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

Q: About fertilizer and hamburger meat.

A: As a good rule, never fertilize. Most fertilizers will kill carnivorous plants. Only a few types seem to like (or tolerate) fertilizers, and for these use Miracid. Peter's 30-10-10 and especially Epiphyte's Delight are highly recommended by other growers, but I haven't used them myself.

As for feeding your plants hamburger meat, that is a fine way to kill them. Carnivorous plants expect insect prey, not small fragments of cows. If you don't think there is much difference, consider: would you eat a burger made of crushed insect viscera? Look at the photograph above, showing the contents of a typical Sarracenia pitcher. Do you see any little cows? I didn't think so. What do you see? That's right...bugs.

If you wish to capture a few insects and horrifyingly feed these live animals to your plants, enjoy! After all, that is what this whole fascination with carnivorous plants is all about, isn't it? Note that there are a number of subtleties to feeding your plants. For example, peruse and enjoy my several FAQ entries on how to feed Venus flytraps (beginning here).

Do not feed your plants pesticide-killed insects.

Page citations: D'Amato, P. 1998a; Rice, B.A. 2006a; personal observation.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005