Vivarium Carnivorous Plants

Overview

A vivarium is used to raise plants or animals. The plants most commonly kept in a vivarium are carnivorous plants. The substrate in a vivarium is usually a combination of coco bedding, soil and moss. Most carnivorous plants are tropical and prefer heat and humidity, so to grow them in a vivarium, you will need the proper equipment, including a heat lamp, or lights and a heater.

Pitcher Plants

The carnivorous pitcher plant has tubular-shaped leaves that resemble pitchers. The leaves are lined with downward-pointing hairs that prevent insects from climbing out, allowing the plant to "eat" the insects. The plant uses digestive juices to consume insects. Pitcher plants grow in soil that lacks nitrogen, and the plants have adapted to extract their nitrogen requirements from insects.

Bladderworts

Bladdorworts are carnivorous plants that float in water. The bladderwort has no real roots. This plant is often found in ponds, lakes and bogs and is a perfect plant for a vivarium with a water feature. The bladderworts have bladders on their leaves which catch aquatic invertebrates. The digestive juices in the bladders break the invertebrates down into nitrogen, among other nutrients.

Venus Flytrap

A Venus Flytrap leaf has three hair cells on each half. The bottom of the leaf is "hinged," so that it can snap shut. The leaf snaps when the hairs sense mechanical stimuli, such as an insect crawling into the leaf. The leaves have digestive enzymes to digest the insect. The insects provide nitrogen for the plant, since it does not get enough from the soil.

Sundews

A sundew's leaves are covered with small tentacles. The tentacles produce a drop of transparent, sticky mucilage. The mucilage shines like a prism in the sunlight, making the plant look as if it is glowing. The mucilage makes the plant look pretty, but it has a more functional use--it attracts insects. The mucilage contains enzymes that break down the insects into various nutrients, most notably nitrogen.

Commonalties

The various carnivorous plants used in a vivarium all require light, heat and humidity. The heat can be provided by grow lights or by small heaters. A vivarium should include a water feature, as the water provides humidity in the closed-in area for the plants. If a vivarium does not include a water feature, the substrate should be kept moist but well-drained.

Keywords: Venus Flytrap, vivarium, carnivorous plants

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Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.