Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants

Course Code
Payment Options
Upfront & Payment Plans
Online & Correspondence
100 Hours

Learn by distance education growing Carnivorous plants, home study course

Carnivorous plants are unique.

They don’t appeal to everyone; but they often capture the imagination of people who are not necessarily interested in other types of plants.  Anyone who chooses to undertake this course is obviously interested in carnivorous plants; probably either as an amateur collector, a commercial grower or a naturalist.  Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or all of their nutrients by capturing and digesting small animals, such as insects.  Other terms used for carnivorous plants are a “carnivory” or a “carnivore”.  The mechanisms used to capture and digest animals are generally subtle; but not always.

Characteristics that are unique to carnivorous plants include:

  • Attraction Mechanisms  eg. Lures, odours, directional guides
  • Trapping Mechanisms  eg. Sticky secretions that hold animals like fly paper, trap door like openings to digestive chambers.
  • Digestive Mechanisms  eg. Secreted enzymes and absorption of digested material.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Introduction to carnivorous plants
    • Recognising differences around the worls
    • Plant names
    • Monocotyledons and dicotyledons
    • Plant families
    • Classification of carnivorous plants
    • Review of plant families that carnivorous plants belong to
    • Types of trapping mechanisms
    • Resources and networking
    • Using a botanical key
    • Glossary
  2. Culture
    • Introduction
    • Planting
    • Soils
    • Plant nutrition
    • Watering
    • Plant health
    • Compost making
  3. Propagation and Container Growing.
    • Propagating carnivorous plants
    • Collecting from the wild
    • Methods of propagation
    • Tissue culture
  4. Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes) and Sundews (Drosera)
  5. Other important Groups.
  6. The Lesser Grown Varieties
  7. Australian Droseras
  8. Making the Best Use of these Plants. In containers, in the ground, as indoor plants, etc.
  9. Special Assignment. On one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify different carnivorous plants.
  • Describe the cultural requirements for a range of different carnivorous plants
  • Propagate a range of different carnivorous plants
  • Discuss the identifying characteristics and cultural requirements of several species of both Sundews and Pitcher plants.
  • Discuss the identifying characteristics and cultural requirements of several species of both Bladderworts and at least one other genus of Carnivorous plant.
  • Describe the identifying characteristics and cultural requirements of several species of less commonly cultivated carnivorous plants.
  • Describe the identification and culture of Australian Droseras in depth.
  • Determine and describe appropriate ways of cultivating and displaying cultured carnivorous plants.
  • Describe one group of carnivorous plants in depth.

How to Grow Cobra Lilies

Suggested Cultivation for the carnivorous plant, Darlingtonia californica (ie. Cobra Lily)

  • Grow in a 15 to 20cm diameter, deep container
  • Place a layer of freely draining material (crocks, stones or charcoal) at the bottom of the pot.
  • Fill the pot with live sphagnum moss; then water until the moss is thoroughly moist. If the moss is dry, this can be best achieved by submersing it in water.
  • Plant the cobra lily with the crown sitting right at the surface of the moss; then scatter a thin layer of living moss over the surface.
  • Keep humid by covering the pot with a bell jar or plastic bag (with some ventilation (eg. A gap at the bottom or hole in the top.
  • Provide good light but not direct sunlight
  • Stand in a tray or saucer of water to provide capillary watering (ie. Water soaks up through the moss to the surface).
  • After a week or two, once the plant is growing, remove the bell jar or plastic
  • Do not repot very often. This plant does not like to have roots disturbed
  • It can tolerate cold temperatures over winter, to minus 10 degrees celsius.
  • Propagate by either taking offshoots from the rhizome; or by seed (sown and raised the same as Sarracenia)

Request your free course information pack today.

Are you interested in this course?
Free Info Pack