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Carnivorous Plants/Can I Make a Floating Carnivorous Garden?


QUESTION: Good afternoon!

Over this summer I was introduced to carnivorous plants through a Venus Fly Trap and Pitcher Plant I bought at a local home improvement store.  One of my children's friends has a father who is over the moon for these types of plants and got me addicted as well.

I have not added to my collection yet - but I want to make a large bed in my front yard where they would have all the sun they can stand as there is little to no shade at all in that area.  But I have an idea that I am not sure as to whether it would be a good idea or a bad idea.  Can I trouble you for some input?

I want to make a pond (filled with distilled water of course) and put the plants into a floating basket/pot.  The roots and most of the dirt would be below the water surface and the plant itself would be above the water.  I would also like to maybe add a little fountain for water circulation and some small female betta fish to control the mosquito larval population that always occurs in our area.

I appreciate all the help you can offer.  I love the plants and do not ever want to cause one harm.  Thank you so much for you time and your gorgeous website.

Rosemary Malmo

Floating Island
Floating Island  
Floating Island
Floating Island  
ANSWER: Yes, the floating baskets will work just fine for carnivorous plants.  We've used them in the past with many types of Sarracenia, sundews, and flytrpas.  We used to sell the floating islands, but we discontinued them several years ago.  You can find suppliers by doing an online search.

You may not need to use distilled water, depending on your water hardness.  Get it tested first.  If the total dissolved solutes is 50 parts per million or less, you can use your water straight from the tap.  However, given the high ratio of water to plants, you can get away with 100 parts per million.  If it's much higher than that, then you should use a reverse-osmosis unit.  (Distilled water for a pond can be very expensive.  A reverse-osmosis unit will be more economical in the long run.  Do an internet search about these units.)

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks!!!  I will get right on it!  Will the female bettas in the water be ok?

As far as water...we have a dionization system where I work and they said I could just bring my buckets and "fill 'er up".  Would that be an acceptable water source?

Yes, the fishes will be fine, though you should still consider using a filter to remove excess waste.

Dionized water is perfectly fine to use too.  Make sure, however, that it's a true deionizer and not just a water softener, which replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium.  A true deionizer will remove all minerals.  

Carnivorous Plants

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Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

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Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


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