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Carnivorous Plant Growing Tips

The following are general tips for all species of Carnivorous Plants. They are how I talk care of them and I have only lost one pitcherplant due to forgetfullness with watering.
Light:Carnivorous Plants (CP) in general need alot of light. I use incandesant bulbs. They are better than floresant in a number of ways. They have a 60% greater output of light. They have a greater range so they can light up more plants and they are closer to the suns natual spectrum. If possible always give your plants natual sun light. Remember that CP need alot of light, so they should at least get a minimum of six hours of direct sun light.

Water:All CP with the exception of one (Drosophyllum) need moist soil. Most CP you can water through the tray system. This is puting a dish of water underneath the pot. You should do this only for Drosera, Dionaea, Sarracenia, Cephalotus, Heliamphora. Nepenthes always should be water from overhead, unless in a terrarium. I use CobraCO automatic plant watering systems. They are cheap and very effective. You can find these at a garden center. You should always use distilled or rain water. Make sure that you buy your distilled water. Leaving it to sit for a couple of days only gets rid of the chlorine not the minerals that are lethal to CP.

Soil:CP do not really grow in soil, they grow in soilless mixes. Almost all CP need an acidic light soilless mix. For all of my Nepenthes I use 75% long fibered sphagnum moss and 25% of bark chips or perlite. I use 100% long fiber sphagnum for all of my large Drosera and Dionaea. Use a 50% peat moss 50% perlite mix for Drosera,Cephalotus, and Heliamphora. For Utricularia and Drosera use a 50% peat 50% sand mix. Never use garden soil and/or purchased soil.

Fertilizers:The myth of not giving CP fertilizers is just that, a myth. Once a month mist Nepenthes half strength orchid fertilizer. Bimonthly mist Heliamphora with half strength orchid fertilizer. Since I have done this my Nepenthes pitchers have doubled in size. Don't give fertilizers to Drosera, Cephalotus, and Utricularia. Sarracenia like a monthly mist of half strenght acid fertilizers.

Humidity:All CP should get ubove 50% humidity. Sarracenia, Dionaea, and Utricularia can take a lesser amount. Terrariums are a great way to provide the hight amount of humidity. Fish tanks work great (when you cover the large opening.)

Dormancy:There a couple of CP that need a dormancy period to servive. These are Sarracenia,Temperate Drosera, Dionaea, Darlingtonia Temperate Utricularia, and the European and Japanese Aldrovanda. The easiest way to provide dormancy is to grow them outside, however, if the winter temperature normally gets below freezing for more than a couple days you my need to mulch or bring the plants inside to your refridgerator to give the plant it's dormancy. If your winter does not get below 40 degrees F. You will need to bring your plant into the fridge. Dormancy doesn't also mean lower temps. I also means a shortened photoperiod. This means less light. If you give your plant natural light nature does this for you. If you are using bulbs just turn on the lights later and off sooner.

If you have any questions abount cultivating CP feel free to e-mail me at