How to Fertilize Carnivorous Plants

Views: 11786 | Last Update: 2009-03-27
Carnivorous plants do not use fertilizers, and they do not get their nutrition from the soil, as they are known to rely on insects for nutrition. Discover why carnivorous plants need to be kept moist at all times with help from a sustainable gardener in... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we are going to talk about how to fertilize carnivorous plants. Now carnivorous plants they do not use fertilizers or they do not get their nutrition from soil, they get their nutrition from bugs. So carnivorous plants are naturally found in boggy areas in Indiana, South Carolina where ever it is very boggy warm climates, and because they actually live in water and moist areas they cannot get the nutrition from soil 'cause there is not a lot of soil there, so they get all of the proteins and all of their nitrogens and phosphates and everything they need to live through by eating bugs. And so it is a very specialized system. So when you are growing carnivorous plants as a house plant you have got to remember to always keep them moist that is the number one rule, and you do not want the actual plant roots or the bulb part to be wet but you want the soil to completely be wet at all times, because they live in very marshy areas. And you do not want to use water that is that has chlorine in it or any water that it high in minerals 'cause well water has a lot of minerals in it, so you want to make sure that your water is filtered and if it has chlorine just let it sit out over night or use bottled water because it is been filtered and there is no minerals in it. And make sure when you have a Venus Fly Trap not to touch it because basically that little trap will only close three times, and whether you put a bug inside of it or you use your finger and barely touch it and force it to close just by springing that trap it will be one third closer to dying. So the trick with the carnivorous plants especially Venus Fly Trap do not touch it at all just look at it because it is a really cool plant that you want to enjoy for as long as possible. So the best way to fertilize your carnivorous plants is not to fertilize them at all they do not want any extra nutrients. They pretty much live off of the air and the nutrients that they obtain from bugs. And everyone wants to feed them ground beef and they think that that is the key or give them lots of bugs to eat, but you have got to remember every little trap will only close up to three times before that plant will die again. So you never want to feed it too often 'cause you are going to kill it right away and it will be over fed. And they only want a bug to be maybe one eighth the size of the plant, you do not want to have a large bug they only need a tiny tiny little bit and then that way they can get all the nutrition they need from the bugs. But my rule of thumb is with my carnivorous plants when I as long as you give them some water that has been distilled or has no minerals in it and you just let it grow it will keep growing and growing and growing more traps, and if you feed it all the time then it is going to finish its life cycle very quickly and it will go dormant and and it will die right away. So I found by just letting it go and letting it grow it will continue to have more and more little traps and eventually they will die off and I have even fed them just part of a bug whenever you find any bug in a window sill make sure that there is no poison with that bug that it has not been sprayed in any way, and you will find that you can have a Venus Fly Trap or any other carnivorous plant for many years. And when it does die it is just going dormant so you can throw it in the refrigerator or keep it in a plastic bag in the basement for about three or four months and then throw it back outside on a window sill and many times it will grow right away again. And they need very bright indirect light, so a real sunny window sill is the best place you can put it as long as it is facing east and not west and it is not getting that hot sun that might burn it. But carnivorous plants are very easy to grow and they are very easy to take care of without fertilizers.