Nature is truly amazing. Many different types of plants exist that derive most of their nutrients not from the soil, but from insects and small animals. Although there are no plants that consume humans or large animals, there are many amazing plants that eat bugs on a daily basis to stay alive. The Venus flytrap is among the most popular of these plants; however, there are many less well-known plants that also eat bugs and insects.
Plants That Eat Bugs
These interesting life forms are probably not found in your typical flower bed, although perhaps they should be. Carnivorous plants are incredibly helpful in the garden because they can combat and control the insect population. Although they are not a substitute for other insect control methods, they should nevertheless be investigated if you are in an area heavily populated with insects.
The Venus flytrap is known as a “snap trap,” and is one of the most famous bug eating plants. Despite its name, the Venus flytrap captures all small insects that come across its path, not just your basic house flies. The plant has tiny hair-like structures that are activated when an insect travels along one of its follicles. Once activated, the flower closes on the fly or small insect. Enzymes are released within the plant, turning the insect into food. This is the main nourishment for the Venus flytrap.
Sundews, which comprise 194 species, also eat bugs. Sundews grow in poor soil conditions, which is the main reason that they have to supplement their diet with insects. This plant also contains enzymes that dissolve insects in order to obtain their nutrients.
A tropical plant called the Low’s Pitcher-Plant also eats bugs. Although this plant may obtain small prey, usually insects, as a food source, most of its nourishment comes from bird droppings or tree shrews. It is unknown as to why or how this plant changed from being a carnivore to something slightly less ferocious.
Can I Grow Carnivorous Plants?
Plants that eat bugs may be very helpful in your garden, yet many people are unaware as to how to grow these plants. The Venus flytrap may be the easiest to grow. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to locate these plants; however, online retailers are making it easier for individuals to obtain these plants for home use.
Sundews may also be grown at home from seeds or from fully mature plants. Be sure to use other insect prevention and treatment methods if you are experiencing an overabundance of insects in your yard or garden.