Growing carnivorous plants in India

Carnivorous plants are difficult to grow in the heat of India’s plains. The challenges are different, the conditions are vastly different from most information available online. Growing carnivorous plants in India requires adapting a lot of information found online to Indian conditions. 24 degree celcius is not “hot” here. We call it cool weather. For most of Indian plains and particularly the southern half of India, “winter” reaching single digit temperatures is rare. How does one grow the plants one reads about? It has been an educational journey.

Adapting carnivorous plants to Indian conditions takes some strategizing. Some never really adapt well and I have spent tens of thousands of rupees on plants only to discover that they didn’t make it a week past receiving them. Others, like byblis, notorious for being tricky to germinate are weeds here. The only byblis seeds I intentionally germinated were the first batch of 10 seeds I purchased. They have been handling their propagation just fine ever since.

On the other hand, the amount of money I’ve spent trying to grow pinguiculas here is not funny.

But it is an endeavour worth taking on. The plants are a curiosity. They are a challenge. Many of them are dying in their habitats. Some of them, native to India need to be purchased from abroad, as their habitats die out and few in India bother to keep the species alive in private collections.

Over time, there have been several species that have thrived in the sweltering heat of Nalasopara, near Mumbai. Spares from species that thrive are available in my makeshift shop for sale. They are a good idea to buy, because they are adapted to our conditions and clearly thrive well enough for there to be spares to sell.

So here are my experiences growing these fascinating plants.

Byblis liniflora germinated

Byblis liniflora and Byblis guehoi seeds are germinating!

I had purchased several seeds of Byblis, also known as rainbow plants. Of these, Byblis liniflora and Byblis guehoi arrived on the 23rd of Jan 2017. I sowed the byblis liniflora seeds immediately into sphagnum moss (see end for growing conditions) and soaked the Byblis guehoi seeds in Gibberellic acid for a day and sowed …

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Unboxing nepenthes ampullaria

Nepenthes Ampullaria pitcher plants

My Nepenthes Ampullaria pitcher plants arrived today. These are seed grown plants. And there were surprises. Some good, some… not. The two plants I purchased arrived somewhat haphazardly packed. But there were lots of pitchers. Someone had put in a lot of effort and time growing them from seed. There were loads of extra plantlets. …

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Nepenthes Ventrata and Nepenthes Mirabilis pitcher plants hanging in shady spot to rest after travel

Starting to grow carnivorous plants again

So 2016 had been a pain. With my father ill for the first three months, then dying, Nisarga going through three surgeries and spending five months out of it in a cast in total, personal stress…. my carnivorous plants got neglected and died at some point. For that matter, my balcony too was mostly barren and …

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Drosera seeds germinating 2

Drosera seeds germinating

Adding to my carnivorous plants collection are the germinating drosera seeds. They are too tiny to see with the naked eye, but magnified, you can see the tiny green sprouts. I have these growing on wet dry sphagnum (as in dry sphagnum with water added :p) in small plastic cups, so the light gets reflected …

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