I’ve met Matt from Hampshire Carnivorous Plants (CP) a couple of times at RHS Flower Shows and bought my first CP plants from him a few years ago.
At RHS Tatton this year, Matt invited me to his nursery, so I took him up on the offer when I was camping in The New Forest on holiday.
Matt runs his business from the most awesome glasshouses and they were filled chocker block with CP’s; we went straight in there with his daughter Rebecca and I was totally gobsmacked #PlantHeaven
Carnivorous plants come from all over the world, although some, can be grown in an unheated greenhouse, like Matt does (or even outside!).
The RHS have asked Matt to do some trials of carnivorous plants outside; in fact it was at RHS Wisley that I saw them growing outside for the first time. We asked the (then) curator Colin Crosbie all about them. You can see them at the rockery in their full glory
My question to Matt – do you grow plants from seeds or cuttings?
Answer – they are grown from seed – like these seed heads below
Tips and advice
- Place your plants in a shallow tray of rainwater (always use rainwater)
- When repotting use carnivorous plant compost
- Place in a sunny position (bathroom is a good humid place for nepenthes), although remember they are all slightly different as to what they need
- Put outside on a warm day if the plant isn’t catching flies inside
- Matt told me to put my plants in an unheated greenhouse in the winter and keep them damp
There’s so many different species, to be honest I can’t remember the name of them all without reading the labels.
but I can remember the name of this one, cobra lily #scary!
and this hybrid is named after Rebecca, Matt’s daughter – it’s called Nepenthes cv Rebecca Soper #Cool
I asked Matt, how do you create a new plant specimen? He said you need a flowering plant of both the variety you want to crossbreed (do more than one, to have chance of it working) then simply brush the pollen from one breed to another and hopefully you should get seeds
I asked, do you have to feed any carnivorous plants? Matt said, No, as the flies they catch will provide them with all the nutrients they need to survive. Some plants such as nepenthes can become ‘lazy’ if you give them food they think they do not need to produce traps to catch insects for nutrients, so instead they just grow leaves. There is advice on Matt’s website though, about giving nepenthes a foliar feed.
Matt advised to put the plants outside and that I would be surprised at how many flies they catch. However, if the plants eat too many flies, they can get a serious case of indigestion!
It did make me think about how to get more pitchers on my nepenthes – Matt said to simply raise the humidity by placing in a humid greenhouse or bathroom
Once Matt accidently spilt the digestive juice (like how humans have stomach acid to digest food) of a plant on his hand and it gave him a rash. If you do get digestive juice on yourself, put it under running water as soon as possible.
How’s this for water collection.
Sundews at Hatchet pond in The New Forest
Matt told us that sundews (one of Britain’s only carnivorous plants, that grows wild) had grown at Hatchet Pond in The New Forest, which was close to where we were camping. On our way back we stopped off and saw the sundews growing wild on the pond edge. It was amazing to see such an unusual plant in its natural habitat.
Rehoming them in my bedroom
Despite having to save my plants from being eaten by the crazy horses and daft donkeys of The New Forest, they made it home safe and sound. I put the sarracaena on the window sill and my nepenthes in my mini-indoor greenhouse
Here’s a video of some natural art we did at The New Forest, when my plants were nearly eaten by some cheeky horses!!
I was absolutely blown away with my tour of the nursery and my head was so full of information, therefore I might have got a few facts wrong! If you fancy starting your own collection of Carnivorous Plants then I recommend you get in touch with Matt, he’s got an amazing collection