Carnivorous Plant Beginner Guide
Carnivorous plants are some of the most fascinating plants in cultivation, and they can be surprisingly easy to grow in your home.
Carnivorous plant collecting began in the hot-houses of Victorian England, where growers like Veitch Nurseries (pictured) cultivated exotic tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes.) The hobby died-off for several decades due to the World Wars, but resumed in the mid-century United States as Venus flytraps became popular plants to order out of catalogues. Collectors are now experiencing a "Golden Age" as a previously unimaginable variety of carnivorous plants has become available world-wide.
Many new growers are surprised to find out that several varieties of carnivorous plant are best grown outdoors in most climates. Venus flytraps and American pitcher plants (Sarracenia) prefer bright, outdoor growing conditions with permanently wet soil. They also have a required dormancy period where their leaves die-back for several months. Many sundews (Drosera) and some tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes) can also be grown outdoors under filtered sun during mild seasons.
Carnivorous plants can also be unique and charming houseplants. Tropical and sub-tropical varieties like sundews (Drosera,) tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes,) and butterworts (pinguicula) can make incredible additions to a sunny windowsill. Many growers also find that terrarium-growing under artificial lights can be especially rewarding with these cunning carnivores.
The Venus Flytrap is one of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow.
According to Popular Science, robotic plants and animals seem to be taking a particular interest with scientists in today's growing society. Technicians in the states and in South Korea have built robot replicas of the Venus Flytrap, which can catch and digest its meals for fuel!