Life Cycle of Carnivorous Plants


Whether it's the simple stillness of a pitcher plant or the sudden, steady closing of a Venus Flytrap, carnivorous plants are among the most fascinating things growing on earth. Most of these botanical wonders' life cycle starts with a single seed.

The Seed

Initially, a viable seed will fall from the plant and, if conditions are right, germinate.


The newly germinated seedling will put out roots into the soil. Because the soil carnivorous plants are grown in is often less than fertile, it will produce specialized leaves to collect food.

Continued Growth

These leaves may be passive, such as the water-filled pitcher plant that drowns its victims; or active, such as the Venus Flytrap, which snaps shut on its prey. Either way, these leaves help to supplement the nutrition of the plant.

Fertilization of the Flower

As the plant reaches maturity, it will flower, and then will be pollinated. The pollen will fertilize the reproductive part of the flower and seeds will form.

Development of Seeds

Eventually, the seeds will ripen and be disbursed to begin the process again.

Vegetative Reproduction

Some carnivorous plants will also reproduce vegetatively. For instance, Venus Flytraps will often sprout little daughter plants at the base of the main parent plant.


  • International Carnivorous Plant Society
Keywords: venus fly trap reproduce, pitcher plant reproduction, venus fly trap life cycle, carnivorous plant reproduction

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.