Inventory Update Sunday, 9/19 @ 8PM CST



Frequently Asked Questions

Order Related Questions

We can ship plants to every state in the USA including Hawaii and Alaska.  We're also able to ship to USA protectorates serviced by USPS which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa.

We generally ship 1-3 business days after an order is placed.  During times of the year with higher order volume, it may take slightly longer.  Depending on  shipping service you select at checkout, packages may take anywhere from 1-5 business days to arrive at your destination after leaving our facility.  We try to avoid situations where packages may sit in prolonged storage over a weekend.

Yes, we ship under all weather conditions and have shipping supplies available for almost any weather conditions.  Please see our Temperature Ranges and Weather Protective Packaging policy for details on our live arrival guarantee and temperature ranges for particular plants.

Each listing has a dropdown with "Shipping Options"

"Potted" plants are shipped potted via either blister-packs, protective top covering or bamboo stakes to secure them in place.

"Unpotted" plants are shipped with their roots wrapped in sphagnum moss unless otherwise indicated.  Note that sphagnum moss holds an alarming amount of water and we've found plants have the best outcomes when the moss stays just damp during shipping as opposed to being soaked which often leads to rot. 

Using these methods, we've had plants lost in transit tolerate over 40 days in shipping and still arrive healthy.

Making sure you receive healthy plants is our top priority.  In order for us to guarantee live arrival, we check the upcoming weather for every shipment.   If we notice there are potentially hazardous conditions for shipping your plant, we will contact you with a recommendation on additional protective packaging and/or holding your shipment until temperatures improve.  Please see our Temperature Ranges and Weather Protective Packaging policy for details about specific plants and packaging.  

See our Growing Tips for guides on plant care and post shipping acclimation.

NOTE: This only applies for plants shipped unpotted. 

The sphagnum moss wrapped around the roots should be carefully removed before potting.  This is most easily accomplished by dunking the moss ball in a bowl of water and allowing the moss to fall off.  First, moisten the soil in the pot by watering it in.  Next, create a small hole in the center by poking your finger down.  Gently place the roots of the plant into the hole and place the crown of the plant just above the soil level.  Finally, use a small amount of soil to fill in the area around the roots.

See our Growing Tips for guides on plant care and post shipping acclimation.

That is a heat pack.  These harden as they release heat.

Plants will typically undergo some stress from being in transit.  Some brown leaves, dead pitchers or traps and minor cosmetic damage to foliage is normal and will not have any long-term impact on plant health.  Please see our growing tips for care and acclimation instructions.

For any more extensive damage, please contact us within 48 hours of receiving your plant and we will quickly address it.

Please see our Curbside Pickup information.

At this time, the greenhouse is staff only.  We have plans to welcome our valued customers into our new retail greenhouse at some point in 2021 after the pandemic subsides.

Ease of propagation, growth rate, difficulty in cultivation, sourcing, rarity and demand all play roles in plant value.  We've got some plants which have taken 30+ years of extremely exacting upper montane conditions to get to flowering size.  Whereas others we can readily get in liners from tissue culture and grow them out to large size in just a few months.  We try to make as wide of a range of plants available at economical prices as possible.

Carnivorous Plant Related Questions

There are many varieties of carnivorous plants that are easy to grow and are perfect for a sunny windowsill or an outdoor garden in most of the USA.  We recommend people starting out to select plants in our Beginners section

There are some species that do require specialized conditions similar to their native habitats.  However, thanks to breeding programs like Carnivero's, we have been able to breed for vigor and ease of growth while retaining the exceptional characteristics of some otherwise challenging to grow species.

We recommend taking a look at plants in our Beginners Section.  These plants are typically more vigorous and forgiving than other varieties.  Also, take a look at our Growing Tips as you prepare an area for your plants.

Many carnivorous plants make excellent candidates for windowsills. Sarracenia, Venus Flytraps, Heliamphora and Drosera generally tend to require brighter light (at least 6 hours of direct sun).  Nepenthes and Pinguicula can thrive with just a few hours of direct sun and bright indirect light the rest of the day.  The best windows to grow carnivorous plants are usually east, west or south facing.  If you live in a drier climate, it's often beneficial to have a room humidifier or mist the plants a couple times a day.

