Facts on Carnivorous Plants

Overview

Carnivorous plants attract, capture and kill their prey. They eat the prey by producing digestive enzymes or rely on bacteria to perform the digestion process. They also absorb the nutrients from the prey to get an extra boost of energy and growth.

Rarity

Of the 250,000 to 400,000 flowering plant species, only about 200 are carnivorous.

Types

Carnivorous plants are divided into two groups: One type has active traps triggered by movement and the other has passive traps.

Food Sources

These plants eat insects and small animals such as mites, flies, spiders and frogs, but do not survive on just insect and animal protein. They are green plants full of chlorophyll and produce food through photosynthesis. They only supplement their nutrition with prey.

Habitat

Carnivorous plants are natural bog plants. They live in an area of constant moisture, high humidity, bright light, poor soil and plenty of insects.

Houseplants

Venus fly traps, pitcher plants and sundews make good houseplants if you grow them in a plant terrarium. Feed the plants insects once or twice a month or lightly fertilize every four weeks.

References

  • Iowa State University
  • Missouri Environment & Garden
Keywords: carnivorous plants, Venus fly trap, sundew

About this Author

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.