Bog in a bucket – your predator plant paradise DIY

Adopting a carnivorous plant is like having a pet, so if you’re looking to begin teaching kids responsibility – this species is a great way to start. Similarly, if you’re looking for a new hobby or an engaging, long-term gardening project, a bog garden offers years of thrills and companionship. 

Did you know? The two types of trapping methods are grouped as either active or passive. Do some research to find out which style your little predator uses.

What’s a ‘bog’ anyway

In the wild, one would find our predator plants thriving inside water-logged, nutrient-deficient soil and stagnant water. Over many years, this little ecosystem of decaying plant matter and limited water flow created thick layers of mushy muck – the perfect environment for these incredible predators. Carnivorous plants certainly challenge what we know about fertilisers and the importance of ‘good’ fresh water. 

Your bog garden needs to mimic a lekker vrot swamp with 0 added nutrients as all the good stuff plants need comes from the insects they catch. It’s rather easy to create the perfect ‘bad’ environment for these plants when creating a bog in a bucked, which allows you full control over their living conditions AND external factors. When faced with hail, snow, frost, or other extreme weather, you’ll need to move your plant pets to safety. 

bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening

You will need

1. Predator plants that have similar sun requirements and thrive from bottom watering as we’ll be replicating a marsh environment. We recommend homing these Thrilling Three together as they all enjoy full sun (at least 6 hours a day) and love wet feet. 

  • Sundew
  • Venus flytrap
  • Trumpet pitcher (NOT tropical pitcher as this guy needs dappled shade and top watering, so grow it separately)
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
  • You will also need a very specific growing medium, which is a mixture of sphagnum peat and perlite, as well as reverse osmosis water or collected rainwater. It’s essential that your soil has no added fertilisers, and that your water is mineral, nutrient, and chlorine free. Ask your GCA Garden Centre assistant for advice on mixing your soil blend and water.
  • Pebbles for drainage.
  • A smaller plastic pot with holes to serve as the reservoir.
  • Lastly, you’ll need a large container without holes to serve as the ‘pond’ base that has enough space for your plants to grow and eventually reproduce. This is something to look forward to!
  • You may also want to add some river stones and other compatible décor items to your bog garden.
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening

Assembling your bog bucket

There are several ways to go about assembling the overall look and style of your bog. We recommend starting with a thick layer of pebbles, then placing your small reservoir bucket in the centre, followed by your blended soil medium. Transplant your carnivores carefully around the centre reservoir and water well. 

 

Be sure to consult our Predator Month Botanical Boss article to get your important carnivorous FAQs answered here: Botanical Boss

Also check out what our experts from Jozi Carnivores have to say about successfully homing predators here: Incredible carnivores with roots

bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening

New Year’s blues?

Starting a bog garden and adopting a couple of predators is an excellent strategy for improving mental health. The consistent care and attention to detail these plants need foster a close relationship with Mother Nature. In addition, gardening activates the right brain, which controls most of our emotions and creativity. A serotonin boost is also up for grabs and so too is the fulfilment of caring for another creature and connection to the natural world of which, we are all a part! 

Caring for a bog garden is a full-time job – but the best kind! Checking up on them daily, hunting for bugs, and monitoring the weather are all part of the fun and experience. A fully subversive hobby awaits those who have the time to research their plants well and get to know each one’s quirky personality and charm.

bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening
bog in a bucket, Predator plant, Life is a garden, plant predator month, carnivorous plants, exotic, indigenous plants, greenery, colours, pitcher plants, Venus flytrap, flytrap, gardening, February, Gardening

Share This: