We have a couple of bug catching carnivorous plants located in our Atrium. Not only are they fasinating, but easy to grow especially in the summer months when the humidity is high and bugs are available. Venus fly traps come to us in small terraium like containors. They can be left to stay in the containors, but will do best if planted in an uncovered small fish bowl or glass type vessel. They like 6 – 8 hours of full sun [south or east] and planted in 60% peat, 40% sand or perlite. Keep them constantly moist but not sopping wet. When it comes time for feeding, only feed them freshly killed insects or small spiders, centipedes, and pill bugs. I have been often asked if raw hamburger can be used. This is a “no”. Hamburger meat is too high in protein which can damage them by turning black and dying. On the inside of the plant mouth ther are actual “trigger hairs” several millimeters long, that must be touched twice within 20 seconds in order for the trap to snap shut in less then a second. This assures that non-living disturbances do not cause the trap to close, expend energy, and get cheated out of a meal. False trigging is not good for the plant, it uses too much energy closing and reopening which lessens the life of the single mouth. Once the trap has an  insect it secrets actual digestive juices that can make it appear to drool.
At Caans we also have Pitcher Plants, that are very interesting as well. Nepethes are tropical hanging vine that sprawl through the wet lands of Southeast Asia. They tendril themselves around other plants and trees like a grapevine. Eventually the tip of the tendril enlarges into the hollow pitcher with a lid. Rain water or distilled water should be collected or used in the pitchers for drowning and digesting the prey. A quarter percent water filled in the pitcher is only needed for that purpose. Capture small crickets and inscets for feeding, extra can be frozen for winter feeding if needed. As with venus fly traps consistant moist medium is needed and the sun of an East window is best. If summered outside hang in a tree or under a awning to protect from strong sun. Carnivorous plants take a little extra care, but are a great addition to your plant collection!

All my best!

Blooming Barb