Carnivorous Plants/sarracenia

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Question
is it okay if i feed my sarracenia plant pieces of meet? and how long will traps grow up to? and do dionaea traps open again after they close?

Answer
Hello Yousef,

Sarracenias, and most other carnivorous plants, cannot digest fats. Most meats contain fat, so they would be more likely to rot and cause other complications if you fed them to your carnivorous plants. If you need to supplement your carnivorous plants intake of insects, I suggest fish foods, particularly frozen blood worms. Try to avoid any products with salts or that contain unnatural ingredients and preservatives.

Leaf size varies according to the species of Sarracenia you have. There are 9-13 primary species, according to who you ask, as well as literally dozens of hybrids. Most have leaves that grow between 6-18 inches long with a couple that can breach the 2 foot mark.

Dionaea leaves can close and reopen a number of times. If they trap prey, they will remain closed for 3-10 days or so and digest it, then reopen slowly. If they fail to capture anything, they reopen within 24 hours and the trap resets. As the trap ages, it will eventually lose its trapping ability and die off, usually living a few weeks. Traps can reopen about 3-4 times after trapping and digesting prey, or can close and reopen a dozen or more times if they fail to trap prey. Each closure of the traps costs the plant energy.  

Carnivorous Plants

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Christopher Littrell

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
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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