You have bought your first carnivorous plant or you want to buy a carnivorous plant from us. A beautiful and useful plant that should certainly not be missing in your house/garden. Carnivorous plants are impressive plants that you can enjoy for years. But how do you care for such a plant? You have come to the right place.
On this page, we have listed useful tips and rules for care, so that you can enjoy this impressive and interesting plant family for years to come. The care tips on this page are described in general terms at the beginning. Would you like to know the specific care of a particular species? Then scroll further down. This page explains the care of each carnivorous plant species in our range.
With the right carnivorous plant care, some species can grow to be up to two metres tall and 20 years old, and serve as real 'eye-catchers' in your home. Although carnivorous plant care is very important, with the right tips it does not take much time!
Brief summary of carnivorous plant care
Below is a list of (general) grooming tips.
- Receive a Nepenthes (Cup plant)? Fill up the cups once to 1/3. The cups will be empty due to transport - this is not necessarily necessary for a Sarracenia (Trumpet Cup Plant);
- Never feed the carnivorous plant.
- Make sure the carnivorous plant is in a sunny spot.
- Most carnivorous plants like wet feet, so never let the plant dry out: give it plenty of water.
- Preferably use rainwater, osmosis water or demineralised water. Do you not (yet) have this kind of water available? Then give the carnivorous plants temporary tap water. If you use a lot of tap water: make sure you repot the carnivorous plant at least once a year.
- Use a nutrient-free soil, such as a 1:1 mix of blond peat & perlite. Or use our carnivorous plant soil (which was specially developed for carnivorous plants).
- Remove dead leaves and falls.
- Some carnivorous plants need a winter rest.
- Never give real meat (insects are allowed).
Want to know more about the care tips? Read the full elaboration of the carnivorous plant care below. When you buy your own carnivorous plant, you will receive the right care tips for the plant(s) you have purchased. This way you can enjoy your carnivorous plants for a long time and you will be - in a natural way - free of insects in your house.
Never feed the carnivorous plant. The plant lives in the wild on a soil where it can get little nutrition from the soil. Our carnivorous plant soil does have nutrition, which is specially developed for carnivorous plants. The fact that carnivorous plants can extract little nutrition from the soil is the reason why carnivorous plants started to eat meat. Do you feed them yourself? That is possible, but pay attention to the frequency. After all, enough water and sunlight are the plant's main sources of nutrition. Indoor plants can get some insects... outdoor plants: catch enough.
It is important that the plant is in a sunny spot. For some species, such asVenus Flycatcher (Dionaea Muscipula) for example, sunlight can never be too much. The pitcher plant (Nepenthes) is a tropical epiphyte and does not like too much direct sunlight, as the pitchers can bandage or dry out. The Pinguicula also likes a little indirect light in summer. For Pinguicula and Nepenthes, it is best to give the plant direct sunlight in the morning and as much indirect light as possible during the rest of the day. A sunny place is therefore important for the plant! Outside: Because species such as the Venus flytrap and Trumpet Cup plant can endure a mild winter, it is advisable to place these plants outside (in the sun).
Carnivorous plants are swamp plants, and in nature they live in (reasonably) nutrient-poor soil. This means that there is little nutrition in the soil. Because of this, the plants have not evolved well enough to distinguish between 'bad' and 'good' substances. The plants therefore absorb all the substances in the water. For this reason, tap water is bad for carnivorous plants and is therefore not recommended (but do use tap water if you have nothing else: never let the plant dry out). Tap water contains a lot of calcium and other bad minerals.
The best water for carnivorous plants is rainwater, just like in nature. Sometimes it is not possible to get rainwater, but fortunately there are a number of other alternatives. Other options are: osmosis water or demi-water. Boiled water is not a good alternative, because boiled water still contains a lot of calcium and other minerals. Spa Blue is also not a good alternative. Blue mineral water is full of minerals which the plants do not need. Because carnivorous plants are swamp plants, most species need a lot of water. Most species need a lot of water. The soil should be as wet as possible. Please note that the amount of water differs per species.
Most carnivorous plants are grown in a mixture of sphagnum moss, blond peat litter, perlite or silver sand. These soils contain little or no nutrients. So when you buy soil for your carnivore, make sure that there are no nutrients in the soil.
As with flowers and other plants, carnivorous plants do not always have the same traps and leaves. Also in carnivorous plants the leaves and traps die. When the traps and leaves are old, they will slowly turn brown or black. Remove the leaves and traps when they are either completely black or more than half brown. With pitcher plants (Nepenthes) it is best to cut off a brown trap up to and including the leaf. With the trumpet cup plants it is best to cut the traps when they have turned more than half brown. Cut them off up to 0.5 cm from the bottom. With the Venus flytrap and sundew, it is best to remove the traps when they have turned completely black. Then you can easily remove the traps and stems. By removing the dead and brown leaves, mould has no chance. It also looks a lot better and more beautiful!
