This section of the site is devoted to carnivorous plants. I will be
covering species, growing tips and all other sorts of information. If
you have any suggestions or tips, etc that you would like to share which
I haven't covered then feel free to e-mail me or post a
message on the messageboard.
Full credit will be given.
I will be adding pictures here shortly once we upgrade to a new
computer that is able to load pictures from our digital camera. Until
then though, there are some other pictures I took a while ago here.
Californica - Cobra lilly
The cobra lilly is a type of pitcher and the only species in it's
genus. It comes from mountainous regions in Northern California and
Oregon. Due to the cold climate they are accustomed to, cobra lillies
need to be kept relatively cool, especially their root system. They
should also never be allowed to dry out completely so placing their pot
in a tray of water is an easy way to combat both of these problems as it
allows water to continually flow over their roots. The water should be
maintained at a temperature of around 15șC. Cobra lillies are most happy
when planted in 100% sphagnum moss.
During winter the plant can be allowed to become a little drier than
during the hot months, but again the plant should not be allowed to dry
out completely. Removal from the water tray may be necessary to acheive
this. Care should always be taken to protect the plant from extremes in
temperature, especially heat.
During spring cobra lillies may begin to develop flowers which can
often be attached to stems a metre or so long. Spring is also the main
growing season for these plants. Propogation can be acheived through
seed collection as well as division of the plant's stolon once
sufficient growth of pitchers and roots has been observed.
Follicularis - Albany pitcher
The albany pitcher plant is a type of pitcher and the only species in
it's genus. This plant is native to a very small area in Western
Australia and is on the endangered list due to over harvesting of wild
specimens as well as trampling by livestock, etc. Albany pitchers do not
like to be as waterlogged as most other carnivorous plants in my
experience, although many people still have success with keeping
their pots in water trays during the warmer months. During winter
however, they should be removed from the water tray but again, never let
them completely dry out. As with most carnivorous plants, try to avoid
subjecting the plant (especially the roots) to extremes in temperature,
especially heat as this is a sure way to kill them.
The most sucessful potting medium I have had with Albany
pitchers would have to be a mixture of 50% coarse sand and 50% peat
although many growers have had success using 100% sphagnum moss. Upon
recent research though I have decided to replace peat in favour of coir
dust (also known as coconut peat) in future plantings. I will cover my
reasons for doing so elsewhere on this page shortly.
Propogation of Albany pitchers can be acheived via division of large
plants, using root cuttings as well as leaf cuttings. When making leaf
cuttings only use the non-carnivorous leaves rather than the pitchers
and remove them by plucking rather than cutting.
Muscipula - Venus flytrap
The venus flytrap is an interesting plant from Northern and Southern
Carolina. It is also the culprit most likely of turning people into
carnivorous plant fanatics due to it's facinating way of trapping
insects. Venus flytraps are currently on the endangered list and as such
should not be taken out of the peat bogs they are native to. Although
there is only one species in this family, there are an abundance of
different varieties which have been grown resulting in some spectacular
results such as different colours and larger traps.
Each trap contains three trigger hairs and it is which these that the
plant detects prey. If one of the hairs is triggered twice or at least
two of the hairs is triggered once then the trap will snap shut almost
completely. If a small insect has been caught it is allowed to escape
and the trap will open again shortly, however, if the prey is large then
it will inevidably trigger the hairs again at which time the trap will
shut completely and digestion occures. The reason for this is that the
plant uses up alot of energy trapping and digesting prey and
anything too small will not yield enough nutrition to replace this lost
energy so the plant cuts it's losses and reopens in the hope of a larger
Contrary to popular belief hamburger meat should never be fed to
venus flytraps as their digestive system is not made to cope with such
foods. Venus flytraps should only be fed a diet of insects and seem
particularly adept at catching spiders. The good news for those who are
a little squeamish is that you need never feed your plant if you don't
want to, they will survive happily on their own, even if insects are
unavailable. They are sensitive to flyspray as well so should never be
fed bugs killed in this manner. Constant poking and prodding of the
traps in order to watch them close should be avoided as well as this
will without a doubt kill the plant eventually.
Venus flytraps flower in spring and produce tiny white flowers at the
end of stems which can reach 20 or so centimeters long. Many growers
agree that the flower stems should be cut from the plant as soon
as they are noticed unless seed collection is a priority because
producing them can significantly drain the plant, often resulting
The recommended potting medium for Venus flytraps is 2 parts peat to
1 part coarse sand. They enjoy very wet conditions as well as high
humidity and benefit from having their pot placed in a tray of water.
During winter they should be kept a little drier but never allow them to
completely dry out. Venus flytraps also need alot of light to grow
strong and colourful.
Propogation can be achieved via seed, division of large plants as
well as leaf cuttings. Venus flytrap seed is only viable for about a
year and the sooner you use it the better. When dividing large plants be
sure to remove some of the rhizome with the new plant to ensure