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Plant of the Month – August 2019

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients(but not energy) from trapping and consuming animals, typically insects. Carnivorous plants have adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients especially nitrogen, such as acidic bogs.

Five basic trapping mechanisms are found in carnivorous plants…

  • Pitfall traps (pitcher plants) trap pray in a rolled leaf that contains a pool of digestive enzymes or bacteria.
  • Flypaper traps use a sticky mucilage.
  • Snap traps utilize rapid leaf movements.
  • Bladder traps suck in pray with a bladder that generates an internal vacuum.
  • Lobster traps, also known as eel traps,  force pray to move towards a digestive organ with inward- pointing hairs.

Care…

Light: As much as possible! They love full direct sun, so in the UK that means a south-facing window sill, conservatory or a green house.

Water: Sit the pots in a tray filled with 1-2cm of distilled water or rainwater, adding water to the tray rather than top watering. These are bog plants, and their soil should be kept moist throughout the growing season.