Carnivorous Plants/cephalotus


I have a Cephalotus plant , bought from you, about 4-yrs. old,it's in a pot on the ledge of a east window, I live in Mich. the Detroit area. The plant has always been doing great. But I looked at it the other day and and the hoods of about four of the pitchers have been eaten off. Only the hoods were eaten.

    Now it looks like every thing is ok, and 4-days latter nothing else has happened.
1. What kind of bug do you think this was ?
2.  If every thing stays ok, should I take any action ?
3.  If I do use a insecticide, what type should I use, and how do I apply it ?

         Thank you,   Ken

First, congratulations for growing a Cephalotus for four years!  

It's very difficult to determine what critter ate your plant based on your information alone.  The only thing I can say is that it's not a small critter, like an aphid or thrip.  It's something a bit larger, like a caterpillar or an insect the size of a grasshopper.  It could also be a slug or snail.  Since we don't know what it is, we don't know what would be the most effective measure to take to prevent this from happening again.  

The only thing I can recommend is to examine your plant closely.  Look between the leaves and stems.  See if you can find a critter hiding somewhere in the plant itself.  Look inside the pitchers too.  I've seen slugs inside pitchers before.  If you don't find anything, the critter may have moved on, so you might want to check your other plants nearby.

You can spray your plant with a systemic insecticide as a precaution.  This is really a judgement call on your part.  It won't hurt the plant, but I prefer to spray only if I know I'm dealing with an insect and not a slug or snail.  If you choose to use a systemic insecticide, follow the recommendations outlined in our video podcast.

If you choose to not to spray, that's fine too.  You'll just need to monitor your plant daily to see if you see any changes from one day to the next.  Check the plant both in the morning and early evening.  Some critters will come out at only certain times of the day.  As long as the only change you see are hoods disappearing, your plant will be fine.  Look for new pitchers in the coming months to replace the pitchers with missing hoods.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


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!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2017 All rights reserved.