Best Carnivorous Plants For Indoors

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
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Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), carnivorous plant
Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), carnivorous plant

Between their appearance and dietary habits, carnivorous plants are endlessly fascinating. Mostly known as vicious bug predators in tropical areas, carnivorous plants have proven they can grow in many environments, inside or outside. So, what are the best carnivorous plants for indoors?

The best carnivorous plants for indoors are Venus flytraps, sundews, and bladderworts. Several types of pitcher plants, such as monkey cups, grow quite well indoors if you keep the soil consistently moist. Butterworts and spoonleaf sundews can also thrive indoors, but you may have to supplement their diets with fish food and orchid food if they don’t get enough bugs.

Most carnivorous plants require plenty of direct sunlight, but partial shade is fine if you give them enough water and nutrients. Soil drainage is also quite important, as waterlogged soil can quickly kill carnivorous plants. Follow along as we highlight the best carnivorous plants for indoors.

Are Carnivorous Plants Good For Indoors?

Carnivorous plants are good for indoors, especially if you frequently get bugs in the house. Most carnivorous plants produce pollen and have sticky leaves that attract bugs. The bugs within your home should pick up on the scent and approach the plants.

Carnivorous plants feature sensitive hairs that trigger a response whenever bugs encounter them. They often feature trap-like pouches that they use to kill and eat bugs. The only scenario when carnivorous plants aren’t good for indoors is if you rarely get bugs in the house.

In that case, you will have to supplement the plants and feed them dead bugs from outside. This can be an annoying process, but your carnivorous plants must grow to their fullest potential. If you can’t provide bugs for them, you can also experiment with fish food and orchid food, which can provide essential nutrients.

Best Indoor Carnivorous Plants

Whether it be Venus flytraps or monkey cups, many carnivorous plants do well when you grow them indoors. The right carnivorous plant for your house ultimately comes down to preference and aesthetics. Let’s look at the best indoor carnivorous plants and see what you need to know to grow them.

1. Venus Flytrap

Venus flytraps are arguably the most instantly recognizable carnivorous plants. They are also popular among homeowners who are new to growing plants indoors because they’re easy to care for. While they grow well, indoor Venus flytraps have some limitations.

The plant won’t have a steady food source that it would have outside, so you may have to occasionally feed it flies. Otherwise, your Venus flytrap will have to rely on eating the bugs that fly around your house, and that’s not such a bad thing. You only need to water them every 10-14 days in most cases.

2. Sundew

Not only does sundew have a unique look, but it’s also one of the best carnivorous plants for indoors. Sundew is easy to spot because of the hairy, colorful stems that make it stand out among other carnivorous plants. The plant produces lots of nectar, which lures bugs to their untimely deaths.

Be careful when you handle sundew, as it can get quite sticky. Sundew is a resilient plant, but it’s important to keep the soil as moist as possible. This typically means you will have to give it at least a little bit of water each day or as needed so the soil doesn’t dry out.

3. Bladderwort

The name may not sound too appealing, but bladderwort is one of the best carnivorous plants for both indoors and outdoors. They don’t look as obviously dangerous to bugs as Venus flytraps, but bladderwort can do a number on small bugs. Unlike sundew and Venus flytraps, bladderwort primarily feeds on small bugs within the soil.

Bladderwort features small “trap doors” that activate when bugs touch the sensitive hairs of the plant. This unique plant will sit low to the soil and should eat any small bugs that make their way into the enclosure or planter. You only need to water bladderwort indoors once every two weeks unless it becomes dry and weak looking.

4. Pitcher Plant

Few carnivorous plants offer as much variety as pitcher plants. Also known as sarracenia, pitcher plants come in a variety of flower colors, including pink and purple. The combination of the colorful flowers and the nectar the plant produces attracts bugs.

Pitcher plants do well with good soil drainage and is enriched with nutrients and peat moss. Keep the soil moist as often as possible without overwatering your pitcher plant. Fertilizer pellets and fish food are great food substitutes for pitcher plants if they struggle to trap enough bugs.

5. Butterwort

Consider butterwort if you have a problem with gnats in your home. Gnats can be tricky to trap, but that’s not a problem for butterwort. The sticky leaves attract gnats and other small pests.

You also have many options when it comes to butterwort as there are over 80 kinds to choose from. Depending on how many bugs you get in your house, you may have to feed them additional bugs and fish food. Make sure to put your butterwort in a spot near a window or under a grow light where it will get lots of light.

6. Monkey Cups

Monkey cups are a unique type of tropical pitcher plant that looks unlike anything else. Because they are tropical, you may overlook monkey cups as indoor plants. However, monkey cups can thrive indoors if they get enough light, whether it be natural or from grow lights.

This is a popular terrarium plant, but monkey cups also do well by windows. Because they are tropical, monkey cups require consistently moist soil to thrive. Give your monkey cups enough water, so that the top layer of soil is always moist. If you can’t feed them enough bugs, you can always feed them with diluted orchid food.

7. Spoonleaf Sundew

Spoonleaf sundew is a unique variety of sundew that stands on its own. The leaves are shaped like teaspoons that fan out to create a massive circle. Covered in red hairs and nectar, these leaves are irresistible to bugs, and that’s why the plant often grows so big.

Make sure to designate plenty of space for your spoonleaf sundew if you grow it indoors. They can take up plenty of space when thriving, especially under a grow light or near a window. Luckily, spoonleaf sundews can also tolerate partial shade, so placement isn’t too critical if you give them 2”-3” of space on either side for growth.

Summing It Up

Venus fly traps, sundews, and bladderworts are the best carnivorous plants for indoors. Carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and butterworts also do well indoors if you provide enough light and water. Monkey cups are the best variety of pitcher plants to grow indoors.

You may have to bring dead bugs inside to feed your indoor carnivorous plants. That’s because the plants will likely struggle to catch and consume enough bugs inside of your home. Fish food and orchid food are great substitutes for bugs when your carnivorous plants struggle to get enough nutrients.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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