Predator plant month Botanical Boss

Predator plant month

What’s better than shark week? Predator plant month! Arguably one of the most charismatic collectables, carnivorous plants are a true spectacle in the garden. To help you become a predator botanical boss, Life is a Garden sat down with industry experts for the best advice on how to care for these exotic beauties. Your next exciting hobby and gardening project with the kids awaits!

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

FAQ’s with the Carnivore Queen from Jozi Carnivores.

How much sun does my plant need?

In general, carnivorous plants need plenty of sun as they are not good at photosynthesising (tropical pitcher plants, however, need dappled shade). The most common cause of plants not thriving is insufficient or incorrect sunlight.

Can I use any water?

Predator plants require water that is nutrient, mineral, and chlorine free. Rainwater, distilled water, or reverse osmosis water are perfect for your carnivores. Borehole water can also work but this depends on the quality of your particular water source. Mineral water is not suitable because it contains, well, minerals - and our carnivores like it rough.

How do I water my carnivorous plants?

Remember that most varieties are bog plants. You can recreate their natural environment at home by simply standing the plants in a shallow tray and watering from the bottom. The tropical pitcher plant, however, is the exception again as it is found in rainforests and needs to be watered from the top.

*Find out how to make your own bog garden here: Bog in a bucket DIY

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

Can I repot my predators in ordinary soil?

Normal garden soil, potting soil, and compost are too rich for carnivorous plants and will kill them quickly. Plants require an acidic, nutrient-deficient potting medium as they get most of their sustenance from the insects they catch and not through their root system via the soil. Use a blend of sphagnum peat and perlite when repotting, which you can purchase from a GCA Garden Centre.

*Access our directory here and call ahead for stock availability: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/category/garden-centres/

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

Can I feed my plant with insects?

Your plant pets will certainly love you for the extra treats, however, it is not actually necessary as they are rather skilled in attracting prey themselves. Insects serve as a potent fertiliser and provide plants with the protein, nitrogen, potassium, and other important minerals they need to maintain good growth and reproduction. That being said, insect catching can be a fun activity for kids. If you do catch an insect, make sure it is still alive and wiggling. Movements from prey signal the digestive process and in the case of the Venus flytrap, signals the sensitive trichomes that in turn cause the ‘jaws’ to shut.

 

Top tip: Do not feed meat or cheese to your plants and take note that overfeeding can cause damage to the plant’s overall well-being. Stick to live bugs only!

 

Did you know? The two types of trapping are grouped as either active or passive. An active trap involves some movement to catch prey, like the Venus flytrap and waterwheel plant that snap shut. A passive trap does not involve any movement and instead relies on a poisonous or sticky substance. These passive traps are further grouped as ‘pitfall’ (used by tropical pitchers), ‘lobster pot’ (used by parrot pitchers), and ‘pigeon’ traps (used by aquatic and semi-aquatic varieties)

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

What happens to my carnivores in winter?

Most predator plants go dormant in winter or experience periods of reduced growth, which corresponds to periods of fewer insects and extreme temperatures. Inexperienced gardeners may think their plant has died when luckily, it is merely resting after a very busy summer. Continue to care for your plants during dormancy by protecting them from the cold, frost, hail, and other extreme conditions. Bring them indoors at night and let them bask in the sunshine during the day. Winter is also a good time for pruning, which will promote new growth during spring.

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

Can I use chemical fertilisers and pesticides?

Never use chemical pesticides or fertilisers as this will kill your carnivorous plants quickly. Seek advice from our experts via the Life is Garden website directory for correct information on how to treat plants with organic fertilisers and pesticides. Sometimes new growth can be affected by infestations of aphids, thrips, or spider mites, so be on the lookout. Quickly separate infected plants from the rest of the pack until treatment begins working.

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

Can I grow carnivorous plants in my region?

Found in every continent except Antarctica – the answer is yes! South Africa is actually an ideal environment for these exotic treasures and an important biodiversity centre for carnivorous plants of the sundew variety. The most important factor is understanding the particular plant’s needs and researching your species well. Remember that you will need to be aware of the changing external conditions (heatwaves, frost, hail, snow) and act accordingly to best support your plant pet.

 

*Find out more about the Ferocious Four here: The Ferocious Four

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

The extraordinary world of predator plants is just waiting to be explored. Start a bog bed and embark on 20+ years of adventure with even a single plant. This species is not cheap, be warned, and they are often considered more pet than just plant (reminds us of bonsai growing too). So, if you’re serious about becoming a predator plant parent or teaching your kids about responsibility and the epicness of Mother Nature, carnivorous plants may be just the thing for you.

Share This: