Carnivorous Plants/Help please


Ok so the problem is that I just received my plants from and the plants look great and all I received a king Henry Venus flytrap a dente Venus flytrap and a drosera capensis (red leaf) and my issue is that I am not sure if I can feed my plants or if I I should wait a couple of week before I can because I don't know if they got stressed or not during the shipping. And I am growing them In one part peat moss and one part perlite. And I'm also growing them in northern Illinois and ya I am just wondering if it will be safe to feed them... So it would be really helpful if I can get a response 😫😫

Hi Michelle,

Oh dear, now you're going to get my lecture on this subject. :)

It sounds like you're a new carnivorous plant grower.  One consistent thing I've found over the years is that in order to be successful growing carnivorous plants everyone has to get over the hurdle in coming to terms with the fact that carnivorous plant growing is gardening, not pet care.  The insects that carnivorous plants catch are fertilizer to them just like compost or Miracle-gro is fertilizer to other plants.  They are not energy the way food is energy to animals.  Feeding your carnivorous plant is the absolute least important thing you can do as part of their care.  Success growing carnivorous plants comes from asking the gardening questions; How much light? What's correct soil?  What's the temperature range?  What's a good location?  Once those needs are properly met, and the plant is growing well, then capturing bugs becomes beneficial, or feeding them a bug or two.  It does not work the other way around, just like a tomato plant isn't going to grow well if you give it lots of fertilizer, but don't put it in a properly sunny spot.  The fertilizer will actually harm it in that situation, just like trying to cram bugs in a Venus Flytrap that is not in full sun will do it no good.

The bottom line, is don't worry about feeding your plants.  They are good at capturing bugs.  Make sure they are getting plenty of sun, and that they are watered properly.  Once they adjust to their new home, they'll be able to capture their own bugs.  Be sure to follow the directions on the care sheets that came with them.  

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

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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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