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Hungry Hungry Houseplants!

Gardening is great! It’s scientifically proven to be good for your health and is a hobby that can expand and grow with you as your interests change. 
Carnivorous plants are those which gain nutrients by trapping and consuming living prey. These are typically small insects or other bugs. They do this by luring their prey into their trap, using sweet nectars, smells, or bright colours, before trapping the critters and dissolving them into a food source.

Because they can get a lot of their nutrients from their prey, carnivorous plants can survive in relatively poor conditions, which is great for home gardeners who might be a touch neglectful.

The Dionaea genus lays claim to the most well-known carnivorous plant in the world, the Venus Flytrap. 
These plants catch their insect prey by luring them with sweet nectar on their spike-lined leaves.
Tiny hairs that line the inside of the leaf sense the insect, and send a signal to close the gates and trap their dinner. The leaves then release an enzyme that breaks down the prey for the plant to absorb. 

There are a few different types of carnivorous plants, and there’s a lot of literature available for you to consume. To start with the basics, all carnivorous plants can generally be grouped into 4 types, or genus.

Plants in the Drosera genus are often known as sundews and are extremely common. Sundews are present on every continent except Antarctica (and we won’t blame them for that, it is very cold there).

Sundews look like a flower with hairy tentacles, which have a sticky dew all over them. This sticky dew substance glitters and shines in the sunlight as it hits it. It’s this glittering that attracts insects.
When insects land on the dew-covered tentacles, they get stuck, and the tentacles wrap around them and release digestive enzymes ready for the plant to absorb them.

The Utricularia genus contains carnivorous plants known as Bladderworts, which get their names from the bladder-like sacks that line the plant's leaves and stems. 

Much like Dionaea, bladderworts have sensitive little hairs which are triggered when prey walk along with them. This causes a trap-door-like section of the bladder to snap open and suck in the prey. Once inside, the plant absorbs the prey. 

Plants within the Nepenthes genus are known as tropical pitchers or Money Cups.

These plants are vibrantly coloured and, as the name would suggest, look a lot like drinking cups or pitchers and jugs.


The vibrant colours combined with sweet nectar in the bottom of the cups lure in their prey.

Rather than snap shut quickly, Nepenthes plants have smooth and slippery inside walls of their leaves that the prey can’t grip onto to climb out. Once an insect sets foot inside the cup, it will slip and fall into the bottom of the cup, where all the digestive juices are waiting for them.

Once in the bottom, the insect either drowns or is killed by the digestive enzymes and is then absorbed by the plant.  

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