Killer plants

There’s something about carnivorous plants that intrigues young and old alike. While some of these ‘horror’ plants are sensitive types which need highly controlled conditions to survive, there are others which are perfectly happy in the average garden. Here are some easy to grow ones to try:

  • Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a house/conservatory plant whose leaves snap shut when insects land on them (or are fed to them!).
  • Cape sundew (Drosera capensis) has leaves which curl up around its victim. Can be grown outside in summer but needs to be overwintered in a frost free place.
  • Pitcher plants (eg Sarracenia x harperi or Sarracenia alata x flava maxima) can be grown outdoors or in a conservatory. Bugs fall into the pitcher and slowly dissolve in the juices contained within.

Try planting up a trough or even a belfast butler sink where the plants will be in moist soil. They will either need a sunny or partly/shaded spot, depending on the type of plant.

Children will love to watch the plant ‘hunting’ and the braver ones will enjoy ‘feeding’ the plants with dead insects from your windowsill!