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Dionea, plant and care. The characteristics of the carnivorous plant and the care to be devoted to it to avoid the risk of disease and ensure healthy growth.
Like allcarnivorous plantsalso thereDioneait does not tolerate low temperatures well, it should be kept in a terrarium or in a do-it-yourself peat bog that can guarantee the right degree of humidity and temperatures. Let's see where to place the plant and how to care for it.
Dionea: carnivorous plant
And thecarnivorous plantwhich is more part of the collective imagination and closely resembles Pakkun Furawā (Piranha Plant), the carnivorous plant enemy of Mario Bros. leaves they have differentiated to form two valves with a crown of cilia with a shape that recalls the jaws. The leaves open slowly as they close with a snapping motion induced by sensitive bristles.
The leaves of the Dionaea work like a snap trap, ready to catch small insects.
THEflowersthey appear in early summer, usually in June. They are composed of five petals, white in color and develop on the top of the stem.
The image below shows photos of theflowers, even if thedioneait is appreciated more for the beauty of its modified leaves (specialized for the capture of small insects) than for its ownflowers.
Small black berries develop from the flowers. Theredioneais a monotypic genre closely related toDrosera, another kind ofcarnivorous plantsof the Droseracee family.
ThereDioneait is known as Venus flytrap plant, despite its name, the plant only rarely catches flies, most of the time it is satisfied with slender midges and more minute dipters.
Multiplication of carnivorous plants
The plant is native to North America. It is a plantrhizomatous and perennial, among the easiest to multiply and which, if well kept, spread spontaneously.
The multiplication by division of the rhizomes is possible. Each year, you can divide the sorts ofMuscipola Dioneaebut also other species of carnivorous plants can multiply easily. They can also be divided:
- Carnivorous plants Sarracenie
- Carnivorous plants Pinguiculas
- Carnivorous plants Drosere
The carnivorous plant Nepenthes, on the other hand, can be multiplied by stem cutting.
Dionea, flytrap plant or Venus flytrap
For its leaves and its diet, theDioneait is known asflytrap plant. Midges and flies are perfect prey forDionea but, generally, those who are about tocultivate this carnivorous plantit is far too generous with prey! Beware that you do not have to feed an animal, it is still a plant organism with limited needs.
How does it catch insects?
When a prey rests on the inner surface of the leaf, the plant receives "a signal". The signal is recorded by hair-shaped trichomes that are found on the upper surface of each of the lobes. The mechanism is very specialized so as to distinguish the stimuli sent by a possible prey from other counted ones such as, for example, the raindrops that fall on the leaves.
The two lobes take about a tenth of a second to close and capture the prey. The ends of the lobes are surrounded by stiff cilia which create a kind of cage. Flies and smaller insects can easily escape and pass between the lashes. The reason? The plant makes a big investment to "digest" the prey, so it prefers to remove and thus "flee" the prey that is too small for which starting the entire digestion process would not be energetically convenient.
If the prey is too small and runs away, the two lobes that make up the leaf will open within 12 hours. If the prey continues to move when the "trap" of thecarnivorous plantcloses, the two lobes will continue to tighten.
The best-selling species is theDionaea muscipula, known as "flytrap". The common name "Venus flytrap" has a lot to do with hersbotanical name. Dionaea means "daughter of Dione" and refers to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus.
How does this carnivorous plant catch insects?
Flies and insects are attracted to the bright color of the inside of the leaves and the smell they give off.
The time that the plant takes to digest a prey ranges from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the size. Only when the prey is fully digested will the leaves begin to open.
If well maintained, thedionaea muscipulait can reach a height and a diameter of 20 to 30 cm.
What insects can be given to carnivorous plants?
In nature, the diet of theDionaea muscipulais satisfied by:
- 33% ants
- 30% spiders
- 10% small grasshoppers
- 10% small beetles
- 5% flies, midges and other winged insects
Once the two lobes are closed, the plant releases digestive enzymes (hydrolases) controlled by the hormone "jasmonic acid".
How to grow dionaea: care and precautions
The only onecarnivorous plantto always keep at home is Nepenthes. ThereDioneae muscipolait can be kept both indoors and outdoors throughout the year. Therecultivationit can take place both indoors and on the balcony, as long as there is not too much wind on the balcony.
In autumn and winter, choose a very sunny and bright location, place the plant in a peat bog made with a box or container without drainage holes. In summer it should not be kept in full sun, but you can grow it in a partial shade area or under the canopy of larger trees. Choose a place that is as humid as possible, so better if you place it close to other plants: the leaves and soil of all plants release moisture!
ThereDionea muscipolait cannot stand the cold and can only be kept outdoors in Southern Italy. In the north, if kept outdoors, it must still be placed in a sunny and at least partially sheltered area.
The container will need to be filled with carnivorous soil or mud. Thanks to the mud you can irrigate thedioneaonly every 4 days (the mud retains the water well). If you use peat, however, you will need to water it every day. Thecarnivorous plants, including thedionea, should be watered every day preferably at the same time.