The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Do I need a terrarium?

Terrarium
Two stacked terraria

Hobby greenhouse
My old greenhouse
A: Most people grow carnivorous plants in greenhouses or terraria. Your garden is probably an unsuitable place for carnivorous plants, just as it is probably unsuitable for cacti, bristlecone pine trees, or mangroves. While some lucky people can grow carnivorous plants on their window sills or in their back yards, it is unlikely you are one of them. (If you are among the lucky elite and live where wild carnivorous plants live--or once did before humans came along and destroyed everything--growing carnivorous plants will be comparatively easy.)

The simplest baptism to growing carnivores is by terrarium cultivation and you can assemble one inexpensively. I have built many and have written complete instructions on how to make one for less than $300 (US). This is maybe a little expensive for your tastes but it is a well honed model. Building instructions are given in the FAQ Library. If you are idly experimenting with the notion of growing carnivorous plants or are a teacher trying to grow classroom plants on a severe budget, consider making just a "bottle terrarium".

All that said, if you just bought a carnivore on a mad lark, maybe you should forget the whole terrarium idea and just try growing the plant in a waterfilled dish on a bright windowsill---it won't cost you much to try, and while your plant will probably die, it might just like it there. Certainly, the experiment won't cost you much.

On the other extreme end of the effort-spectrum, you can grow your plants in a greenhouse. Greenhouse owners are a weird breed (I know, I've been one) and know enough about what they are doing that there's no reason to discuss this topic in this FAQ.

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005