Growing Plants

Reveal The Truth About A Carnivorous Octopus Plant

The carnivorous octopus plant belongs to the warm-season tree family. But unlike others, it requires less thorough care and frequent maintenance.

Suppose you are looking for information about its care guide; you have already landed on the right site.

Besides, I present other details about this wonderful creature in the following sections, like its size or bug-eating habit, hoping to help you. Let’s get started!

About The Carnivorous Octopus Plant

carnivorous octopus plant

The carnivorous octopus plant, or Drosera Capensis, is a small carnivorous species of perennial sundew native to South Africa. Because of this size, it seems quite easy to grow nature.

The octopus plant is known for its seed production capacity by germinating numerous seeds within a specific area.

That’s why it is one of the most common sundews in cultivation and fear to many local species as a frequently naturalized invader.

As its name suggests, the octopus plant’s favorite meal is insects.

It has a rosette of leaves with thousands of sticky tentacles on their surfaces, which help trap the victims and supply a gluey fluid to embalm their bodies.

These leaves are about 1.4 inches in length, and the width could reach 0.2 inches. They are characterized by not only victim-trapping abilities but also mysterious reddish colors.

Thanks to them, you also ensure that an octopus plant cannot bear fruits.

This plant is commonly found in nutrient-poor or waterlogged soil, like in the desert or other full-sun locations. It starts to bloom in summer or late winter (December to January).

Its flowers are so tiny that you can hardly see them with your naked eyes.

What Is The Basic Carnivorous Octopus Plant Care Guide?

octopus plant scientific name

Octopus Plant Care

Here are fundamental guidelines on caring for the carnivorous octopus plant that you should pay close attention to.


  • You can water an octopus plant in two ways: soaking or misting it with water.
  • Tilt the octopus plant downwards and do some slight shake-offs to prevent its leaves from accumulating extra water.
  • Avoid watering it too frequently, as it could be waterlogged.
  • Don’t give the healthy plant too little water. It is easy to notice the water shortage in a plant via its curled leaves.

Apply Fertiliser

  • After burying the octopus plant’s seed, you must not fertilize it immediately or after a short time span. Some fertilizer components can lead to young seedlings’ death.
  • The perfect time for fertilizing is during the interval between seasons, like between fall and winter or spring and winter.
  • Fertilizing the octopus carnivorous plant at night is recommended because its stoma often opens during this time.
  • Don’t fertilize too much, which could put its health in jeopardy.
  • Only use a moderate amount of fertilizer and increase the frequency over time.


  • The best condition for an octopus plant is bright scattered sunshine.
  • Don’t expose your plant to direct sunlight, especially in summer. You can cling to the grow light with the assistance of fluorescent lamps.
  • Don’t be surprised if your plant changes leaf colors, which can be attributed to the difference in leaves’ intensity.
  • 3-6 hours of sunlight per day is optimal for its growth.


  • Prune the plant in the growing season, like in the spring.
  • Cut off its dead leaves or branches to facilitate the new seedlings’ growth and ensure a tree’s good look.
  • Wear protective garments, such as gloves and glasses, to protect your health from accidents when pruning.


  • The octopus plant prefers warm climates, so the ideal temperature range is from 12 to 30 degrees Celsius. 21 degrees Celsius is optimum.
  • It needs much fresh air, so a well-ventilated air place is good for its growth.
  • Prevent it from blowing hot air.


  • The octopus plant thrives on soil (acidic soils) whose conditions are poor, like saturated and lime-free soils. You can pour it with sphagnum moss but not too much, the plant can be suffocated.
  • Some species don’t even need soggy soil to grow thanks to their water-absorbing cells so that they can take water from the dust or air. They are often used as home decorations by being hung on the wall.

Some Specific Care Instructions For A Carnivorous Octopus Plant

  • Always keep track of the moisture level, one of the important factors deciding the plant’s fate.
  • Prune old flowers after the blooming season.
  • Remove stems for propagation. You can do so by burying it in the moist soil before watering.
  • You can place young seedlings on a tray with pebbles or use a small terrarium.
  • Give the octopus plant distilled or rain water instead of tap water since it includes many minerals.

Frequently Asked Questions

octopus carnivorous plant

How Big Are Octopus Plants?

A typical octopus tree is 45 feet tall, with branches at the base and sparingly above. As mentioned earlier, its leaves are roughly 1.4 long while the stem’s length can reach up to 2 feet.

Do Carnivorous Plants Eat Dead Bugs?


The octopus plant uses its leaves, combined with hundreds of tentacles, to trap the victim when it comes close.

The digestion lasts over 6 hours, as the tentacles release a special fluid, helping decompose the dead bodies slowly.

How Do You Maintain Satisfied Carnivorous Plants?

If you toss a dead bug or other insects into the plant’s maw, it might lose interest and reject this food by reopening the trap. Any reactions to your gift are all fake alarms.

So to satisfy a carnivorous plant, you must use a clever trick over its botanical sleeve.

Another easy way is to feed it with nutrients derived from carnivory, which benefits the seeds’ growth and heightens survival chances.

Why Is My Octopus Plant Dying?

Lack of ambient humidity and moisture is the most common reason behind the octopus plant’s death. Constant exposure to the glare of sunlight and over-fertilizing are other culprits, causing it to die off.

The Bottom Line

My article has provided much information about the carnivorous octopus plant, coupled with its detailed care guide in terms of many aspects, such as watering, fertilizing, sunlight, pruning, temperature, and soil quality.

You’d better ensure the moisture if you want your plant to live healthily. It is best to wet about ¼ inches all of the time.

Thank you for your genuine support, and have a nice day!

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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