Carnivorous plants are plants that trap and feed on insects. The carnivorous plants are meat eaters and are commonly found in swampy areas throughout the world. According to the International Carnivorous Plant Society, there are three attributes that separate these plants from other plants. The carnivorous plants benefit from the nutrients that are gotten from its prey, there is a mechanism that allows digestion of prey and the plants capture and kill prey. However, three particular meat eating plants have done very well as indoor plants.
Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
Venus fly traps are native to the swamps of Wilmington, North Carolina, but have been seen growing in some bogs in South Carolina, New Jersey and northern areas of Florida. The plants need a wet soil with rain water and no fertilizer. The nutrients needed to survive come from the insects that are attracted to the sweet smell of the dionaea muscipula. The insects land on the open mouth of the fly trap, which triggers the top lip to close surrounding the insect and start the digesting process. Venus fly traps need sun for at least four hours a day and temperatures of 65 to 85 degrees F.
The soil should poor, acidic soil and should be contains sphagnum moss and sand.
North American Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia)
The pitcher plant is native to southeastern United States and extends into western and northern Canada. The pitcher plant resembles a pitcher with a greenish pouch. When prey fall into the pitcher, there is no escape because of the downward projections and slippery walls inside the pitcher. The pitcher plant will need full sun for a few hours a day and will do well in partially shady locations. Ideal temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees F. Sarracenia will grow in one part charcoal, orchid bark, course sand and peat moss. The medium should be wet from May to October with rain water and not tap water when the plant is actively growing.
Spoon-Leaved Sundew Plant (Drosera spatulata)
Spoon-leaved sundews are native to New Zealand, New Guinea, Japan and China. The Sundew looks like an exploded fireworks. The head of the sundew has tentacles that have a gel like substance that resembles dew drops that insects get stuck to when flying to close to the plant. Once the insect is stuck, it is digested.
Sundews need direct sunlight with temperatures between 70 and 100 degrees F. The growing medium should consist of one part course sand and peat moss. Keep the medium wet during the growing season, which is between May and October. Use rain water or distilled water on the drosera.