Carnivorous Plants/Led


I purchased a led light to use on my Mexican butterworts. It is a 12 watt 3 band with
Red in the 630 and 660 and blue in the 460. At first I put it 4 feet away and it bleached
The plant. I then did a side by side with the led at 7 feet above and a 6500k cfl on two healthy
Plants and the cfl blew the led away. Wondering if you could fill me in if you guys are having
Luck with the LEDs. Thank you

Hi Jesse,

Currently we are only using them on Nepenthes, and they are at about 4' from plants.  They are only on a few hours each day to supplement short days.  We had them on for about 3 weeks for 14 hours and we noticed radical darkening of many Nepenthes.  That was when we backed off the exposure.  Overall, however, we've been seeing good results.  We have Nepenthes still pitchering that were not last year.  We still have lots of plants pitcherless, but not like in the past.  We haven't used them on other plants as of yet.

Here's what it looks like is happening.  LED's have such concentrated exposure in the actual photosynthetic range of plants that it is perceived by plants as being very bright.  The standard lumen measurement just doesn't work like it does with white light.  A relatively modest wattage LED ends up being much brighter to a plant than a similar white light source.  High light plants seem to be fine with this, but lower light plants such as Mexican Pings and Nepenthes can be a bit shocked by it.  We are going to be getting some new units and try them with sundews and for forcing flytraps.  Much more experimentation need to be done by cp growers to see what works, and what doesn't.  What I've been told by other growers so far is that some plants like them, some don't.

Do you have any pictures of the butterwort that got bleached by the light?  What particular unit did you purchase?

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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.