March 6, 2023
Q/A #46 - Which Carnivorous Plant to Capture Bugs and Spiders?
I live in Colorado and am looking for a good carnivorous plant to place in my basement (next to a large window) to help catch all the bugs and spiders. It tends to be quite dry in Colorado and our basement can get pretty chilly in the winter. What do you recommend? Also, I will be a first time carnivorous plant owner, so I don’t know much about their care but have many houseplants that thrive.
( Submitted in March 2019.)
RESPONSE BY JEFF DALLAS:
Since your new to carnivorous plants I need to give you some bad news first. One of the worst reasons to own a carnivorous plant is for insect control. They may catch a few, but you will not notice any difference in your insect populations. We have thousands of plants in our nursery, and we still have plenty of bugs. You mentioned spiders; almost none catch spiders. Sorry.
It's best to think of these as really cool garden or houseplants (depending on the plant) that happens to catch a few bugs. They use the bugs for fertilizer, and they don't need much. They "eat" bugs for a very different reason than why predatory animals eat other animals. No one ever kills a carnivorous plant for lack of feeding, but people kill them all the time by ignoring the fact they are plants, and need to be given good plant growing conditions.
Having said all that, if your window is an unobstructed West or South window that gets direct sun on a sunny day you have many options. If the window doesn't get any direct sun, you would need to supplement with artificial light. Almost all carnivores are full sun/ very high light plants. For most of them their light requirements are similar to tomatoes and vegetable plants. They despise shade.
Here's a tool that can help with plant selection and care:
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