Gardening & Outdoors
6 strange fly-eating plants and how to grow them in your home
If you're into unusual plants, you'll love these – and they get rid of pesky flies too.
Eduardo Gaskell
10.04.21

They’re not just creatures from a sci-fi movie. Carnivorous plants do exist. They evolved to be what they are and maybe we should thank Mother Nature for that. These plants feed on insects. Insects that would otherwise enter your home.

And you can actually grow these cool plants in your garden!

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1. Venus Flytrap

Botanical Name: Dionaea muscipula

The Venus flytrap has to be one of the, if not the, most famous carnivorous plant to exist. Its a plant that likes to feast on a diet consisting of insects and arachnids. Two hinged lobes snap shut when prey comes in contact with its hair-like projections.

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Flytraps are tough and they should be. They prefer warmer spots even though they are able to survive colder temperatures. So long as it is no less than 40 F (5 C). Be that as it may, don’t leave them directly under the sun.

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2. Sundews

Botanical Name: Drosera spp

The plant acts like “flypaper”. Long tentacles protrude from the leaves with a sticky gland at the tip. The droplets look like dew glistening in the sun. When an insect gets stuck, the tentacles wrap around to smother it.

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They say the best way to grow them are inside glass terrariums indoors. That replicates the warm and humid environment they thrive in.

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3. Bladderwort

Botanical Name: Utricularia

The Bladderwort’s bladder-shaped bulbs are adept in trapping insects and flies. It uses its tiny hair in the suction bulbs. Bladderworts can also be found feasting on aquatic animals such as invertebrates, insect larvae, aquatic worms, and water fleas.

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They can be grown outdoors or indoors on a windowsill. That should help keep those pesky flies away. When you decide to plant these, use one part perlite and peat.

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4. Catapulting Flypaper Trap

Botanical Name: Drosera glanduligera

These plants are also called pimpernel sundew. Native to Australia, this touch-sensitive plant uses sticky outer tentacles to trap insects. Walking on the snap tentacles will trigger a touch-sensitive catapult action. That propels prey onto the glue tentacles.

Use small pots to grow them in your kitchen or on a windowsill. Keep a camera close to capture it in action.

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5. Monkey Cups

Botanical Name: Nepenthes

These plants are found in tropical regions of Asia. The pitcher is a swelling of the mid-vein in the leaf. Insects fly to these pitchers because of nectar secretions and the coloration. When the insect falls in the pitcher, the fluid digests them at the bottom of the trap.

You’ll want to keep the plant in a bright spot for them to grow. Make sure that the soil is moist all the time. Never let it dry.

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6. Lobster Pot

Botanical Name: Darlingtonia californica

The head resembles that of an alert cobra. A broad curved head of the pitcher opens downward with a pointed forked leaf at the mouth of the plant. It uses the same pitfall-style trap that takes in insects for feeding.

These plants will need 4-6 hours of sunlight. To grow these plants well, use 1 part peat moss, 1 part fine orchid bark, and 2 parts pumice.

For more info on carnivorous plants, hit play below!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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