Buying Carnivorous Plants on Amazon
Buying Carnivorous Plants on Amazon
It's so nice buying plants from a green house or garden center, seeing all the different varieties and select the prettiest or healthiest plant available. But if you are interested in buying carnivorous plants, they can be more difficult to find, you have only the picture shown. What are your worries about buying plants online? That they won't come at all? That they'll be damaged or broken? Or take too long in transit and be dead - a waste of money?
Because we live in the "boonies" I've bought my other carnivorous plants on other websites, but when I found out Amazon was selling carnivorous plants, it was a match!
On Sunday, April 15, 2012, I ordered three carnivorous plants on Amazon.com.
On April 18 (just three days since ordering) all three arrived to join my bug-lovin' family of plants!
I was very nervous about plants sent through the mail dying or being damaged, so was very pleased and relieved when they arrived so quickly and packed so carefully in great shape.
These photos were all taken by me.
All three were packed firmly, and I began with Joels Carnivorous Plants.
from Joel's Carnivorous Plants on Amazon
From Joels Carnivorous Plants:
Please meet: Drosera Spatulata - Sundew
I love Sundews because as long as they have plenty of the right type of water, they are low maintenance. This variety has green spoon-shape leaves surrounded by hair-like tentacles. At the tip of each stalk, is a reddish gland that produces a dew droplet, not of nectar but a thick gluey substance, trapping and eventually digesting the unfortunate victim. But this plant is so pretty in the sunlight with it's flushed red colors and glistening "dew drops"!
Inside the box was the small slitted pot and plenty of sphagnum moss, as well as the small plant in a plastic baggy. If you've ever bought mail-order plants, you know when they arrive they don't look like the sales picture. The sundew was wrapped in the moist paper towel with just the top out. Here it is out of the baggy and paper towel, and the roots are wrapped with the wet sphagnum moss.
I took an small handfull of the moss (the black plastic slitted pot isn't very big) and soaked it in a bowl of distilled water (you can also use reversed osmosis water) until saturated, making sure it's loose and not packed. Then I wrapped the soaked sphagnum moss gently around the roots of the sundew and packed it into the pot. The little red spoon leafs are pointed downwards like closed umbrellas but will flatten out now that they are planted.
After the sundew is resettled, set the slitted pot in a bowl and fill the bowl with your distilled or reversed osmosis water to nearly half way up.
Never let the Sundew's soil dry out!
Thie Sundew photo above this at the top right of this page Introduction is this same baby, four monthes later in August. Both have fanned out, and sport flower blooms.
The Plants I Bought
Carnivorous Plant Terrarium
from Hirt's Gardens on Amazon
This is the Terrarium from Hirt's Gardens.
Carnivorous Terrarium with Live Plants: This includes a Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea),
a Pitcher plant (Sarracenia),
and a Sundew (Drosera).
I actually ordered two items from Hirt's, but by the second day my money had been refunded for the unavailable one, and we had a brief e-mail exchange within one day, so A+ on their super prompt service and communication.
I have learned you don't have to keep these plants in a terrarium setting (in fact, the pitcher plants soon outgrow it), so I won't be putting the lid on this one.
This set includes Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea) (left), a Pitcher plant (Sarracenia)(center) MISTAKENLY identified in the Amazon description as a Cobra plant, and a Sundew (Drosera) (right).
You can see where the poor Pitcher plant's lid was torn and hanging by just a strand, Worried I'm going to lose that whole Pitcher. There are other, smaller stalks, but at least two seem dried and half-gone, so I'd hate to see the big one go.
This Sundew, just like the sundew from Joel's, looks hardy. Both Sundews have traveled the best.
Separating the Flytrap from the Others
The one large Pitcher plant with it's poor dangling top, surrounded by the smaller reddish ones. I put the Sundew and the Pitcher plant together, then lined a small 2" pot with some leftover sphagnum moss and used a handful of the terrarium soil to separate the Venus Flytrap.
Although this one is all green because it's immature, Pitcher plant leaves usually have purple veins and are hollow tubed or cornacopia-shaped. They collect rainwater and as bugs are attracted within, slip and slide down the "throat" to drown and be broken down in a mixture of enzymes and bacteria. They love sunshine and boggy soil, and as before, only use distilled or reverse osmosis water.
Since my Pitcher plants are kept inside I also mist lightly, making sure to aim down their throat once in a while with a spray bottle (never used with tap water) to make up for the natural rainwater they would have outdoors.
I separated the flytrap from the terrarium, the Pitcher plant needs more water than the flytrap and I don't want to overwater it..
Venus Fly Trap - Dionaea
From 9GreenBox on Amazon
Venus Fly Trap Plant - Carnivorous - Dionaea - 2" pot
This flytrap came in a clear plastic box featuring a "Little Shop of Horrors" reference. This plant didn't come directly from a garden nursery or horticulturist, and I've seen them sold in places like Ace Hardware during their Spring Garden plant sales.
The thin walls had been cut a bit and folded inward ensuring the dirt and plant wouldn't spill out. Unfortunately, a dab of wax from the glue gun adhered to one of the mouths of this poor plant.
One of the mouths has black on it, another is laying on the dirt, limp. Another has a mouth open, but is pale inside. It does look like there is a new shoot developing.
This plant did seem to do well for awhile, but the traps were not sensative enough to close over insects, and if they did, they'd open soon after without digesting. I thought maybe it was the result of the way the plant was grown, and waited for the next generation of traps. Eventually this plant blackened and was cut back.
Then - Four Months Ago - The Pitcher plant and Sundew and the separated Flytrap from the Live Terrarium - Hirt's Gardens; Flytrap from 9GreenBox; Sundew From J
The was the final result. I put them on the window ledge - it is light all day and gets the full brunt before it sets.
I put too much water in the Pitcher plant/Sundew bowl, on the far left, but I figure it will evaporate. It is definitely marshy/boggy!
The Venus FlyTrap in the blue bowl beside it was part of the terrarium.
In the upper Venus FlyTrap pot from 9GreenBox, you can see a another small, mystery plant. I don't think it's a flytrap, but I didn't want to pluck it either ... time will tell.
They don't look much like those cool pictures we see but ...
Here is where we begin ...
Now - Four Months Later - The Sundew and Terrarium plants
The Sundew from Joel's is doing very well.
The Pitcher plants from the Live Terrarium are also doing well, as you can see though, the Sundew in the Terrarium haven't grown much and I may replant them in their own pot as I did with the included Flytrap. The flytrap included in the Terrarium set is doing very well, it had some large mouths over the summer and managed to eat a bit.
At this time, the flytrap from 9Greenbox is semi-gone. It doesn't have any shoots developing, only two green grass-like strands with no traps, and the original plant died, I honestly believe the poor quality of this plant had more to do with the company that pre-packaged this guy as a novelty item. 9GreenBox also sells other plants and this review pertains only to this order.
Out of fairness, in the future I still plan on buying something else from this company to verify it was only this particular plant.
I'm interested in hearing your experiences, how the plant fared, and would you buy carnivorous plants from them again.