Do you have bugs? Whether you’re looking to get rid of certain pests in or around your apartment, or want to add a unique plant to a room or outdoor space, carnivorous plants can help you accomplish both tasks. Here’s everything you need to know about insect trap plants that can transform your home.
What are carnivorous plants?
Carnivorous plants are plants that trap and eat insects like midges, flies, arachnids, ants, and other arthropods. Although they get some or most of their nutrients from consuming these small pests, depending on the type and size of the plant, they still need sunlight, water, and a soil rich in nutrients. nutrients to complete photosynthesis and produce energy like other plants.
Having carnivorous plants in or around the exterior of your rental property can be a great way to reduce or eliminate insect problems. And, like other plants, they also add to the lively ambiance of a home.
How to take care of carnivorous plants
Here are some general tips on caring for carnivorous plants to prepare you for plant parenthood:
- Water your carnivorous plants with distilled water. Other types of water have a high mineral content that could damage the root system of your insectivorous plants. You can buy distilled water at the grocery store, at a home improvement store, or even at a plant store.
- Make sure the plant is getting plenty of light. You should place these plants in a well-lit place, but not in direct sunlight.
- Get the right kind of potting soil. Most carnivorous plants do not use soil-based soil that many other plants do. Instead, use sphagnum moss, peat moss, or a mixture of sphagnum moss, peat moss, sand, and perlite to potty your carnivorous plants. And stay away from pre-fertilized moss mixtures as the nutrient content could burn the roots.
- Keep the potting mix moist. Remember to water your carnivorous plants as they can dry out quickly.
- Ensure adequate drainage. Some plants, like pitcher plants, don’t like to sit in water, but others, like sundews, don’t. Do your research to find out whether your plant likes swampy conditions or not.
- Consider placing these potted plants in a container of distilled water. This helps you keep the plants watered for longer, and if you have a few smaller plants you can keep them in the same water tub and water several plants at once.
- Do not plant them in the ground. If you want your carnivorous plants to live outdoors, be sure to put them in pots of sphagnum moss or moss mixtures. It is also useful to keep outdoor carnivorous plants in a container filled with water. This is because evaporation occurs at a faster rate outdoors, and this solution can protect plants from hydration.
Types of carnivorous plants
Tropical pitcher plant
Also called nepenthes or monkey cup plant, a pitcher plant has long leaves that curve into a cup, like a long pitcher. This unique shape is what traps unsuspecting insects, and the jug then slowly digests the insects over a few weeks or months.
Tropical pitchers typically grow in warmer temperatures, but some species can grow in different climates. If you want to grow your pitcher indoors, you may need to get hold of a species like ventrata that is more forgiving in indoor environments. However, lowland species are better suited to warm, tropical temperatures, and you should plant them outdoors, given that you live in an area with a stable seasonal climate.
Venus fly trap
A Venus fly trap is a carnivorous plant with clam-shaped leaves that have eyelash-shaped hairs (called cilia) that catch flies. When an insect lands on top of the leaves, the clam closes and the cilia prevent the insect from escaping. In 3 to 5 days, the plant digests its food.
Venus fly traps even have a reputation as one of the best carnivorous plants for flies, as they can thrive indoors in small pots, making them great houseplants that eat insects. . Plus, they don’t just eat flies – they eat all types of insects and arachnids, including spiders, ants, and beetles.
Butterworts, also called fly traps, have greasy (or buttery) leaves with sticky hairs that trap insects, such as midges. Some can even wrap their leaves in cups while capturing their insect prey. They also have simple yet beautiful flowers that bloom easily and in bright colors which can add a vibrant look to your space. These orchid-like flowers are yellow, pink, purple or white in color. These houseplants are some of the easiest to maintain because they can grow indoors.
This type of sundew has long, narrow leaves covered with red bubble-tailed hairs that make the plant appear to be covered with fresh dewdrops. However, these leaves are actually coated with a sticky glue-like substance that traps the hapless insects that alight on these intriguing plants. Additionally, different species of sundew grow different types of flowers, often orchid-like flowers in colors like pink or white.
There are two main types of sundew that you might want to consider growing. The Cape sundew uses its tentacle-shaped bristles to enclose its prey and digest it with sticky enzymes. However, spooned sundews trap insects with their tentacles and curl their leaves inward. This completely surrounds the insect in a tight roll in which the plant digests the insect.
As a general rule, sundews need to be in warmer temperatures like their other carnivorous counterparts. These plants can actually do very well on a sunny windowsill. They can also grow outdoors in regions with a stable seasonal climate when properly planted in a pot. But it is very important that you always keep a well watered sundew as they often cannot bounce back from episodes without water.
Now that you know which insectivorous plants you want to grow, use Zumper to find your next location. Whether you are looking for a house, an apartment, or anything in between, you can search hundreds and thousands of listings in your area.