Mention carnivorous plants, which are the subject of this month’s Houseplant of the Month blog post, and I immediately think of the Venus Fly Trap, a plant that I was fascinated by as a child.
Indigenous to bogs, carnivorous plants trap and extract food from creatures, particularly insects, to supplement the lack of nutrients in their habitat. Three well-known carnivorous plant groups are:
- Fly Traps with shiny-edged leaves which are hinged in the middle.
- Sticky-Leaved Plants with hairs which secrete insect-catching fluid.
- Pitcher Plants with leaves which are water-filled funnels.
The Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) has green leaves that bear traps at the ends. The inner surface of the trap may be either pink or red. When touched by an insect, the trap closes immediately.
Sticky Leaved Plants
Sundews (Drosera) have leaves with sticky hairs, which the insects stick to. Their common name comes from the hairs which glisten like dew in the sun.
There are two types of Pitcher Plants – lidded and hooded.
Nepenthes ‘Coccinea’ is one of the lidded varieties. Insects are attracted by the brightly coloured pitcher and once inside this container, they drown in the fluid at the base. Other Pitcher Plants include Sarracenia drummondii and Sarracenia leucophylla.
Darlingtonia californica is a hooded Pitcher Plant. Its snake’s head appearance is responsible for its common name – Cobra Lily.
With regards to care, carnivorous plants prefer humid environments. Make sure that the compost remains constantly moist. And rather than using tap water, it’s advisable to use rainwater or distilled water. They also need plenty of sun and it’s best to place them somewhere that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
So, if you’re looking for plants which are certain to spark conversations with visitors, both children and adults alike, why not buy one of these carnivorous plants for your home?
* This post is brought to you in collaboration with The Flower Council of Holland. All the words are my own.
(Images : The Flower Council of Holland)