Care notes for carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants come in many shapes and sizes.
On arrival of you plant it is best to plant as soon as possible to avoid the plant from drying out.
The compost must be acidic; until a suitable peat free is developed the recommended soil base is sphagnum moss peat.
Make sure the bag says sphagnum as normal moss peat can kill the plants.
When planted the plants then need to be stood in water.
Rain water is about the only reliable type recommended for the plants as the minerals in tap water will block the pores in the roots and the plants will die.
Bottled water has chemicals added e.g. salt to make it taste better and must be avoided.
If you can get bottled table water or if the bottle has a ph value on it, this must be less than 6. Plastic or fully glazed pots can be used.
Most glazed pots are not glazed on the inside and the minerals in the pot can leak out and harm the plants.
The plants can take a few weeks to recover from the journey but given the right conditions will recover quickly.


Drosera: (sundew):
These can be divided into 3 groups, Tropical, temperate and hardy.
Most types are best grown in a mix of sphagnum moss peat, perlite and graded washed sand.
Stood in rain water and kept in full sun to maintain the colour.
Even if the plant looks wilted they produce new growth most of the year from the roots.
Dormant temperate and hardy species produce small underground tuber to survive winters, above ground growth can die back to ground level.

Dionaea muscipula (Venus fly trap):
The most famous of all carnivorous plants.
Plant in Sphagnum moss peat, perlite and or washed graded sand.
Stand in rain water.
These plants have winter dormancy when the plant should be kept just wet and kept colder.
The traps may have closed on the journey but will open again in a couple of weeks.
Dormancy in winter, they produce a bulb type corm, above ground growth can die back to ground level.

Sarracenia (American pitcher plant):
Most Sarracenia can be grown outside all year round; if you are not sure about the species it is best to keep them just frost free over winter or in a cold greenhouse.
Plant in Sphagnum moss peat and perlite and stood in a tray of water all year.
In autumn and winter the plants supplied may be dormant and new growth will appear in spring.
The leaves will die of during the winter.

Utricularia (Bladderwort) :
This genus is the largest of all carnivorous plants so a general guide for the more common types would be keep above 7'C in winter, full sun to partial shade.
Keep in a tray of rain water and compost mix would be Sphagnum moss peat, perlite.
Exceptions are the tropical and aquatic.
Dormant plants are like a pot of moss, as the new growth starts from the roots in summer.

Pinguicula (Butterwort):
This genus is wide spread from tropical to hardy.
As a general rule keep in full sun to keep the colours but avoid sun thru glass which can burn the plants.
Soil mix varies from species to species but a good general one is Sphagnum moss peat or Sphagnum moss peat and perlite.

Nepenthes (Tropical pitcher plant):
There are two types of Nepenthes, Highland and Lowland.
The easiest ones to look after are the Highland; both types require high humidity of over 70% to keep them producing traps.
Both require free draining compost and should be watered from above with water that is at least 60'C. Misting the plants twice a day is good for the plants as it raises the humidity.
The plants can take full sun but some shading is useful, about 10-20% is used to avoid burning the tips of the plants.
Temperatures for the Highland types must be kept above 10'C at night and around 20'C during the day.
Lowland types require minimum night temperature of 16'C and days of around 27'C.
Soil mix can be coarse Sphagnum moss, perlite and vermiculite.

Darlingtonia (Cobra Lily):
Darlingtonia Californica can be successfully grown outside in the UK as they are fully hardy.
Must be planted in a large container to keep the roots cool and stood in water all year round.
Soil mix is Sphagnum moss peat and perlite.

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