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How to Care For Carnivorous Plants Indoors with Damon of California Carnivores, Ep 147



We’ve likely all had some sort of run-in with a carnivorous plant: maybe bringing one of those little venus flytraps at the hardware store home to realize you had no idea how to care for it, maybe marveling at the wide array of carnivorous plants at your local botanical garden, and maybe even getting to see a fly land on one, or maybe it’s just knowing the man-eating plant Audrey II in the musical Little Shop of Horrors. However you’ve engaged with carnivorous plants, you’ve likely figured out that they are really a whole subsect of plants of their own, require very specific care, and might get you if you don't care for them correctly. Lucky for us, we are joined by carnivorous plant expert Damon from California Carnivores for an incredibly informative episode about everything we need to know about these mysterious, hungry plants!


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In this episode we learn:

  • [01:02] Introducing Damon
  • [03:22] Damon’s history with carnivorous plants
  • [08:24] What are carnivorous plants? What characteristics make up a carnivorous plant?
  • [14:25] Where to find carnivorous plants in the wild
  • [16:14] Why conservation of carnivorous plants is a must
  • [18:50] How long have carnivorous plants been around?
  • [20:09] Damon shares what he thinks of Little Shop of Horrors musical
  • [22:19] The right kind of water for carnivorous plants (and how to identify them in a store!)
  • [28:08] The best carnivorous plants to grow indoors (Venus flytrap, pitcher plants, butterworts)
  • [31:36] Are you planning your garden already?
  • [33:32] Level up your plant education with a horticulturist!
  • [35:43] What is the best growing media for carnivorous plants?
  • [38:22] Why you shouldn’t use terracotta pots for your carnivorous plants
  • [40:16] How to use grow lights on carnivorous plants
  • [42:13] Should you fertilize carnivorous plants?
  • [43:06] How to feed your Venus flytrap and Cape sundews
  • [46:53] Fertilizing your pitcher plants
  • [49:35] How much humidity do carnivorous plants need?
  • [50:48] How to make your Venus flytrap go dormant
  • [52:11] Can you fertilize your carnivorous plants even if they’re catching bugs?
  • [52:58] Troubleshooting carnivorous plants soil mix
  • [53:39] Taking care of your Mexican butterworts
  • [55:29] Damon’s recommended beginner carnivorous plants
  • [57:26] Should you still buy Venus flytraps even when they’re not sustainably sourced?
  • [59:53] Where to buy carnivorous plants and access educational resources
  • [01:02:00] Just a note about peat moss
  • [01:02:42] Maria’s winter updates

Mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Territorial Seed Company

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Bloom and Grow Garden Society

The Bloom and Grown Garden Society is the premium tier of the Garden Party Platform, rooted in high-quality education and community. I’ve partnered with our Horticulturist in Residence Leslie Halleck to bring monthly “Node of Knowledge” plant science lectures, monthly “Ask our Horticulturist Anything” office hours, and Growing Joy Community Calls with me. Treat yourself to an annual membership for the holidays or gift to your crazy plant friends! Learn more at


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