Top 5 Secrets to Keeping Your Carnivorous Plants Alive, Healthy and Beautiful

Written by Jacob Farin

SECRET #1: Know thy plant.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but one that first-time growers overlook. There are many types of carnivorous plants occurring on every continent inrepparttar world, except Antarctica.

If you were to go on a world-wide expedition looking for as many types of carnivorous plants you can possibly find, you will discover carnivorous plants growing in Japan, China, Australia, India, South Africa, Spain, France, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Canada andrepparttar 113333 United States.

If you were to explorerepparttar 113334 United States alone, you will find carnivorous plants in nearly all ofrepparttar 113335 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.

So,repparttar 113336 first secret in keeping your carnivorous plants alive, healthy and beautiful is to know what type of carnivorous plant you have. With thousands of species of carnivorous plants inrepparttar 113337 world, each type requires their own care.

Hopefully, your plant came with a tag that identifies its species. If not, visit Sarracenia Northwest for a list of carnivorous plants that are commonly grown in cultivation.

SECRET #2: Brighten their days with full sun.

Once you know what type of carnivorous plants you have, just duplicate their natural surroundings. This means giving your plantsrepparttar 113338 type of sun exposure and water they might experience inrepparttar 113339 wild.

Lets start with sun. It often surprises many people to find out thatrepparttar 113340 vast majority of carnivorous plants enjoy full sun. You see, carnivorous plants grow in bogs, which are open fields of wetlands.

Most people confuse bogs with marshes. Marshes typically are closer torepparttar 113341 ocean and contain slightly salted water. Marshes are also overgrown with trees, making them shady.

Bogs, onrepparttar 113342 other hand, contain fresh water, usually bubbling up from an underground spring, and can be found on mountaintops and other places far away fromrepparttar 113343 ocean. If you see a bog in nature, you will notice that there are no trees in it. So, all plants growing in a bog are exposed to full sun.

This is true for Venus Flytraps, North American Pitcher Plants and nearly all Sundews. As a result, these plants do best growing in 6-8 hours of direct sunlight during their growing season. Four hours of direct sunlight are definitelyrepparttar 113344 absolute minimum. Anything less than that will cause your plants to struggle for survival.

The only types of carnivorous plants that are not exposed to full sun inrepparttar 113345 wild are Asian Pitcher Plants, Butterworts and some species of Sundews. These plants prefer bright indirect light.

Now you know what types of carnivorous plants you have, give itrepparttar 113346 proper sunlight. With US native plants, grow them outside duringrepparttar 113347 growing season (spring through fall). With Asian Pitcher Plants and Butterworts, grow them in a window that receives bright indirect light.

If you do not have enough natural light, use 20-40W fluorescent light tubes or fluorescent compact bulbs that are equivalent to 100W. Keeprepparttar 113348 light source about 8 inches aboverepparttar 113349 plant, and keep it on for 12-14 hours per day.

Avoid using incandescent bulbs because it produces too much heat andrepparttar 113350 wrong type of light.

Secret #3: Soak their feet.

After giving your carnivorous plantsrepparttar 113351 right amount of light (full sun, partial sun or indirect light), now you need to make sure it getsrepparttar 113352 right amount of water.

Nearly all carnivorous plants grow in bogs, which are constantly wet. So, if you want to duplicate what they experience out in nature, you need to provide constantly wet soil.

Some people prefer to simply water their plants every day. Personally, I find this to be a real drag, especially when I have so many other things to do, like watch a good DVD or scratch my dog’s belly.

The easiest way to make surerepparttar 113353 soil is constantly wet is to keep your plant in a bit of standing water. Use a tray, bowl, saucer or any container that holds water. Fillrepparttar 113354 container with water and place your plant right in. Allowrepparttar 113355 water to go half way uprepparttar 113356 pot. Just make sure you do not drownrepparttar 113357 crown or base ofrepparttar 113358 plant. Remember, they are bog plants, not water plants (big difference!).

But, before your plants start soaking their little feet, makerepparttar 113359 water is relatively pure. It does not need to be blessed by a Tibetan monk, but it should at least have low levels of minerals (less than 100 parts per million). Check with your local aquarium supply store for water hardness kits.

You can use distilled water or rainwater, but this is feasible only if you have only a few carnivorous plants. If you are like me, you might have several thousand.

In that case, local tap water will do just fine. Ifrepparttar 113360 water has a lot of naturally occurring minerals or additives to makerepparttar 113361 water soft, consider hooking your hose up to a reverse-osmosis unit. Check your local hardware store for this type of filter.

Avoid using simple charcoal-filtration units. Although they are great in removing chlorine and other not-so-tasty chemicals, they are inadequate in removing minerals.

One more thing: some carnivorous plants prefer not to have their feet dunked in water. This is true with Asian Pitcher Plants. They prefer to have moist soil rather than wet soil. With these plants, water them once or twice weekly.

How To Prevent Damping Off

Written by Marilyn Pokorney

REQUIREMENTS FOR REPRINT: You have permission to publish this article free of charge in your e-zine, newsletter, ebook, print publication or on your website ONLY if it remains unchanged and you includerepparttar copyright and author information (Resource Box) atrepparttar 113332 end. You may not use this article in any unsolicited commercial email (spam).

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Words: 446 Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney

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Damping off isrepparttar 113336 single term used to describe underground, soil line, or crown rots of seedlings due to unknown causes. The term actually covers several soil borne diseases of plants and seed borne fungi. The fungi which cause root rot are species of Phyium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium.

There are two types of damping off: pre-emergence and post- emergence. In pre-emergence damping-off, seeds may rot and seedlings may decay before they emerge. In post-emergence damping offrepparttar 113337 seedlings emerge then may pale, curl, wilt, and collapse from a rot atrepparttar 113338 soil line and below. The base ofrepparttar 113339 stem is generally water-soaked at first then turns gray to brown or black then rots.

Vegetable seedlings often do not grow well under humid conditions, particularly ifrepparttar 113340 soil is cold and wet. Damping off fungi flourish in moist, unhygienic conditions. The disease often starts at one end of a seed tray, and quickly spreads torepparttar 113341 other end. A fluffy fungal growth may also appear onrepparttar 113342 soil surface as well as onrepparttar 113343 dead seedlings.

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