What are Carnivorous Plants?
Carnivorous plants are plants that trap, digest and extract nutrients from animals, most commonly insects. The uniqueness and perhaps quirky nature of carnivorous plants, has made them attractive to all sorts of people.
This is a "niche" area of horticulture, but one that is possibly more significant than you realize.
Carnivorous plant enthusiasts range from children to amateur collectors, and commercial growers to scientists and botanists.
The mechanisms that these plants use to catch and digest animals can be subtle, or sometimes not so subtle. The mechanisms used to attract animals include lures, such as chemical attractants (e.g. odours) and directional guides. The mechanisms used to trap animals can vary a lot too, from sticky secretions that hold animals, to trapping structures that lure animals into a chamber which they cannot escape from.
Digestion occurs by enzymes being secreted into the place where the animal is trapped. These enzymes then break down the animals tissues through chemical reactions; and absorb the chemicals that result.
Some plants exhibit only one type of capture and trapping mechanism; while others may exhibit multiple mechanisms.
Carnivorous plants that occur both naturally, and those that are cultivated successfully will vary from place to place around the world. Species that grow outside in one place may need to be grown under cover elsewhere. Light levels, day lengths, temperature ranges and other factors need to be appropriate to any species that are growing in a particular locality, whether in the wild or in cultivation.
You must recognise from the outset that there is no one ideal set of conditions for ALL carnivorous plants. Some are tropical in origin, while others are from cooler temperate climates. Some only occur naturally in very wet soils, while others may tolerate a greater degree of dryness.
Learn to Grow Carnivorous Plants
We offer a great course which is designed to teach you all about identifying, growing and maintaining carnivorous plants. It has been developed by expert horticulturists, and is taught by distance learning.
You can start the course at any time, and with options of online or eLearning studies you choose where and when you study.
Links to the Carnivorous Plants course, and others which you may find of interest (including some of our detailed eBooks) can be found at the bottom of this page.
If you would like to know more about the Carnivorous Plants course, or any of our other horticulture courses, then please get in touch with our specialist Horticulture tutors today. They will be pleased to answer your questions.
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