Anybody keep any carnivorous plants?

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by KrisHumphreys1991, 13 Oct 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    As I'm in Uni now, my head has been melted with stuff to do.
    Thats why I haven't been as active as usual, which I'm not liking!

    Anyway, the Uni runs Treborth Botanical Gardens, here in Bangor. They have a few lovely greenhouses, one of which is completely tropical and overgrown with huge plants, and some lovely Nepenthes species.
    There is even a pond full of AQUATIC MOSS :thumbup: and "rice fish" which to me are just guppies. Into the water hangs strangling fig roots. It's really lovely. Actually, while I'm writing this I may as well throw up some pictures. :geek:

    Here's two of the outdoor pond.


    Some of the pitcher plants in the tropical greenhouse.

    IMG_0658 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr
    IMG_0662 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr
    IMG_0664 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr

    Some of the Sarracenia, which I bought a big pot of for £1! :D
    IMG_0672 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr
    IMG_0675 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr

    And here's a sundew plant (I think!)
    IMG_0677 by KrisHumphreys1991, on Flickr

    ANYWAY that was massively off topic so I apologise.

    My main question was, does anyone keep any carnivorous plants on here?
    If so, what kind?

    I'm looking for tips on pruning the dead leaves on my Sarracenia.

    Thanks for looking people :D
  2. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Hi mate, you are using your new camera arent you !? :) Great images there Kris. Don't know much about carnivs but they are very interesting all the same.
  3. Palm Tree

    Palm Tree Member

    Telford, Shropshire
  4. darren636

    darren636 Member

    do you keep it frost free? if not it will die down for the winter, come back when it it is warmer.
  5. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

    Hi Kris, I do....

    I've got various Sarracenia, a few VFT's and a couple of Nepenthes. The Nepenthes don't die away because they are tropical - they just slow down in the winter though where they are doesn't get overly cold.

    The VFT's and Sarracenia do die away (and have to) so that they can come again in the spring. This is what they do in the wild and they require the same conditions as they naturally grow in. The dying off is triggered by the falling light period and once this has happened, some people suggest placing the plants in a darker cold envionment for a few months to give tham a really good 'winter'.

    The main thing to remember is give them exactly no nutrients at all via the root system and only rain water. My VFT's and Sarracenia stand in water all the time with very wet compost and love it. The best thing is watching the flowers form in the spring they are truely beautiful but once they are ripe they give off a smell like rotting flesh to attract their pollenatoors. It amazes me that a plant has evolved to both take advantange of insects in attracting them to transfer pollen and then later on, once this has happened, to then put up pitchers to eat them!

    Keep them on a south facing window sill and they will thrive. My plants tend to catch their own insects, but I sometimes give the Sarracenia dead things we find arround the house. VFT's have to catch their prey live..

    There is an online forum were all the experts hang out. And if you are into books I would highly recomend 'The Savage Garden' by Peter D'Amato.

    Oh and to answer the question... I just cut off the dead pitchers, but if they do have flies etc in them leave them till they've gone dry so you know the nutients have gone into the plant.

    Best of luck, Mike.
  6. ;) Yes mate I am, thanks! I really need a macro lens though :( Might have to borrow one for a week from the Photography Society at Uni.
    Yeah me neither mate, just started reading up on them yesterday. They seem a lot more.. evolved than other plants!

    Cool mate :) care to share pictures?

    WOW that set up is amazing!!! :wideyed:
    So beautiful, and the UG is perfect. Wow!

    Yes mate it's on my window sill. :) I think it was dying back since a while ago!

    Hi Mike, think we need to see a lot more informal posts like this from you! :D
    Thats a lot of brilliant information, thanks for sharing that.

    I was given the Sarracenia in a small pot, with compost & little white "crystals", I'm assuming these are fertilisers?
    Should I repot in something else?

    I've been keeping it about an inch of rainwater, is this okay?

    I'd love some Nepenthes though, thats what I went down to buy yesterday, but they weren't selling their own. :(

    Yeah, I've already checked them for flies, there's none. One has a cranefly in it. But a big hole in the "pitcher". What should I do there?

    I'll join that forum mate, thanks for the link!
  7. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

    OK Kris,

    So the white crystals will probably be perlite, which breaks up the compost a bit and aids drainage - they certainly won't be fertiliser - don't ever give CP's a fertilizer (forget everything about NPK !! :)

    Yes the 1 inch of rainwater is ideal. Look for specific CP soil mixes. They are usually based on peat unfortunately and it took a very great deal of self control for me to buy a bag of peat (sustainability issue) but it is the best stuff. It has to be as low as possible in ferts of course.

    Do you think the cranefly tried to eat it's way out? If you can try to get some rain water into the pitcher with the fly as this will aid it's digestion. Some of my pitchers have filled them selves up completely with water this year, which must have come from the plant and will have enzymes in it. The top hat is there to help stop rain water getting in and diluting it. The only time I've had damage is from insect larva and I spray them with Provado Utilmate bug killer a couple of times in the spring. Don't worry about the hole it won't harm the plant; it will be getting towards the time that they are dying back anyway and you can cut it off once it's dried up.

    I've taken a few photos of mine and I will post them in a bit if I can work out how to.

    I would think that the plant you have will have been initially grown in gelly and then potted on. I think I would be inclined to leave it where it is for now and then see what the best time of year is to re-pot it. When they are more mature (2 or 3 years I think) they form a rhizome from which you can take cuttings if you are brave enough. CP's tend to have very fragile roots so you need to be careful not to damage them.

    There are some sundews which are native to the UK and are found in a few places in North Yorks - the lower slopes of Whernside to name one. I've never ever seen one with an insect on it so it does show you how long they can carry on without catching anything.

    I bought my Nepenthes on line and they've done OK. I've took cuttings for a friend early this year which is easy enough but they do take a while to get going. He'll have them for Christmas.

    I've bought from and their stuff arrived well packed and in good form, so I'd recomend them.

    Cheers, Mike.
  8. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

    So, a few photos....




    Nepenhes - upper pitchers...


    Nepenhies - lower pitcher... didn't quite get the focus right. This is about 1" long.

    Venus Fly trap + ex fly...

    All taken with Canon 5D with 24 to 105mm f4L mounted on a 20mm extension tube.

    Cheers, Mike.

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