Carnivorous plants

by Pippa Greenwood

I'm the proud owner of to two whopping great carnivorous plants. One was a present to my son from his granddad, the other is a rescue plant.

pg_pitcherI'm the proud owner of two whopping great carnivorous plants. One was a present to my son from his granddad, the other is a rescue plant (much like our rescue cat!).

Right now my greenhouse is looking decidedly miserable. My pepper and tomato plants are still cropping, but it's the carnivorous plants that are taking centre stage. Each one has been released from its plastic pot and lovingly planted into a plastic-lined, woven wicker-style hanging basket, filled with a mixture of sphagnum moss and peat. It's still common practice to use sphagnum moss and peat as a growing medium for carnivorous plants - Kew is practically peat free, but even they use a little peat for carnivorous plants. As soon as my plants were put into their new homes they took off, their leaves turned glossier and greener and new pitchers started to appear all over the place. As a kid I can’t remember going through the carnivorous plant stage that many children seem to, but nowadays these plants really tickle my fancy.

The plants are suspended from the roof of my greenhouse and they love the ready supply of rainwater from the nearby water butt. They’re worth their weight in gold as they trap the grim selection of flies that sneak their way in to the greenhouse. The only problem is that now there are two of them (and they’re quite large) I’ve nowhere to overwinter them. If I keep them in the greenhouse I’ll have to heat it, otherwise I’ll suffer my son’s wrath!

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Gardeners' World Web User 06/11/2008 at 18:23

Hi, can carnivorous plants grow in an unheated greenhouse all year round

Gardeners' World Web User 07/11/2008 at 21:36

Im growing a Venus fly trap and a Pitcher plant from seed. They have both germinated into small seedlings. Any ideas as to how long they take to mature?

Gardeners' World Web User 05/11/2009 at 19:22

huh... Sarracena leucophylla!!! I like that so much and still looking for pure green-white pitcher.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:37

Hi Pippa, here's an article on how to avoid using peat and sphagnum moss when growing carnivorous plants: