Predatory Plants, Half Moon Bay, California
Amongst the drool-inducing nurseries along Route 92 in Half Moon Bay is a sign that seems almost out-of-place between the more trendy, Sunset-style stores. Succulents, Native Plants, and…Carnivorous Plants? If you venture inside, you will find no Little Shop of Horrors, but a sparse space that proffers 3 distinct products: Venus Fly Traps, Pitcher Plants, and Sundews. I brought my kids with me to see the undoubtedly “cool” plants, and to pick up a sundew to help us tackle our intermittent fruit fly issues in our kitchen at home. My 7-year-old was a bit underwhelmed, probably expecting giant man-eating vines straight out of Hogwarts, but while these plants are meat-eaters, most are very small, and even downright cute. As I examined the array of sundews, not knowing how to pick one (since they all looked exactly the same), an employee walked over and gave me friendly advice on care. Sundews are native to swampy locales, so I need to keep water in a tray that the plant’s pot sits in. Also, while the plant will catch its own snacks on its sticky-top tendrils, I could supplement it with some live insects I happen to catch (meaning I am now a supervillain to the ant scouts that find their way onto my countertop). It’s like having a plant for a pet! It was almost strange to find a store with such a small array of products, but it makes sense for Carnivorous Plants. They focus on their specific products, and so are the best source of both the plants themselves and knowledge on how to keep them happy and healthy.