Carnivorous Plants/Pests!


A bug infested leaf
A bug infested leaf  

The infested plant
The infested plant  
Hi, the problem is a drosera capensis red that I recently got. The leaves it has recently produced have twisted and warped before they unfolded. I thought it was okay, but it kept doing that with every leaf. It grows in a terrarium, under a grow light. I found some little Green aphid .like insects. I think they are called mealy bugs but I am not sure. I was hoping you could tell me what pesticides to use and how to get rid of them. I inspected the other plants but they are pest free. I hope you can help me. Thankyou

Hello Jack,

There are several ways to rid a plant of pests. The pesicide free way used by some is to simply submerge the plant pot and all in a bucket of water for 24 hours, then take the plant out and place it back in its normal position. The submersion can naturally occur in the plant's environment and does not harm the plant, but will drown the pests. You can wait a few days and use this technique again to ensure you kill off any hatchlings after the parents are gone.

Other then that, you can use basically any pyrethrin or Neem oil based pesticide that you would use to rid a house plant of pests. Just make sure that the pesticide is not soap basedand that it has no additive fertilizers as they will get into the soil and harm your plants. Use only as directed on the pesticide bottle.

If you prefer a bit of revenge, you can take a brush or cotton swab and dip the tip in sundew glue, then brush it over the pests. They will be glued to the brush where you can kill them or even feed them back to your plants. You would have to be very meticulous to get all of the pests with this method.

Good luck,

Carnivorous Plants

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Christopher Littrell


I am capable of answering questions about the most common carnivorous plants found in cultivation. I have no personal experience with Byblis, Drosophyllum, Aldrovanda, and Heliamphora. I have not cultivated gemmae forming pygmy sundews nor tuberous sundews. For information regarding those aforementioned species, I would suggest contacting other experts. I can answer questions regarding most species of Nepenthes, tropical and temperate Drosera, Mexican Pinguicula, Sarracenias, and Dionaea. I have some limited experience with growing Utricularia, Cephalotus, and Darlingtonia.


I have grown carnivorous plants off and on for about 27 years. I have made the same mistakes and suffered the same mishaps that many growers make as they attempt to separate the myths from the realities of growing these plants. Currently, I am successfully growing a variety of tropical sundews, a Nepenthes, several Venus Flytraps of varying ages, and Sarracenias. I have been successful in stratifying Sarracenia seeds and providing artificial dormancy requirements for my temperate plants when needed.

I hold a Master's degree in Educational Psychology. Over my lifetime, I have constantly read books involving the growing conditions of carnivorous plants. I hope to incorporate the educational aspects involved in psychology with teaching other people how to cultivate carnivorous plants.

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