Insect Eating Plants or Carnivorous Plants are usually found growing on land or water which is deficient in nitrogen, for example, bogs. Their distribution is world wide, covering parts of the tropical rainforest in south-east Asia and inaccessible places on plateaux of South America.
Over thousands of years these plants have developed clever ways of making up nitrogen deficiency by catching insects. The majority of plants are perennial, terrestrial (living in the soil) and long-lived, so they make very interesting and fascinating subjects to grow. You can easily create an environment similar to that in nature and start a collection.
1. These plants like wet growing conditions, so always stand pots in a tray or pot of rainwater (tap water could be too limy) if possible, or cooled, boiled water 1” – 2” deep during the growing season (March-October).
2. Never apply fertiliser, either as a spray or in the compost, they are excellent flycatchers and get all their protein from the insect extracts. Tropical plants e.g. Nepenthes and Heliamphora require different feeding and growing conditions.
3. Compost is made up of moss peat and lime-free sand 50:50, perlite can also be incorporated. Always pot on or divide your plants in spring if necessary.
4. To obtain an optimum-growing environment, stand your plants on a south or west-facing windowsill where there is full light and flies are always abundant.
5. To keep your plants looking good and healthy, remove any old or dead foliage. Ventilate where possible to help prevent fungal attack – especially in winter. Aphids can be dealt with by using a Pyrethrium based insecticide.
6. During the winter give your plants less water so that the compost stays damp, and cooler temperatures (4C) so the plant goes dormant naturally.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.