Some (hardy) carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap (Dionaea Muscipula) and the Trumpet Cup plant(Sarracenia) undergo a rest period during the winter. During this rest period it is important that the carnivorous plants do not get too much water (just enough to keep them moist) and that the carnivorous plants are in a cooler place. If you have the carnivorous plants in your garden, make sure that they are protected from the cold in the event of heavy frost.
Venus Flytrap care
The Venus Flytrap is found in subtropical swampy areas (North America and Canada). This means that the Venus Flytrap is a true outdoor plant and likes a lot of water. The Venus Flytrap catches its prey by means of a trap. The Venus Flytrap is quite easy to care for.
Position: The Venus flytrap is best placed outside. Indoors is possible, but in the long run it is better for the plant to be outside. The Venus Flytrap can survive well outside in the Dutch climate.
Type of pot: Place the Venus Flytrap preferably in a swamp container or in a pot with holes and a saucer underneath. Never use a terracotta pot, as this pot contains all kinds of substances that the plant also absorbs. These are bad substances that can kill the plant. Preferably use a plastic, glass or glazed container or pot.
The Venus Flytrap must always have wet feet in summer. This means that there should always be water in the saucer or that the soil should always be wet. In the summer with warm weather you should water the plant every day. The more water, the better. In the winter months it is better to keep the plant moist, but not too wet.
Light: The Venus Flytrap needs plenty of sunlight. The more sunlight, the better. The sun improves the quality of the traps and makes them more colourful. This is because sunlight makes the traps red through pigment. The redder the traps are, the better they attract insects. Insects are attracted by these beautiful colours.
Feeding: You do not need to feed the Venus Flytrap. Especially not if it is placed outside. The plant regulates its own nutrition. Never give the plant real meat! You can, of course, always help a little by feeding the plant flies you have caught yourself.
The mouths of the Venus flytrap die after they have been closed 10 times. Then the traps turn black. This is normal. They make room for new traps. You can easily remove black traps with your fingers or tweezers.
Soil: Never plant the Venus Flytrap in normal potting soil or potting soil with nutrition. Because the plant has never learned to extract nutrition from the soil, bad substances cannot be broken down. Preferably use special soil for carnivorous plants, or make your own mix of blond peat (without any nutrients, so pure peat) and perlite. A mix of 1:1 perlite and blond peat is recommended. Find our soil types here.
Winter rest: The Venus Flytrap also goes into winter rest. This means that the plant will retract into the ground during the winter months. The plant will appear to be dead, but this is an illusion. The Venus Flytrap prepares itself well underground for the spring growth period. Read more about hibernation or the growth period here.
Trumpet cup plant (Sarracenia) care
The Sarracenia species is found in subtropical swampy areas, such as in North America. The Sarracenia lures its prey by means of its catch cups. The care of the Sarracenia is easy.
Sarracenias are best outside. Outside, they get more sunlight and can catch more insects. They can survive well outside in the Dutch climate. Sarracenias can also be placed indoors, but the plant will not do well in the long run. Outdoors is the best place for this species.
Water: Sarracenias are found in swampy areas and therefore love a wet soil. Sarracenias need a wet soil. The wetter, the better! Preferably only use tap water if you do not have the possibility of using other water. This is because the plant cannot tolerate the calcium and other substances found in tap water. Preferably use rainwater, osmosis water or demineralised water.
Light: Sarracenias like a lot of sunlight, the more the better. Keep in mind that the soil should never dry out. Because of the sunlight, the traps get a nice red/purple colour and they will grow much higher. Because of the beautiful colours, they also attract more insects.
Nutrition: You do not need to feed the Sarracenia, they take care of nutrition themselves. Never give meat to the plants! You may, of course, help the plant a little by feeding it your own caught flies.
Soil: Never plant Sarracenia in ordinary potting soil. The plant cannot tolerate this. Use special soil for carnivorous plants.
Traps: The traps of a Sarracenia should be considered as leaves. Just like 'normal' leaves on plants, the traps will die. When the tubes are more than half brown it is best to cut them off. In this way space is created for the new traps.
Winter rest: The Sarracenia also has a winter rest. This means that the species goes back into the ground in autumn. Most of the traps will die back then. The plant seems dead, but this is not so. The plant prepares itself underground again for the growth period in spring.
