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I guess I would make a guide on how to choose a plant, for beginners. This will be formatted like a WikiHow article.
This amazing planet we have here is a green one. It has tons of plants on it. But plants are not created equal, some are very appealing, like sunflowers, while others, such as grass, are not so appealing. You may have learned about the food chain from elementary school. Now, throw that out for a second! Because on this big green planet of ours, we have plants that flip the table...
Meet, carnivorous plants. Instead of insects eating them, they eat the insects. "OMG!" You might say. But I am not lying. It is true! I know what you're thinking, "I want one!" Luckily, you CAN have one... or two... or three
There are a few types of carnivrous plants. Some of them use sticky slime to trap flies. Others use slippery pitchers to trap things inside! And some even have jaws... well, kind of. The following are the genus, or types of carnivorous plants.
-Darlingtonia (Cobra Lily)
-Dionaea (Venus Flytrap)*
-Brocchinia (Carnivorous Bromeliad)
-Catopsis (Carnivorous Bromeliad 2)
-Nepenthes (Tropical Pitcher Plant)*
-Sarracenia (American Pitcher Plant)*
-Triphyophyllum (No Name)
-Cephalotus (Australian Pitcher Plant)
-Heliamphora (Marsh Pitcher Plant)
-Drosophyllum (Dewy Pine)
-Roridula (Rainbow Plant)
-Byblis (Rainbow Plant)
-Aldrovanda (Waterwheel Plant)
-Genlisea (No Name)
-Philcoxia (Nematode Plant)
That's a lot, huh? You might be wondering what the little stars are for. Those little stars mark the ones that are good for beginners. That's a lot, huh? Let's take a look a little deeper:
Drosera: This is a fascinating genus, it uses sticky slime ("dew") to trap insects, especially flies. Some of the species are tropical and some are temperate.
Dionaea: The icon of carnivorous plants. Although not as impressive as you might see in the movies, it's still an amazing plant! Each leaf has 2 halves. On each half, there are 3 trigger hairs. When insects rub against these trigger hairs, the trap closes and digestion begins. Temperate.
Utricularia: Utricularia is considered "the miniature orchid of the carnivorous world", and they are cultivated not for their carnivory, but rather for their flowers. The flowers are very small and pretty. Their carnivory is unique too, though. They grow the traps on their roots! They make little bladders that can trap tiny microbes in the soil. One advantage of maving utricularia is that they can use any container, as they dont like drainage! Some are temperate and others are tropical.
Nepenthes: This is certainly the LARGEST carnivorous plant. Nepenthes are vining plants that make some of the largest traps in the carnivorous world. The plant makes large, bell, tube, or "body" shaped "cups" on the end of leaves. They use the "Slippery" method. Inside the pitchers, there is digestive fluid waiting for an insect to eat... They are all tropical and are mostly found in South East Asia.
Sarracenia: The American Pitcher Plant is similar to Nepenthes except the pitchers are cone-shaped and they rise directly from the ground. They also use the "slippery" method like Nepenthes. All of them are temperate.
Temperate means they need a winter dormancy, or rest. You can do this by making the soil a bit drier, lowering temperature, and decreasing the amount of sun they get. If you are in the US and growing temperates outside then you don't have to worry.
Tropical means you can grow them year round all the time and look at them year round. Tropicals, though, need a higher humidity.
Choosing Your Plant!
Let's get to bussiness, shall we? Now is the time for choosing your carnivorous plant!
Step 1: Temperate or Tropical?
As your first plant, you need to know your climate for plants that are easy to grow for your conditions. Do you have a winter? If so, then tenperates are for you. If not, then tropicals are for you.
Step 2: Water!
Watering is a slightly more complicated problem. For all carnivorous plants, except Nepenthes that is, you MUST, MUST!! Water with RO or distilled water! This is because carnivorous plants have adapted to live in a mineral-defficient environment and any minerals will burn their roots!
Step 3: The beginner carnivorous plants
Here's some good beginner carnivorous plants:
-Drosera Capensis: A decently sized plant, and appropriately called "The Octopus Plant". It has lots of long sticky tentacles ready to catch flies. Sometimes considered a weed.
-Nepenthes Rafflesiana: A big plant with big traps! The traps are usually green with red marks and spiky "lips"!
-Utricularia Sandersonii: This species of utricularia is a small one, but spreads quickly. The flowers look like an "Angry Bunny"
-Dionaea Muscipula: The icon. With it's menacing jaws, you'll sure enjoy feeding it. Ideal food has a size of 1/3 of the trap you're feeding it too.
-Sarracenia Leucophylla: This stunning sarracenia is green at the bottom, and white at the top! Pitchers can get very tall.
-Drosera Filiformis: A stunningly HUGE drosera with thread-like leaves. They have some of the stickiest dew in drosera. Make sure to wear gloves!
Step 4: Buying your CP
Now you can buy your plant(s)! There are a lot of places to buy them online and offline. Walmart, Lowes, and other supermarkets might have some, but they will be in very bad near-death conditions. If you have a local nursery, they will maybe have some dionaea or sarracenia, but they probably wont be in the best condition. If you want to buy Nepenthes, then try looking for an orchid nursery. Ebay is a better choice, but you still need to be careful, some people are scammers, but usually sell seed,not live plants. If you are buying Dionaea, then you can go to this forum's FlytrapStore. For beginners, make sure to buy them potted so you wont worry.
My favorite part of having carnivorous plants! You dont need to feed them but they'll like it. Feed them bugs, and for dionaea, live bugs. You can also buy freeze-dried bloodworms from the local fish store. If you are feeding dead bugs to dionaea, you'll have to massage the trap after it closes to mimic live food.
Oh so you want photos huh?
Please tell me any missing things or wrong things!