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Are Flytraps, Pitchers and Sundews good neighbours?

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by Godzillaalienfan1979, May 4, 2018.

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    'nuff said. I know all 3 are predatory and, since they don't use nutrients from the soil, i'd assume they wouldn't compete for space, but I wanted to run it by you guys.
  2. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Arachnoknight Active Member

    Fly traps are tropical so it depends on whether they are tropical pitchers or temperate north American pitchers. Sundews vary too but I don't know much about them except that you can find them where I live, which is temperate , but where they are found here is in quite arid places during summer , not swamp like or rainforest like, just very poor, dry soil.
    So if you put temperate pitchers and temperate sundews together they'd be ok, and so would tropical pitchers and flytraps be ok together, I don't know if there are tropical sundews but I know there aren't temperate flytraps.
    I also know that both flytraps and North American pitchers need a dormant period each year or they won't thrive but the flytraps can't handle the low temperatures during dormancy that the pitchers require during their dormancy.
    So there may be some problems, but I'm sure it can be done with a bit of research and forethought.
    Something you might like to add to the mix are "air plants" , they also are kept using the distilled water you'll need for the others.
  3. Myrmeleon

    Myrmeleon Arachnoknight

    Any northern living pitchers (purple pitcher plants) can go together with other northern living sundews like drosera anglica. In general, flytraps can go with most other sarracenia. In terms of sundews, there is one for every situation! So I can't generalize for them besides telling you what I know. Any tropical pitchers (nepenthes) will not do well with flytraps, but depending on whether the nepenthes is highland or lowland some drosera could do well with them. Heliamphora and Darlingtonia could go well together I think, but I'm not sure because I've never kept them before. Same goes for cephalotus.
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  4. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    As others have alluded to, it's a complex question. Generally speaking, your goal is to match habitats.

    Some examples:
    • Heliamphora, Brocchinia, Utricularia sec. orchidioides, and certain Drosera (e.g. roraimae) all co-occur on tepuis, sandstone tabletop mountains in the Guiana shield. They would therefore do well together, generally speaking, although they might have different substrate preferences. I actually wouldn't put Darlingtonia with them, because Darlingtonia generally likes seasonal change, and none of those plants do. Additionally, that kind of terrarium would go well with highland Nepenthes, particularly those from mossy forests.
    • Tuberous Drosera grow during cool, wet winters and die back in hot, dry summers. I can't really think of many plants that would grow well with them, but I think there are certain Utricularia that grow in the same place that would do well with them. Cephalotus and tuberous Drosera basically share the same range, but they are in different microhabitats (Cephalotus grows year round because it's wetter), so I wouldn't grow them together. You could grow tuberous and pygmy Drosera together, probably, although I think pygmy Drosera like it a bit damper during the dry period.
    • Aquatic Utricularia could probably do pretty well with Aldrovanda.
    • Temperate Drosera, Sarracenia, Dionaea (flytraps), and temperate Pinguicula could all do well together.
    • Lowland tropical Drosera (e.g., capensis) would do well with lowland Nepenthes, as would tropical terrestrial Utricularia.
    • Mexican pinguicula have a dry winter growth phase and a wet summer growth phase, so they can be grown with other things in the growing period (such as lowland tropical Drosera and Nepenthes) but need to be separated for the winter succulent phase. You can't grow them with tuberous Drosera, because the temperature and watering regimes are reversed.
    • Darlingtonia and Cephalotus would probably do well with each other.
    I would not recommend starting with any of the following groups, however: tuberous Drosera or Utricularia, highland Drosera or Utricularia, ultrahighland Nepenthes, pygmy Drosera, aquatic Utricularia, Aldrovanda, Darlingtonia, or Cephalotus. Good starter plants would be Sarracenia, temperate or lowland tropical Drosera, and to a lesser extent Dionaea. However, always--always--do your research first. Carnivorous plants are not all that hard, but they can be tricky. And it's worth remembering that most species don't come from deep in a jungle somewhere.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  5. The Snark

    The Snark Dumpster Fire of the Gods Old Timer

    Or face the possibility of unthrifty plants living in borderline conditions. Researching native environments should be on the to do list.
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  6. myrmecophile

    myrmecophile Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Fly traps are not tropical, they will do fine with Sarracenia and U. S Drosera.
  7. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Arachnoknight Active Member

    I stand corrected, it would be more accurate to say sub-tropical. Working for years in garden nurseries I accepted the info that they were tropical because that is how they treated. I should have researched for myself. I'm surprised to see they come from the wetlands in South Carolina / North Carolina to be honest.
    During winter we would not expose them to the same degree of cold during the dormant period as we would Sarracenia, which would in nature be exposed to below freezing, which led me to believe that they weren't 100% compatible.
    The fact remains though though that in general sarracenia require a temperature during their dormant period that fly traps can't handle, I can't just plant fly traps in my Sarracenia pots and expect them to thrive. Conversely sarracenia indoors in a terrarium suited to fly traps will develop leaves that lay on the surface and won't develop pitchers.
    So I'll bow out now and wait for my pitchers to come back, knowing full well that fly traps won't survive winter outside in my locality even though it rarely goes below zero Celsius.
    There's no emoji for sticking your tongue out and waggling your fingers in your ears or I'd use it, smarty farty pants! ;)
  8. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    They should, actually. They naturally grow in areas whose lowest temperature is maybe -10 Celsius. The problem is if you leave them in a small pot, but then you just have to protect them over the winter.

    Sarracenia have a huge range, and some are more compatible with flytraps than others. S. psittacina, for example, comes from the gulf coast and likes it warmer. S. flava co-occurs, so should like it similar if you get one from a similar range; if it's from elsewhere, it will like different conditions. S. purpurea occurs farther north, so populations from farther north will like it colder. However, it's a mistake to think flytraps can't handle cold winter conditions--I kept them at home in a garage over the winter, and that's outside of Boston, MA.
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