What’s it like to care for a carnivorous plant?
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Lyons Cub loves meat-eating plants. He got to know the Piranha plant through Mario, Luigi, and Bowser games we played on our wii 😉 Of course, he has a plastic version of the red, white-dotted carnivorous plant. But what is it like to care for a real, live Venus Flytrap? My son used to do quite a bit of gardening in the context of his early Montessori education. I have to admit that his first trial at raising a Venus Flytrap failed and it died, but the second one is still alive. What was our mistake the first time around? Read on to find out…
Some weeks ago, we went to a garden center to buy a few carnivorous plants. We had watched some David Attenborogh movies together about how the Venus Flytraps eat insects, and how to care for them. We took it home and placed it on an inside window-sill where it got lots of indirect light. My son even picked up some dead flies from the window-sill and put them into the traps (it is NOT necessary to feed inhouse Venus Flytraps; they can only open their traps to catch and eat prey seven times in their life, and they catch their live prey themselves). Our biggest mistake, though, was to water it from the top with tap water. It is supposed to drink from below, and only rainwater! Thus, the second time around, we got it right.
After having gained a little experience with Venus Flytraps, Lyons Cub also got a pitcher plant :
We learned a lot from David Attenborough’s video about pitcher plants. Martha Stuart also provides instructions about how to maintain pitcher plants. Since these plants are used to swamp environment, they have to be provided constant watering. They must not be fertilized, which can kill them, as they are not accustomed to a rich, fertile ground. We also have to give our carnivorous plants a winter time, i.e. not water them that frequently.
Well, let’s hope they survive and grow bigger and bigger. My son also has a mimosa that he observes when it closes its leaves for night time and whenever it gets touched. How exciting for a kid!
Does your kiddo have a green thumb?