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Carnivorous plants

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

At the USF Spring plant show earlier this year, I bought a Venus fly trap for my son (he wanted to watch it eat bugs and I wanted less mosquitoes). We kept it watered and outside in a place where it SHOULD have had access to plenty of mosquitoes for food. Needless to say, the plant didn't last, but we never went out and "fed it", assuming that it would attract bugs naturally.

Last weekend at a Home and Garden show, I found this awesome Pitcher Plant "Nepenthes" that is carnivorous too. Per the instructions, you are supposed to put it in a semi-shady location, put a half inch of water in the bottom of the "pitchers" and the plant will take care of itself (of course keeping the soil moist). I have it hanging on my deck underneath a canopy of Confederate Jasmine where it gets filtered sunlight and with the rain we have been getting daily, the soils is nice and moist.

I read online that they are easily propagated by rooting cuttings and I am anxious to try that. However I want to make sure the plant is happy and established in that location, before I start to take cuttings off it.

Has anyone here ever had any success in growing a carnivorous plant? If so, do you have any advise for me?

Thanks,
Shauna

Thumbnail by shauna1219 Thumbnail by shauna1219
Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I absolutely have had success with them! Mine grow in a bog and take care of themselves. Here is a picture of my bog, which is two years old. My pitcher plants multiply each year. Before I set up my bog, they grew in 15-gallon pots filled with peat and kept moist. In the wild, they grow in constantly moist compost.

Thumbnail by KayJones
Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi Kay,

Did you have to do anything special in regards to "feeding". Should I expect it to get bugs on it's own, or do I have to catch bugs and drop them in the pitchers?

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

It will get all the nutrients it requires to live, on its own - just as it does in its natural setting.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Shauna that looks like a large plant. I have tried them a couple of times but I must have done something wrong cause I lost them.
I hope you have good luck with yours as I think they are awesome.
Bonnie

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Bonnie, just plant them in damp peat moss and make sure it stays damp. I only grow sundews and hooded pitcher plants, so can't speak of others.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Got a question---a friend from church I supply manure to for garden gave me a very large staghorn fern plant. I have it hanging in the shade. It has some shields turning paper brown. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong. I was watering it every day but I quit that cause we have been getting fairly steady rains. All I feed it is banana skins. He said thats all he feeds his.
Any suggestions.
Bonnie

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

From heirloomgardenexperts.com:

Staghorn ferns generally produce two types of leaves: sterile and fertile. The sterile leaves usually form a flat shield that covers the roots and enhances its attachment to a support.

The fertile leaves emerge from the center of the shield-like sterile leaves and form the staghorn antlers that are so distinctive of this fern. When mature, the fertile leaves produce brown patches on their undersides.

These contain almost microscopic spores that fall when ripe and produce new plants. The brown patches are natural and healthy, so do not attempt to spray or wipe them off.

Orlando, FL

Hi Shauna. Mine has been alive for at least four years. The first year I fed it and it had lots of pitchers. Next couple of years...I have a very healthy plant with vigorous growth. But, no pitchers. I recently just stuck it in a tree (dappled direct sunlight) and NOW I have pitchers again. I don't fuss with it. It is happy with more light than i was giving it. I assume it gets bugs. Good grief we got em! The plant itself is less attractive as the leaves turn reddish and kinda crusty. In my opinion. .. But its nice to see it back to its old self. Hopefully some of CTFs lay eggs in them. He...he...
It sounds to me like you are on the right track. Good luck...they're cool plants. My daughter caught me feeding it when she was three. She STILL remembers where the snails and bad catterpillars went "The Feeder Plant"

Orlando, FL

I almost forgot... no tap water. Mine has gotten rain water or water from the pond. ;)

Orlando, FL

Here's a pic.....

Thumbnail by locoluna
Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Ooooh! That looks like Nepenthes Miranda - I have two of these and just love them!

Orlando, FL

Yep...that's it! Did I not mention that? Oops

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Nepenthes Miranda that looks like what I have. The tag on it never gave the scientific name of it. I went out to check on it yesterday and found bugs in come of the pitchers, so I guess it is feeding itself.

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