Saturday, November 14, 2009

How often should I feed my carnivorous plants?

I've recently bought a Venus Flytrap, and Sundew and a Pitcher plant. I'm going to put the Sundew and Pitcher by my pond (lots of annoying buzzing insects to chomp on) and was thinking of having the Flytrap in the kitchen.

Assuming that I don't get a lot of flys in the kitchen, how often should I be thinking of feeding the Flytrap? I already have a source of suitable food (wax worms over the internet).

And how often should the other 2 be feeding to be healthy (assuming everything else is ok)?

How often should I feed my carnivorous plants?
Certainly one fresh fly a week is good but you can't really over-feed fly-traps. The traps will only trigger 2 or 3 times at most.

Mine live on the outside window-sill for most of the year and the amount they catch varies, but the more successful they are the bigger and better the new traps tend to be and the better the chance it has of producing a flower stalk. Mind you I do tend to snip the flower stalks before they get started as they take a lot of energy away from the plant and slows the growth of new traps.

During winter months they tend to die back and will obviously eat less - if at all. As long as they've eaten reasonably well in the summer months they should keep coming back year after year.

As for feeding them meat, opinion is divided. Part of the digestive mechanism comes from the struggling of the victim which stimulates the trap to tighten and produce more digestive fluids. At the very least do not feed them on insects which have been dead a while.

Other useful care tips are to never make the traps close artificially - they'll die - and never use fresh tap water or fertilisers - the soluble salts kill them.

Also, despite instructions saying that you must use sphagnum moss, you can re-pot them in peat - just make sure it's been thoroughly washed through with rain-water or demineralised water first

Enjoy !
Reply:The two outdoor plants shouldn't need to be fed by you - they will take care of it for themselves.

The flytrap will need one bug/week if you keep it indoors where no bugs are available. An ant will do just fine.

Remember carnivorous plants also need sunlight. Keep the flytrap in higher humidity and heat.
Reply:Raw hamburger or flies. As soon as it opens put more food in. It'll grow faster that way.
Reply:one finger a day.
Reply:Lots of advice here - just an extra thought, most carnivorous plants that you buy at garden centres in UK are not frost hardy - perhaps you should keep them in pots, and bring them indoors for the Winter.
Reply:Aren't they old enough to feed themselves. Just buy yourself a cow or chicken and tie it up next to your plants.
Reply:Just feed them a tiny piece of hamburger about the size of a small pea.

We feed ours one piece about once a week. We have kept it happy for years.
Reply:dont feed them at all. even indoors they will still catch all the food they need for themselves.
Reply:The indoor one will be catching small insects but I give mine a small peice of mince every so often. If rain water is unavailable I use tap water.
Reply:OK, first I assume you are only feeding your plants bugs. That being said, here is a dirty secret: Your plants really do not need to be fed! They will survive perfectly well without you giving them bugs. They may grow a little slower, produce few seeds, etc., but they will live. Furthermore, unless you keep a house so clean that your coworkers like to talk about it behind your back, you actually have quite a few bugs in your house that your plant will get: gnats, roaches, flies, etc. But if you want to feed your plant bugs, a good rule is not to feed it more than about one bug per week. If you want to feed them more often, get more plants.

Experienced carnivorous plant growers may think I'm being too hard on you, and should tell you that you can feed your plants more often. The problem is that it is easy to overdo the feeding. I have found that a long-unfed Venus Flytrap should not be heavily fed right away. Doing so kills several of the leaves and sets the plant back. I would not be surprised if other carnivorous plants are the same way.
Reply:Do not feed them at all.

The ones outside will attract and catch more than enough insects on thier own. As for the venus fly trap, it will be fine too. While you may not see bugs inside your house, they are there.

From ants to gnats to small flys, all houses have small bugs in them.

These plants do not require much fodat all and they will be able to catch all that they need.

On a completely unrelated note, The best thing you can actually do is to put the venus fly trap outside and the sundew inside.

Sundews, being Bog plants actually can be killed if placed in a normal pond. They became carnivorous as a result of living in nutritionally "dead" water. Your pond will probably kill it. Sundews are supposed to be water with distilled water as regular water will burn the roots and kill it.

Also, instead of feeding it insect, while certainly less interesting, the carnivorous plants can be fed using regualar plant food that is diluted to less than 10% of its normal strength (shows just how little they need). But you really dont have to worry about feeding them anything as they will take care of themselves.

new year lily

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