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Growing Tips

Welcome to the bizarre and interesting world of Carnivorous Plants!
Carnivorous Plants are interesting, fun and EASY TO GROW!

Care and Feeding of your New Carnivorous Plant!

Generally, most Carnivorous Plants grow in similar conditions: - open sunny, wet and humid bog type environments with mineral poor soil usually composed of sand and/or peat. In order to successfully grow Carnivorous Plants, you need to follow a few simple rules.

Water:
Used only distilled water or purified containing little or no sodium ONLY! NEVER use tap water, it contains too many minerals and WILL kill your plant. Water from a Reverse Osmosis unit can be used, Water should contain less than 50 PPM (Parts Per Million) of total dissolved solids (minerals). Many Carnivorous Plants will grow well on the "tray system" where pots are placed in a shallow tray of purified water around an 3/4 of an inch or so in depth. The water level in the tray should be maintained and not allowed to dry out, particularly on very hot days.

Light:
Carnivorous Plants naturally grow in open areas and prefer very bright light or full sun. But, be careful in areas that get hot during the summer. Bright diffused light in a greenhouse or diffused sun under shade cloth will help plants from roasting to death in the hot afternoon summer sun.

Humidity:
Most Native Carnivorous Plants of the United States grow in areas subject to high humidity, such as the lower east coast and the Gulf States. Despite the low humidity of the Sacramento Valley, plants can survive reasonably well using the tray method of watering and keeping plants out of direct full sun, particularly in the late afternoon. Plants inside a greenhouse will require an evaporative or “swamp” cooler.

Food:
Since Native Carnivorous Plants live in mineral poor soils, they have adapted by using their ability to capture and digest insects as their source of nutrients. Normally, Carnivorous Plants can trap insect prey on their own, but can be fed insects as a supplement. Don't feed your plants food scraps, hamburger or the like - only insects! The fat content will damage the plant. Also, don't fertilize the plant using any kind of commercial fertilizer, an almost certain way to kill the plant!

Dormancy:
Many species of Carnivorous Plants "hibernate" or die back and go dormant during the winter. This is normal and the plants should be allowed to "sleep" around 3 months during the winter, otherwise they tend to grow weak and die. Cold usually won't be a problem for many species, but persistent freezing temperatures and frost should be avoided.

There's more information on Carnivorous Plants on the internet. Visit the Carnivorous Plant FAQ.

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