gallery “I used to have a venus flytrap…but then it died” – Everyone who ever bought a venus flytrap

There is a reason you may have killed a carnivorous plant and it’s not just because you “kill every plant you have been given”. I’m just going to say:

“It’s not really your fault you killed your Venus Fly Trap”.

The reason why is a little complicated. The short answer is because it only thrives in poor soil quality (also, sticking your finger or other objects into it to make it close up doesn’t help it either).

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The longer answer (I’ll try to make it as easy to digest as possible) is as follows:

Carnivorous plants have evolved and adapted through millions of years to survive in poor soil conditions simply because no other plants could survive in those places. Therefore, it had a kind of monopoly in the area. It could take all of the minerals, sunlight, water etc. all for itself. However, this wasn’t quite enough, by the small chance of one mutated plant (actually there were at least 6, but I’ll get to that later) using other means to get its survival needs. It had mutated to get protein from flies and insects or whatever fell into its trap of ‘digestive enzymes’.

‘Digestive enzymes’ are the way in which these plants absorb the insects for food.

These enzymes are also found in other plants but as defence mechanisms rather than a method of obtaining food.

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As I mentioned earlier, there were about 6 different instances where this event happened in different ways. This is called convergent evolution. Think about it like this:

  • Humans and squid both have camera-like eyes.
  • Bats and insects both have wings to fly.
  • Hedgehogs and porcupines both haveΒ prickly protrusions.

Carnivorous plants fall into this category by using the similar proteins to break down their prey.

 

Below are just a few examples of the variety of carnivorous plants out there:

 

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For more information about caring for a carnivorous plant, check out this website:

http://www.wikihow.com/Feed-Carnivorous-Plants
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