Gardening Tips

carnivorous plant care

carnivorous plant care

Carnivorous plants often make us curious, as they are very different from the rest of the plants that we are used to having around us. Although they normally live in poor and flooded land, they are plants capable of great adaptability to changes, as long as they are not too sudden or excessive.

There are many plants of this type that today can be kept at home, either indoors or outdoors depending on the species and the climate, such as the Venus flytraps (dionaeas) or sundews. If you are interested in knowing what they are carnivorous plant carein this EcologíaVerde guide you will find them all.

Types of carnivorous plants

To start with, keep in mind what types of carnivorous plants exist and which are the most suitable for each climate and, in this way, to be able to better choose the ones that adapt to our home. There is a very generic way of classifying them, but it is simple and practical to be able to decide which one we can have at home, and that is to take into account the climate. The classification of carnivorous plants according to climate is the next:

  • Tropical carnivorous plants: they are more complicated to care for at home, as they need high humidity and a warm temperature and must be constant. Therefore, to have them at home, unless we live in a totally tropical place, they are usually placed in terrariums adapted for them. Some species are Nepenthes, Pinguicula Y caphalotus.
  • Non-tropical carnivorous plants: They live in areas where it is cold, although not in areas where there are frosts. During the cold seasons, in winter and autumn depending on the area, they are able to go through a lethargy that allows them to survive well. They are usually seen near watery areas, such as swamps. Some species are saracenia, Dionaea, sundew, Darlingtonia, Pinguiculae Y Utricularia vulgaris.
Care for carnivorous plants - Types of carnivorous plants

Pots and substrate for carnivorous plants

among the first carnivorous plant care Dionaea, sundew Y Nepenthesor any other species of this type of plants, is that you have to choose the right substrate and pot to each of them.

Regarding the pots, the most suitable are the plastic pots, since they are more resistant, but porcelain and glass are also good options, rather than terracotta. Make sure there are enough holes in the bottom so the water can drain well. Also, keep in mind the type of plant you have to know whether to choose a common pot or a hanging one, because for example the Nepenthes needs hanging planter due to its shape.

The substrate for carnivorous plants it must be poor in nutrients, since in nature they live in soils of this type. If we use normal soil or substrate for plants, the most common, the roots of the carnivores would burn, since there are too many minerals for them. In addition, the soil must provide good drainage for the pots, since although they need humidity and enough water, it is important that it flows and does not remain stagnant for a long time. The most suitable substrates are the following:


This is the best type of substrate for carnivorous plants. It is a type of moss that is in the process of decomposition and its pH is acidic, which makes it poor in nutrients and capable of retaining water to the extent necessary for these vegetables. Also, it can be used alone or mixed with sand.


It is used mixed with the previous substrate and never alone. Not just any sand will do for these plants, only the thick one up to 4 mm, like the one sold for fish tanks in specialized aquarium stores.


It is a mineral in the form of white balls that has a great capacity to retain water for a certain time. You should wash it before using it mixed with the sphagnum.

A final option is to use orchid substrate, which is like driftwood mixed with sphagnum.

Care for carnivorous plants - Pots and substrate for carnivorous plants


Something vital in carnivorous plant care is that we allow them to acclimatize to the house, because it is very common that due to changes in light, temperature and humidity they suffer a shock and die.

To achieve a good acclimatization it is best to place the plants in a terrarium with high humidity and temperature (not excessive), or use suitable plastics or bags. Every few hours it is advisable to open the terrarium or take the plant out for a few minutes so that it can air out and get used to it, although it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. The appropriate thing is to do this for a month and it can be removed to have it normally inside the house. It is not mandatory to do so, but it is highly recommended.

Light, temperature and humidity for carnivorous plants

doWhere to locate a carnivorous plant at home? To do this, you must take into account the light, temperature and humidity that favor these plants.

  • The light: They need plenty of natural light. Specifically, they need about 5 hours of direct sunlight per day, although not in the strongest moments, to the species saracenia, Dionaea, Pinguicula, heliamphora, Cephalotus Y darlingtonia. Instead at Nepenthes Y sundew direct sun is not convenient for them, as they can burn.
  • Temperature: As non-tropical plants need to hibernate, it is advisable to keep them for a few months, from 3 to 5 months depending on the species, at a temperature below 5 ºC, if they do not hibernate in spring when they would have to sprout, they would not do so or they would barely be able to do so. The tropical ones must be kept in a range of habitual temperature in these tropical and subtropical zones.
  • Humidity: the coping plant Nepenthes It is the one that needs the most moisture in the air, otherwise it will dry out. All the others need plenty of moisture, except the Drosophyllum which is the one that requires the least humidity.
Care for carnivorous plants - Light, temperature and humidity for carnivorous plants

How to water carnivorous plants

Practically all plants of this type need to be watered by the technique of immersion irrigation or, as it is also called, “the tray technique”. The reason is that they need a large amount of water and keep humidity, although they do not stay very waterlogged or for a long time.

To do this, you just have to place the plant in a large basin or container with enough water, covering the base of the pot between 2 cm and 5 cm. Let it absorb water for 10 minutes. In times of heat, it is advisable to regulate every other day, while in cold times, once or twice a month may be enough. Irrigation depends a lot on the species, so it is advisable to ask the supplier of the plant, a specialist in this type of vegetable, about this specific need in each species that we acquire.

feeding of carnivorous plants

As we have mentioned, plants of this type live in places poor in nutrients, and they feed in a special way. To feed carnivorous plants catch insects and, some, also small amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

You can give your carnivorous plants mosquitoes, mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, ants, spiders, etc. After capture, the mouth remains closed for a while, for example in the case of the Venus flytrap (Dionaea) they close their mouths for up to 1 or 2 weeks. in the case of the Venus flytrap, 2 insects per month may be enough. When they open their mouths again, it is convenient to remove the insect residues that may have remained.

Search right sized insectsbecause if they are very large, the leaves of the mouths can die due to overexertion.

As after 2 or 3 meals the mouths of these plants usually die to make way for new ones, it is convenient that you cut them as soon as you see that they dry, from their base, and thus you will avoid fungi.

Care for carnivorous plants - Feeding carnivorous plants

Pests and diseases of carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants can also be infected by pests, especially the following:

  • Red spider
  • aphids
  • Mushrooms
  • Mealybugs

Must combat pests with specific products that can be purchased in stores or with home remedies recommended by specialists in this type of plant. Find out more in this other EcologíaVerde article on the most common pests and diseases in indoor plants. In addition, we leave you below a video about the care of the Venus flytrap specifically so that you can get to know these strange plants better.

If you want to read more articles similar to carnivorous plant carewe recommend that you enter our category .

About the author


Leave a Comment