Easy to Grow Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants are plants that trap and digest insects for food. The plants are naturally found in nutrient-deficit soil and use the bugs as a source of protein and nutrients. Carnivorous plants are typically grown indoors and can be a conversation-starting alternative to standard houseplant shrubs and flowers. Though some types of carnivorous plants may require specialized care, other types are easy to grow.

Cobra Lily (Darlingtonia Californica)

The cobra lily is native to California. It grows in the shape of a vase with a thin hood through which light can shine. Flies and other bugs are drawn into the lily because of its colorful exterior and the sweet nectar that it excretes inside. When the bug flies out of the plant, it typically flies straight into the lily's hood, where it is knocked back into the vase to die and be absorbed by the plant. The cobra lily needs well-drained, moist soil and doesn't need fertilization.

Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea Muscipula)

The Venus fly trap is one of the most recognizable carnivorous plants. Its leaves are lined with trigger hairs. When a bug lands on the leaf and touches one of the hairs, the leaves snap shut. The plant then oozes a digestive enzyme to turn the bug into liquid so the plant can digest it. The plant requires no specific humidity level and is hardy even in low temperatures. Keep the soil moist and give the plant lots of sunshine to encourage the growth of large, bright traps. Contrary to stereotypes, supplementary feeding is typically not needed and too much food is detrimental to the plant's health.

Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia)

The pitcher plant, as its name suggests, forms a large vase-like growth that is slippery on the inside. Bugs land on the vase's rim to feed on the plant's sweet nectar, and often fall into the pitcher where they are digested by the enzyme-rich water at the bottom of the pitcher. Pitcher plants can be grown in a variety of temperatures and continue growing year-round. Keep the plants in full sunlight.

Keywords: carnivorous plants, easy carnivorous plants, Venus fly trap, cobra lily

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.