Squak Talk Blog

Bug Munching Terarriums

Love terrariums, but looking for something other than succulents and cactus? This month, we’re featuring a unique twist on the popular glass enclosures: carnivorous plant terrariums. These quirky plants are great for medium-to-brightly lit areas, and are popular with kids and adults alike.

Carnivorous plants, like the popular Venus flytrap, catch, digest and absorb important nutrients from insects. These meat-loving plants catch prey using clever traps, ranging from spring-loaded ‘mouths’ (the Venus flytrap), to fly-paper-like surfaces (sundews) that catch and hold unsuspecting bugs. Another strategy—pitfall traps—(Nepenthes, Sarracenias) use sweet nectar to lure insects into long, narrow tubes. Once inside, digestive enzymes quickly break down and absorb the nutrients through specialized glands.

Carnivorous terrariums make a great exotic centerpiece and they are as rewarding as they are low-maintenance. Follow these simple steps to keep your pest-eating plants happy:

1: Mist your terrarium regularly with distilled water. Because carnivorous plants do not absorb nutrients from soil or water, mineral-heavy tap water can rot plants practically overnight.

2: Give them plenty of light. Most carnivorous plants grow in boggy regions with full sun, and they can tolerate direct light as long as they stay moist.

3: Keep them in a constantly damp, soilless growing medium. We use milled peat moss or sphagnum moss to hold the plants in place and maintain moisture levels. Choose your moss with care, however—some preserved moss may contain harmful chemicals that kill your plants.

Visit the Garden Shed at Squak Mt. during September, and our Garden Shed design team will help you build a carnivorous terrarium of your own.

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