Tom's Carnivores

For the first time since the pandemic, I've been able to travel to Germany - and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pay Chris and his plants another visit.

Gallery: Returning to Chris Klein's nursery

Tom Bennet
By Tom Bennet,
I've been growing a wide variety of carnivorous plants for over 2 decades. I got my first Venus flytrap at age 10 and now have an entire greenhouse full of carnivores.

For the first time since the pandemic, I’ve been able to travel to Germany to see family! While I was here, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay Chris another visit in Merzig - it’s been 3 years since my last trip. You can see photos from my previous visits in 2017 and 2019 right here on my blog.

Much like here in the UK, Germany has suffered extreme heatwaves and drought over the summer. The water butts were empty and a few plants were showing signs of heat stress, but overall I was amazed at how great his Nepenthes looked. Chris’s greenhouse doesn’t have an evaporative cooler, and - like me - he uses shade cloth and misting/fogging to keep the temperatures down. When the mercury hits 40°C (104°F), it’s enough to test any greenhouse cooling system, but master grower Chris has managed to keep his plants looking great despite the sweltering heat.

If I were to make one observation, though, it would be that it’s time to take some cuttings! I remember thinking it was crowded last time, but man. The place is a jungle. I’m sure plenty of growers here in the UK would happily help Chris re-home any spare cuttings…

One last thing before I get to the photos - this is the first time I’ve toured a greenhouse with a toddler in tow. Compared to previous visits it wasn’t so easy to take photos and geek out for hours at a time about carnivorous plants, so you’ll have to forgive me if a couple of plants remain unidentified.

Enjoy - it feels great to be blogging again!

Article continues below.

As always, thanks to Chris for showing me round his fantastic collection. I always come away feeling like I’ve learned so much.

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Thanks for reading, and happy growing!

Tom Bennet
By Tom Bennet
Site Owner

I've been growing carnivorous plants for over 2 decades, having been fascinated by these plants since I got my first Venus flytrap at age 10. I now have a large greenhouse to house my collection and am an avid breeder of Nepenthes pitcher plants.

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