Bucket plant (Nepenthes) care
The Nepenthes is found in jungles all over the world. This species likes a tropical climate, which is why it is best to keep pitcher plants indoors in the Netherlands. Nepenthes species lure their prey with cup traps. The care of Nepenthes is easy, but you have to know how to do it.
Bucket plants (Nepentheses) live in jungles, so you have highland and lowland Bucket plants. There is high humidity here. It is therefore advisable to wet the tubes and the leaves of the Nepenthes every few days with a hand sprayer. In addition, the soil of the Nepenthes should remain wet. Nepenthes prefers to be watered from above. A splash of water every other day is therefore sufficient. Never use tap water as the plant will not tolerate it. Rainwater, osmosis water or demineralised water are preferable.
Light: Nepenthes likes direct and indirect light. In the jungles they do not get much direct light because many other plants take up sunlight. Nepenthes does well in a position with indirect light, but also likes direct sunlight. In front of a window with both direct and indirect sunlight, the plant will do best. IMPORTANT: Make sure the plant is not placed in direct sunlight during the hot summer months. It can get very hot in front of such a window, which can cause the cups to crumble. Ideal place: An ideal place would be one where the Nepenthes has (cool) direct sunlight in the morning and indirect sunlight in the afternoon.
Feeding: Carnivorous plants do not really need to be fed. However, when the plants are indoors, they are less likely to attract flies. This is why you can use Maxsea to feed the plants. Never feed the plants meat. You can, of course, feed flies you have caught yourself to the plant.
Cutting traps: Are the traps brown? Then cut them off at the leaf. Are the leaves brown? Then also cut these off carefully.
Winter rest: The Nepenthes keeps a winter rest, but not like the Venus flytrap (Dionaea Muscipula) and Trumpet Cup Plants (Sarracenia). The plant will not grow as fast during the winter and will not create many new traps. The growth period starts in spring.
Refill cups: Have you just received your Nepenthes and are the cups empty due to transport? Fill them up to 1/3 once - otherwise the plant may reject the 'dried out' cups fairly quickly. The Nepenthes itself will then fill the old and new cups with water and enzymes. So make sure the plant gets enough water.
Sundew (Drosera) care
There are different kinds of Drosera's (Sundews), so there are Drosera's from warm areas and colder areas in the world. There are even species of Drosera found in the Netherlands, such as the Rotundifolia. Droseras catch their prey by means of a sticky trap. The care of Droseras is quite easy.
The tropical droseras such as D. Capensis, D. Capensis Alba, D. Scorpioides, D. Aliciae and the D. Madagascariensiscome from warm areas. It is therefore best to keep these species indoors. Droseras such as D. Rotundifolia and D. Binata are outdoor plants and can be kept both indoors and outdoors.
Water: Droseras are found in swampy areas and therefore love wet feet. Make sure, therefore, that the species is always wet. You can, for example, put this species on a dish with water. The orange pots in which the plants are delivered have holes in the bottom. The soil in the pot will then absorb the water from below. IMPORTANT: The soil must not dry out. Never give the droseras tap water, they cannot handle it. Preferably give them rainwater, osmosis water or demineralised water.
Light: Droseras like light, so place the plant in a light / sunny spot.
Droplets lost? Sometimes it can happen that the Drosera loses its drops. This has to do with low humidity. In this case, put the Drosera in a place with a higher humidity, or put a glass around it, so that the humidity can rise.
Supplementary feeding: You do not need to feed the Droseras. They regulate their own nutrition. Never give the plant meat! You may, of course, feed the plant with your own caught flies. In this case, you should preferably feed small flies.
Winter rest: Some Drosera species will hibernate. The outdoor species will move back into the ground. However, the tropical species do not really hibernate. These species will only grow less fast in the winter. This is because it gets colder, the sun is less bright and there are fewer insects in the winter. In spring, the growth period starts again.
Butterbur (Pinguicula) care
The Pinguicula, is also known as the 'fat leaf'. The Pinguicula is a carnivorous plant with sticky leaves, which are also reminiscent of a butterwort. This carnivorous plant uses these sticky leaves to catch its prey. Pinguicula species occur in North, Central and South America, but also in Europe and Asia. The Pinguicula is easy to care for.
On the leaves of Pinguicula there are very small sticky/dewy drops. These droplets smell very good to insects. When an insect lands on the leaf, it is trapped - to which the plant owes its name 'fat leaf'. The Pinguicula is best at catching mosquitoes, fruit flies, mourning flies and other small/light insects. Large flies are too strong and can often pull themselves away from the leaf. Small flies cannot do this. Pinguiculas also have beautiful purple flowers - making this species a real eye-catcher in the home.
