented in groups - can make an interesting picture. Nepenthes is a real soloist who can best hang freely to show her spectacular pitchers in the right light. The rustic look of the plants creates a nice contrast to modern, geometric ornamental pots. For a particularly natural-looking presentation, the table below can be filled with bark, stones and water plants.

Images of carnivorous plants
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Poster carnivorous plants
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Poster carnivorous plants A1

Poster carnivorous plants A3