November-December 2022 - 58

GARDEN Rx
Start Your Own Carnivorous Journey
Here are a few tips from Newman and DiPietro:
* Know if your plants are temperate or tropical. Do your research and learn what environments
your plants evolved for, then emulate them. If you do this, you can never go wrong.
* Only use pure water-preferably distilled water, rain water or water from a reverse
osmosis filter, since minerals and chemicals in tap or well water can kill the plants.
* Provide plenty of light, either full sun or grow lights.
* A dormant period. Most northern carnivorous plants, include Venus flytraps, need to rest
in a cool place from late fall to early spring. Tropicals do not need a rest period.
* Constant moisture but not submerged. Even during the winter dormant period, they
should be kept in a shallow dish of water. Never let them dry out.
* Proper potting mix. Newman prefers a mix of live or dried sphagnum moss, sphagnum
peat and pool filter sand.
* Remove flowers after blossoming, unless you want to keep the seeds.
* Never feed the plants bits of raw meat! They would rather have insects.
The New England Carnivorous Plant Society hosts a show and sale every October at the New England
Botanic Gardens at Tower Hill in Boylston, Massachusetts. Mark your calendars for next fall!
Glistening drops mimicking nectar entice insects
onto the sundew's sticky tentacles, which then
enfold, smother and digest them.
remaining outdoor plants to Alvin. He has
a great outdoor collection with hundreds
of Sarracenia, and lots of flytraps and
sundews, too. "
DiPietro's interest in carnivorous plants
is so strong that by the time he was 20,
he and his friend Liu co-authored a book
about them called " Drosera of the New
Jersey Pinelands, USA. "
" Alvin and I had heard about large
carnivorous plant populations in Southern
New Jersey, an ecological hot spot for
them. The summer after we graduated high
school, we went on a field trip to Colliers
Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson
Township. " They enjoyed that trip so much
that they began visiting other documented
sites. " Later on, we started using Google
satellite maps to explore undocumented
bogs and wetlands, " he says. " At some
point, we realized that we were accruing
a lot of unique knowledge and habitat
and ecosystem insights that nobody had
thought to document, so we decided to
write a book doing so. " Even though Liu
is currently in medical school, they have
discussed writing another book in a few
years. In the meantime, both regularly post
photos on Instagram under @alusplants
and @plantsofdan and they have a website
www.carnivorousjourney.com which is full
of information.
Whether you are eight or 80, these
fascinating plants are fun for all ages. To
see them in the flesh, you needn't tramp
through a bog, just plan a visit to Dartmouth
College in Hanover. They have
about 30 species of carnivorous plants in
the tropical section of the Life Sciences
greenhouse. It is open to the public Tuesday,
Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m.
to 3:00 p.m. Be sure to bring the kids. As
was the case with Newman and DiPietro, it
may start them on a plant-loving path. NHH
At first, DiPietro grew all of his carnivorous
plants in tanks with artificial
lighting, but now he has a huge collection
of tropical carnivorous plants that he
grows in his 10-by-20-foot greenhouse. " I
used to have a small collection of outdoor
pitcher plants, sundews and flytraps, but
56 New Hampshire Home | November/December 2022
the winter dormancy was troublesome
since my house was on the New Jersey
shore and it would regularly receive very
strong wind gusts. During dormancy,
wind can be far more deadly than extreme
cold, " he says. " After experiencing
losses each season, I decided to give my
RESOURCES
Dartmouth College Life Sciences Greenhouse
dartmouth.edu/greenhouse
International Carnivorous Plant Society
carnivorousplants.org
New England Carnivorous Plant Society
necps.us
http://www.carnivorousjourney.com http://www.dartmouth.edu/greenhouse http://www.carnivorousplants.org http://www.necps.us

November-December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November-December 2022

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