There are different kinds of Pinguiculas. There are species that are hardy and species that are not hardy. The species we offer in our webshop are not hardy, and therefore tropical. Therefore, we recommend keeping the Pinguiculas indoors. In the summer with warm weather, they can be outside, but make sure it does not cool down more than 17 degrees.
Light: Pinguiculas like light, but not the full sun. Make sure that you place the plant in a spot where there is plenty of indirect light. Direct light in the morning is often fine.
Water: Compared to other species, Pinguicula does not need that much water. The soil does not have to be wet all the time, because a wet soil can cause root rot in this species. Keep the soil slightly moist. A splash of water from above once or twice a week is sufficient. You do not have to put the plant on a saucer with water, but water it from above. Always try to give the water under the leaves.
No oily leaves? It can sometimes happen that there are no droplets on the leaves. This can be caused by too low a humidity. You can remedy this by placing transparent kitchen foil or a glass over the plant. Leave it in place for a few days. In this way the humidity can rise and the drops will return.
Cephalotus Follicularis care
Cephalotus Follicularis is an Australian pitcher plant and therefore only found in Australia. The species can be found in the wild in south-western Australia. Here we have a meso-mediterranean climate. In this climate, the summers are hot and the winters are wet (and quite cold). This climate can be found in areas such as South Africa, Chile, California and South-West Australia.
In Australia, the Cephalotus is hardy, but not in the Netherlands as our winters are much colder. The Cephalotus Follicularis can be left outside in the summer, but when it gets colder than 15 degrees, we advise you to bring the plant back inside.
The Cephalotus uses a cup trap. These cups contain a nectar with enzymes. The nectar attracts insects and the enzymes process the insects. What makes this beaker trap so cool is that the rim of the beakers has a kind of 'teeth'. These 'teeth' make it very difficult for an insect to escape from the trap. In Australia, this species catches mainly ants.
Water: Compared to other carnivorous plant species, the Cephalotus needs a lot less water. The soil may dry out slightly. Depending on the heat, you should water your Cephalotus Follicularis once or twice a week. Leave the Cephalotus on a dish, so that you can refill the dish with water. The Cephalotus is a rather fragile plant, so preferably use rainwater and no tap water. Never pour water into or over the cups.
Light: The Cephalotus likes light. Place the Cephalotus preferably in a sunny spot without extreme temperatures or temperature differences.
It can sometimes happen that all cups suddenly dry out. This can mean that the humidity is too low. You can remedy this by placing transparent kitchen foil or a glass over the plant. Leave this in place for a few days. This way, the air humidity can rise. This can also be an indication that the sunlight is burning the plant too brightly in combination with too little water.
Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor care
The Heliamphora is found exclusively on Table Mountains. Table mountains are mountains with a flat top and a steep slope. The habitat of the Heliamphora is Venezuela and South America.
The Heliamphora has a kind of trumpet-powered trap, but much harder in structure and shorter in length. You could describe the cup trap as a rolled-up leaf that functions like a cup. Inside the cup are enzymes that the insects process. At the top of the cup is a small lip, to which nectar glands are attached that spread a delicious odour. With this scent, the plant lures its prey. On the inside of the trap there are small hairs. These hairs make it impossible for the prey to escape.
Position: The Heliamphora is best kept inside, as it cannot withstand very high or very low temperatures. The plant grows best in a climate between 3 degrees and 25 degrees. Outside, it is often much warmer in the summer and much colder in the winter. In addition, this type of carnivorous plant is not hardy, and will therefore not survive the winter outside.
Light: The Heliamphora likes a lot of sunlight. Therefore, place the plant in a sunny spot with plenty of direct sunlight.
Compared to its fellow carnivorous plant species, the Heliamphora does not need to be kept in wet soil all the time. Make sure the soil is always moist and does not dry out, but it does not have to be constantly wet. The Heliamphora X Minor prefers to be watered from above. This allows the water to flow/percolate through the soil. Spray the tubes once or twice a week (you can even spray inside the tubes), this way you can keep the humidity under control a little.
It can sometimes happen that the tube(s) dry out at once. Then the humidity is probably too low. You can remedy this by placing transparent kitchen foil or a glass over the plant. Leave this in place for a few days. This way, the air humidity can rise. This can also be an indication that the sunlight is burning the plant too brightly in combination with too little water.
Your own grooming tips
When you buy carnivorous plants in this web shop, you get the right care tips for the carnivorous plant you have bought. With our carnivorous plant care tips, caring for your carnivorous plant becomes child's play. Caring for it does not take much time, but it does ensure that your carnivorous plant grows big and old. So in spring and summer you can enjoy a house full of beautifully coloured carnivorous plants... without insects. Do you know how to take care of the carnivorous plants? Then you are ready to buy your own carnivorous plant!