Feeding Nepenthes alata!
A couple of months ago I started thinking maybe it was time to give the babies a little something to snack on. It didn’t really need to be anything big because unlike what a lot of people believe, carnivorous plants actually don’t need to eat “meat” to survive; it’s just a fertilizer for them. They can actually sustain pretty well without the bugs, and sometimes poo, that they gather in their pitchers which primarily just provides nitrogen for them. I grabbed The Big Tweezers and ventured outside….
Moving some of the big flower planters, I found a veritable smorgasbord of goodies and I chose some small soft-bodied slugs because I figured they would be easiest for the plants to digest. I collected two of the inch-long mollusks and used The Big Tweezers to drop them into the pitchers of my Nepenthes alata. I learned two very important lessons from this experiment.
1. Do not put fresh food in pitchers that do not have any of their own fluid. The fluid contains a natural enzyme that breaks down and digests protein and if you only put distilled water in it (which is what I did) the prey will just decompose, essentially taking the pitcher with it.
2. Do not feed the plants slugs because the little suckers CAN and WILL crawl out. As you can imagine, this is bad for a number of reasons, but mostly because they will devour your beautiful plants the first chance they get.
Aside from slugs (which I highly DO NOT recommend) there are a ton of things you can feed carnivorous plants, what are some of your favorites?