Carnivorous Terrarium Plants

Some of the most unusual plants that you can grow in terrariums have to be carnivorous plants. The advantage carnivorous plants have over other plant varieties is their unique ability to absorb nutrients from small insects. Consequently, nutrient rich soil is not necessary to support healthy carnivorous plants. This makes them a very attractive option to a terrarium enthusiast.

The most common types of carnivorous plants include Venus fly traps, Pitcher plants, Nepenthes, Sundews, Cobra Lilies and Butterworts.

Unless you are an experienced terrarium owner, it’s recommended that only one variety of carnivorous plant is included in a terrarium. This is because different species have different requirements and properly caring for one variety may be detrimental to another variety.

carnivorous terrarium plants

The easiest carnivorous plant to care for is the Venus fly trap because it is both hardy and easy to grow. Ideally the Venus fly traps should be planted in terrariums with between 50 and 70 percent sphagnum moss or peat moss. The remainder of the substrate can be made up of either pumice, perlite or sand. Potting soil should not be used. The terrarium should be kept in a well lit area, but not in direct sunlight. It is important to maintain high humidity, so enclosed terrariums with a dome top are necessary in dry climates. Only use distilled water for all varieties of carnivorous plants as chemicals in conventional tap water can kill the plants. The soil should remain moist but not soggy.  Don’t excessively spring traps because this will end up killing the plant. If using a closed terrarium it is necessary to add insects into the environment. Small crickets are a good option as these widely available in pet stores.

Venus fly traps do have a dormancy period for two or three months. If this in unappealing, Cape Sundews are a good option because they don’t have a dormancy period and they still have the same trap door action of the Venus fly trap, although it is slower in motion. Cape Sundews are also easy to care for and a good option for first time terrarium owners.

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