Carnivorous plants or insectivorous plants are a diverse group of plants that specialize in eating insects. There are more than 600 known species of carnivorous plants, and some of them have little more in common than their insect-eating habits. Some of these plants include Pitcher plants, Sundews, Bladderwort plants, Corkscrew Plants and Venus flytrap. Carnivorous plants are fascinating because they can capture their prey using a variety of methods:
- Pitcher plants use fall traps, one of the most common types of traps. They use a leaf filled with liquid to collect and digest prey.
- Sundews or Butterworts use flypaper traps, sticky mucilage on the leaf surface or on glands-tipped hairs to capture prey.
- Bladderworts use bladder traps, small bladder-like organs along the root system to catch and digest insects.
- Corkscrew plants use downward-pointing hairs to force their prey deeper into the traps.
- Venus flytraps use a snap trap: they can trap insects between two hinged lobes at the end of each leaf. When an insect lands on the plant, the leaflet closes around it and pulls the insect into a narrow tube where digestive enzymes are secreted.
Some carnivorous plants are easier to grow indoors than others. They need acidic, nutrient deficient soils. Most thrive on half peat and half perlite soil.