Many people ask questions about Byblis and other carnivorous plants, and it’s understandable. Carnivorous plants are fascinating and different from most houseplants—so there’s plenty to learn and discover about them. 🌸🌿
You can check my free guide if you want to learn about how to grow them in the Philippines, but if you want to learn more, check out these 8 facts below!
1. Byblis is not a drosera/sundew
Is byblis a sundew? Even though they look similar because of their sticky leaves, especially if you compare the Byblis to Drosera Indica, Byblis is actually not a sundew at all. They’re more closely related to Pinguiculas, or butterworts.
byblis on the left – drosera indica on the right
If you have trouble telling drosera apart from Byblis, check their stems: Byblis stems are covered in sticky mucilage, just like their leaves. Drosera indica only has mucilage on its leaves, and its stem is a plain, non-sticky stalk.
2. Byblis is safe around children and dogs
Are carnivorous plants ok for kids and pets? If anything, the only danger is that cats may knock them over, but that’s a danger to the plant, not the kitty. My own dogs like sniffing byblis, and they’re pretty ok.
My research shows that while there are some cases where pets infested a Venus flytrap, they only had a mild gastrointestinal upset at most. Rest assured, these carnivorous plants aren’t a danger like the ZZ plant or Pothos.
3. Byblis won’t completely solve your pest problem
Is byblis a good fly catcher? Yes, it certainly can catch flies well, and many people buy carnivorous plants to kill mosquitoes and flies. However, although it’s true that these plants consume insects, you will need a much, much bigger garden’s worth of them to make a dent in any insect population.
Between you and a Byblis in the same room, mosquitoes will still prefer to land on you. These plants consume insects to grow, but they can also grow without bugs since they can still photosynthesize.
What I personally like to do is put my plants on top of my compost bins once in a while to let them feast on fruit flies 🦟 Some people I know do this too!
I also grow stinkies like Stapelia in my carnivorous garden—these plants get their name from their flowers, which smell like rotting meat. These do the job of attracting flies that will also be expose (and hopefully land) on my carnivorous plants. Some growers even put fruit peels next to their carnivorous plants for the same purpose.
4. Byblis seeds need pollination
Sundews can produce seed, so can you get seeds from byblis too? Unlike some drosera, Byblis flowers do not automatically produce seed. When they flower, you can only get seeds if you pollinate them with a genetically different plant. I’m not sure it would work if you pollinated two genetically identical plants (or two plants made from cuttings of the same plant).
Byblis made from cuttings are genetically identical with the mother plant they were cut from. All plants made from cuttings or pullings are genetically identical too.
Meanwhile, plants grown from seed are genetically different, so if you try growing a byblis from seed, you can try pollinating its flowers with another byblis. However, I’ve never tried hand-pollinating flowers, and I don’t have byblis seeds, so I can’t offer advice on this. 🌸
5. Byblis like big pots, but can grow large in regular cups
Many people ask me if they need to repot their byblis in a bigger pot when the plant gets really big in a styro cup. Understandable, since the plant sometimes has roots creeping out of the pot’s holes.
The answer is no, for three reasons.
🌱 Byblis don’t like being repotted unless you transfer the whole media with roots intact. If you disturb the roots too much, the plant might die.
🌱 Byblis can already grow to a very big size that you can make several cuttings from in a styro cup.
🌱 It’s much, much easier to just let it grow, make cuttings, and plant the cuttings in a big pot.
6. Byblis can grow in water
If you’ve seen my byblis grow guide and check the propagation section, you’ll see that one very useful guide I link to grows his byblis in water. 💦
Strawberries in SG shares that his byblis are all in water bottles. They’re held up by foam and grown in netcups that are also used in hydroponics.
7. Byblis only live a year
Byblis are annuals, meaning they’re a kind of plant that only lives one year. This means they grow faster than other carnivorous plants like flytraps and sundews, but if you don’t propagate them through cuttings, they’ll die and you won’t have any byblis anymore.
However, if you make cuttings, the cuttings start a new year ahead of them, as if they “reset” into a new lifespan. You then can keep cutting and keep making more byblis, making byblis an immortal plant as long as you keep making cuttings.
Not all byblis are annuals, though!
Two of the eight identified species are perennial, meaning they last more than two years: Byblis gigantea and Byblis lamellata. Neither are available in the Philippines, as far as I know.
8. There are 8 total kinds of Byblis
Speaking of all identified species, two of them are more common here in the Philippines: byblis liniflora and byblis guehoi. I’m honestly not sure how to tell them apart, but I hear guehoi is the sturdier species. Because there’s not much difference, I don’t collect other byblis species.
The other six species are:
🌱 Byblis gigantea
🌱 Byblis lamellata
🌱 Byblis aquatica
🌱 Byblis filifolia
🌱 Byblis pilbaran
🌱 Byblis rorida
Learning about carnivorous plants never really stops
I still think byblis guehoi is incredibly easy to raise in comparison to other plants, though I also have sundews and venus flytraps.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in a comment below! Just please don’t ask me questions that are already answered here D: I put a lot of work into this guide specifically to already answer basic questions.
View this post on Instagram