How to Build a Habitat for Carnivorous Plants


Carnivorous plants require the nutrients found in insects in order to survive. They utilize very few nutrients from the soil, and in many cases, soil that is too rich negatively effects them. Carnivorous plants also have exacting moisture and humidity needs that aren't met in most homes. Creating a habitat for them in a terrarium allows you to emulate their natural growing conditions, which leads to healthier plants with a longer lifespan.

Step 1

Wash a fishbowl, small aquarium or 1 gallon jar in warm, soapy water. Sterilize it in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, then rinse in clear water.

Step 2

Mix 1 part peat moss with 1 part coarse sand. Fill the container 1/3 to 1/2 full with the peat moss mixture, then moisten it thoroughly.

Step 3

Plant the carnivorous plant in the peat moss to the same soil depth it was at in its nursery pot. Avoid touching the traps or feeding areas of the plant while transplanting. Lightly firm the soil around the base of the plant with your hands.

Step 4

Water often enough to keep the soil very moist---it should clump together slightly when squeezed. Use distilled water or evaporate the chlorine from tap water by setting it out in an open container for 48 hours before using.

Step 5

Cover the top of the terrarium with plastic wrap over 80% of the opening, leaving the rest open to vent. If you are using a jar, poke holes in the lid. This raises the humidity in the habitat while allowing fresh air in for the plants to breathe.

Step 6

Place the habitat where it will receive some direct sunlight throughout the day. Check the plant label and supply enough light for the exact variety.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never feed carnivorous plants hamburger meat, as they can't digest it. Do not touch the traps or feeding pads on the plants, this may damage them.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Plastic wrap


  • International Carniverous Plant Society: The Carnivorous Plant Terrarium
  • Storm the Castle: How to Make and care for a carnivorous terrarium
Keywords: carniverous plants, carniverous plant habitat, building terrariums

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.