How to Feed Carnivorous Plants

Overview

Carnivorous plants are plants that eat insects for nutrition in addition to the usual nutrients that come from the soil. Some common carnivorous plants include the pitcher plant and the Venus flytrap. Carnivorous plants that live in the wild, or out in your backyard, can be left alone to catch their prey. If, however, you decide to grow and care for a carnivorous plant indoors, you will need to make sure you feed it from time to time.

Step 1

Collect an insect for each carnivorous plant that you own. Some insects carnivorous plants like to eat are gnats, ants, roaches, spiders, flies and earwigs (also called pincher bugs).

Step 2

Place the insects in a baby food jar and set them in your freezer for two to three minutes. This will cause them to become sluggish and unable to move.

Step 3

Pick up the insect with the tweezers and drop the insect directly into the mouth of the carnivorous plant. The pitcher plant has an opening at the top as its mouth, and the Venus flytrap's mouth looks like two hands cupped together. If you have any other type of carnivorous plant, just look for an opening. This will be the mouth of the plant, or the spot where it waits for its prey to land.

Step 4

Wait for the insect to warm up and begin moving again. The movement will set the natural traps of the carnivorous plant in motion.

Step 5

Repeat once per week. Carnivorous plants don't need to eat insects any more often than that.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never put human food, or inedible objects in the carnivorous plant to trick it. You will end up killing the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Insects
  • Baby food jar
  • Tweezers

References

  • Botany: The Mysterious Venus Flytrap
  • The International Carnivorous Plant Society: The Carnivorous Plant FAQ
Keywords: carnivorous plant care, pitcher plants, venus flytraps

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.