Well fed carnivorous plants will usually grow faster and stronger than those that are not. That being said, most species can go months without feeding.  It's also possible for plants to be overfed and that can lead to premature trap/leaf/pitcher rot.  It's usually best to feed each trap/leaf/pitcher, 1-2 appropriately sized insects per month.  Plants are quite efficient at catching insects on their own if they are in the vicinity.

Carnivorous plants have evolve to capture insect prey so it's best to feed them insects which will fit in their trap/leaf/pitcher.  Plants are quite efficient at capturing insects on their own if they are in the vicinity.  For plants grown in environments without many insects, freeze dried crickets or blood worms from the pet shop or purchased online work well.  Many growers also report small bits of crushed fish flakes yielding good results.  

Caution should be exercised when fertilizing carnivorous plants.  They have evolved in environments where nutrient content is low; therefore, many can be harmed by fertilizers.  The best approach is always to feed plants insects.  However, if they aren't available, we have found that a monthly application of Maxsea applied as a foliar feed at 1/4 label strength works well.  This can be applied directly into the pitchers.  We've also found that a single Osmocote pellet can be fed into Nepenthes and Cephatotus pitchers with good results. 

Always be very careful about fertilizing the soil.  Though it may seem that the plant benefits quickly, under the surface the roots can be burning or rotting.  Often times, it can be too late to catch it.  

Note that sphagnum moss responds well to fertilizers; however, this may not be indicative of good soil health.  Some well known Nepenthes nurseries have mistakenly overfertilized their large collections because they relied on sphagnum moss as an indicator.  However, root rot set in and resulted in the loss of many plant species.

In some situations carnivorous plants can catch pesky insects, like flies, roaches and wasps.  However, rarely does this eradicate an infestation.  Sometimes the wet environment needed for the plants to thrive may attract more insects.  We have noticed that certain plants like venus flytraps and forked leaf sundews (Drosera binata) have a voracious appetite for house flies and if placed in a sunny windowsill can often take care of the occasional pest.

Many carnivorous plants are native to temperate environments and cease growth during cool winter months.  Flytraps, Sarracenia and temperate sundews all fall into this category and these plants endure dormancy periods usually from November - March.  Often times, older leaves will brown or blacken during this period and the plant may seem like it's on a decline.  However, this is a natural process and the plant is simply resting as it waits to emerge invigorated in spring.  

Note there are some groups of more obscure Australian and South African sundews which have developed the reverse adaptation and go dormant during the hot, dry summers.  

As far as we are aware, there's never been an injury imposed by carnivorous plants onto children or cats/dogs.  They've evolved to attract and capture insects and we're pretty far away on the evolutionary tree.  Some Nepenthes pitchers have been reported to have fluid that is fairly acidic.  However, in the 24 years or so we've been raising Nepenthes, we've never once been even remotely harmed by the fluid (and we get accidently splashed on a daily basis).

Terrarium enthusiasts often ask us for recommendations of plants that will not harm amphibians or reptiles.  We usually recommend low growing Sarracenia like psittacina/purpurea/rosea or Nepenthes with ampullaria parentage like Diana or Lady Luck.  These plants usually don't produce acidic conditions in their pitchers.  Butterworts are only quite innocuous.

Carnivorous plants span the globe on every continent except Antarctica.  They have adapted to life in some of the most extreme environments on earth and exist in nearly every biome.  Species like Nepenthes and Heliamphora are strictly tropical whereas others like Sarracenia and venus flytraps reside in temperate regions in the southeastern United States.  There's also diversity hot spots of carnivorous species native to South Africa and Western Australia.  

General Questions

We recommend choosing a plant that speaks to you and which will thrive in your conditions.  We have an eclectic range of offerings, some best suited for tropical environments, others temperate.  We always recommend starting out with plants that are a bit more forgiving (like our beginner plants recs) so that you can fine tune your growing environment for plants that are more challenging later on.

Please see the Plant Sizing and Photo Representation Section of our Guarantees policies.

If an item variant is Sold Out, you are able to request a notification when the item is restocked.  Simply enter your email address into the "Item out of stock - notify me!" box in the product listing.  Do note that this is specific to the "Size" or "Specimen ID".  For example, if you request notification for a Small size and a Medium size comes back into stock then you may not receive notification.

 

Epiphytes are plants that grow naturally in trees.  Because there's not much soil available in these environments, many of these species are accustomed to having their roots dry out a bit between being wet.  Many Nepenthes and aroids are considered epiphytes.  Some plants are considered hemiepiphytes, meaning that they spend part of their life cycle as epiphytes and part as a terrestrial growing plant.

