The carnivorous bell plant is a member of the cacti family. These little plants grow only in Asia and Africa and are often confused with the Asian Golden Cactus. Unfortunately, it has some pretty nasty toxins in its leaves that can harm people who eat them. However, eating these leaves isn’t dangerous per se-it’s the toxin that can kill you! So, if you’re planning on growing carnivorous plants or taking them to your local farmer, you should make sure they don’t have any deadly toxins in their makeup.
Like other members of the cacti family, the carnivorous bell plant has an external hard stem. And, like other cacti, it has spines along the length of the stem which can pinch and tear the flesh of whatever it digs up. The reason this plant is so interesting is that each stem has “spikes” that running along its length contains little needle-like projections. Each “piston” has only one “eye” which is positioned near the base of the plant. These eyes allow the plant to “sense” its prey by sense its vibrations-a process that’s similar to our human nose.
The Bell plant feeds off of small insects and animals that crawl along the ground. However, since it doesn’t have any teeth, it’s quite difficult to get at it to grab its food. To do this, the plant uses its mouth to “tear” the prey into little pieces. This process is called secreting digestive enzyme into the meat before ripping it apart. The plant then regurgitates all that torn flesh as a finished product.
Since the plant has no teeth, you need to take special care of it. Unlike other carnivorous plants, the Bell has very poor drainage. It is therefore recommended that you regularly water your plant. Watering it helps to keep it moist, which in turn keeps it from drying out and losing its leaves. If the leaves are constantly drying out, the plant will lose most of its flowers and become a dull grey color.
You should consider the proper amount of sunlight that your plant gets. For the carnivorous bell plant, it needs approximately 7 hours of direct sunlight; however, if your plant is located in a shaded area, you will need to give it more time. Excessive or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can result in drying out your plant. Try to give it at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
Because of its unique features and the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of attention, the Bells grow very fast. They can grow up to three feet tall. When picking plants for your carnivorous plant collection, you must see to it that they have sturdy root systems. The roots should be firm and strong-they shouldn’t bend or break easily. Once you obtain them, you should move them immediately to a potting soil and feed them with the correct food and water solution.
Providing sufficient plant food to your plant is an important factor in its optimal growth and health. The Bells mainly eat leafy greens such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, and clover. Although they are primarily a no-fuss herb, other plants such as lavender, dill, marigold, and basil are welcome additions to your collection. The carnivorous bell also responds well to annual supplements, so make sure that you choose one that contains phosphoric acid, copper, magnesium, cobalt, and zinc.
Since many gardeners and enthusiasts have found the carnivorous bell’s taste to be quite tasty, there is a good chance that they are eating this plant incorrectly. To grow the Bells properly, you should only water them when the soil is really dry. This is because when the roots of this plant are exposed to water, it can quickly get root rot. The best way to determine if your water has enough moisture for the plant is to put a finger under the plant’s soil and feel if it has enough weight. If you feel no weight, you will need to water your plant less often.