Carnivorous Plants/Fertilizers.


Hi. I have been reading The savage Garden love it,anyhow in the book it talks about Maxsea 16-16-16 diluted to have the recommended dose,to help a little bit on the growing of younger carnivorous  plants,it stated that it helps with the longer going periods of a younger plants that might take 5 years to mature,to mature a little faster than normal like kinda half the time it takes to grow to adults.just would like to know it if that's true , and your personal opinion about it .
         Thank you.  Robert Galvin.

Hello Robert,

While it is true that you can spray and wipe fertilizers in very diluted form onto the leaves of carnivorous plants to provide them with nutrients, I have never done so myself.

Let me explain,

1. It is easy to accidentally kill a carnivorous plant this way if you use too much fertilizer.

2. If the plants are getting enough nutrients from other, more natural sources, they will not need additional fertilizing.

3. Speed of plant maturity is generally the purview of the mass grower trying to maintain a large stock of plants to sell quickly. Is speed of growth of your valuable carnivorous plants really that much of a concern? That being said, I have not really experienced any need to grow my plants faster, they grow quite fast enough without all the fake fertilizers.

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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