Variegation can be caused by a number of phenomena.  Some variegation is genetic.  There are also some viruses that cause variegation, such as the tulip breaking virus which drove tulip mania in the Netherlands in the 17th century.  Chimerism is the most common driver of variegation.  This means 2 different types of cells are competing for dominance, one photosynthetic and the other without chorophyll. Because of this, variegation may increase or decrease from leaf to leaf giving each plant its own unique appearance..  

Variegation can decrease or increase over time, especially in variegation that is chimeric.  Often, young plants will not express variegation until they grow into a more mature form.  For example, see the leaves on young Philodendron 'Pink Princess' go from no variegation to half moon.

Pink Princess

 

A clone is a genetically unique individual.  For example, Nepenthes veitchii "Pink Candy Cane" is a specific clone of veitchii.  The only way to propagate clones is via asexual reproductive methods such as cuttings, or in certain cases, meristem propagation via tissue culture.

Grex (plural greges) describes the offspring of 2 genetically unique individuals.  For example, say we have Nepenthes truncata "clone A" x veitchii "clone X".  All the resulting offspring would be from the same grex.  If we remade the cross a year later, all the offspring would still be the same grex.  However, if made another cross, truncata "clone B" x veitchii "clone X", these offspring would be a different grex.

Officially, orchids are the only group of plants that can issue an official name to a grex.  Thus, we don't issue names to greges.  However, we will assign different CAR codes to different greges even if the parent species are the same.  For example, Nepenthes veitchii ("Big Mama" x "Pink Candy Cane") is CAR-0001 while Nepenthes veitchii "Psychadelic" x "Pink Candy Cane") is CAR-0126

A cultivar is a specific clone of a plant that is deemed exceptional enough to be registered officially via publication.  The governing body for carnivorous plants is the International Carnivorous Plant Society

The propensity of cultivar registration is an interesting phenomena.  For some genera, like Sarracenia, it seems there's a plethora of registered cultivars (even some that might not really be worthy of the status).  However, for Nepenthes, cultivar registration is few and far between.

Many carnivorous plant and other tropical species are considered endangered and are subject to laws pertaining to The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  Plants we sell falling under CITES regulations include all Nepenthes, all Sarracenia, venus flytraps, some Pinguicula, some Alocasia, and some Anthurium species.  CITES regulations places added complexities on exporting for International Sales.

Some plants not CITES listed does not mean it's not endangered.  Many countries have their own local laws.  For example, in the USA, the Lacey Act governs trade of many plants species considered locally endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  For this reason, there's a number of Sarracenia and Pinguicula species which we cannot sell outside of Texas.

Drew is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) specialist group for carnivorous plants and works amongst a team of scientists to assess the conservation status of carnivorous plant genera and make recommendations to the IUCN redlist.  

Plants become endangered for a variety of factors. Currently, the main ones threatening carnivorous plants and aroids are poaching and habitat destruction.  To combat poaching, Carnivero believes strongly in a conservation through cultivation approach which seeks to provide enough high quality plants at economical prices that trafficking poached plants is no longer attractive to buyers and sellers.

.

Tissue culture is a method for propagating plants quickly.  This is done by sterilizing plant tissue and placing it in a solution of essentially Jell-o with fertilizer.  The sterilized environment is sealed so plants don't have to compete with bacteria or fungi.  Plant growth regulators (PGR) can be introduced to make plants grow faster or reproduce more quickly.  Care must be taken to gradually introduce tender plants from tissue culture into hardened greenhouse conditions.

.

Seed grown (SG) plants are propagated via standard sowing techniques.  Vegetative propagation is usually done via cuttings.   Tissue cultured (TC) plants are started in sterile flasks either by sterilizing seed or meristem tissue (from cuttings).  The resulting tissue is then multiplied and greenhouse hardened.

Generally speaking, growing plants from seed increases genetic variability.  However, propagating from cuttings enables selection of superior clones.  Tissue culture allows for propagation of superior clones in large numbers.

There's been many arguments made against tissue cultured plants over the years.  The overwhelming majority are unfounded and not supported by data.  However, there have been rare cases where inferior clones were selected for propagation leading to weak plants.  There's also cases where plants from tissue culture seem to need some time to outgrow the effects of high concentrations of PGRs in vitro.


Get Connected