Introduction: Carnivorous Plants (and Orchids) in a Fishbowl

About: loving carnivorous plants *nomnomnom*

Heyho, this will by my first instructable. I will 'try' to show and explain how to turn a broken fishbowl into a nice home for some of my carnivouros plants. I've already made other glasses with plants it but never documented the creation process. This is the biggest bowl i've made so far. There are some tutorials here already showing how to create a place for them in your garden, normal glasses or bottles. But i think a bowl has many advantages and it simply looks more special than the usual stuff (there are also other advantages i will explain later on). So lets start! :)

Step 1: Materials and Tools


-a glass bowl of course

-plants (of course carnivorous plants, but i also used tillandsia's and 3 orchids, and 2 kinds of moss)

-kork wood, maybe a stone (i used a slate stone, also i got a piece of mangrove wood)

-peat earth, perlites (i also used clay granules)

-distilled water or even better rain water

-thin wire

(-in case your not happy with the earthy look on the glass bottom, get some deko granules in the color that pleases you the most)


-a bread knife or a little saw

-a spoon or a dibble

-glue thats water/heat resistant

-a bucket and/or a bowl

-a spray bottle (to accurately water your plants)

(-in case your glass bowl is broken like mine was, some silicon to seal it shut)

Step 2: Preparing the Soil (fixing the Glass)

At first you should mix the soil. I used some premixed carnivorous plant soil (green bag) and added some perlite's and clay granules. This is a safe mix for most plants since it isnt fertilized. (Also i added some coconut subtstrate, i actually cant tell if this has too much fertilizer in it, but learning by doing, isnt it? ;) using the mix without the fertilized stuff is to play safe). i added like 1liter of a 50/50 mix clay granules/perlites to like 5 liters of soil, wont hurt if its more or less, as the soil i used already got perlites in it, but thats not a must, your plants will grow without that too.

Now you should water the soil and mix it up(!!!Remember!!!: only use distilled or rain water). As you can see i used a stick mixing it up so i didnt need to wash my hands everytime when touching my phone to take the pictures, but dont worry, you can use your hands too, it wont bite ;). The soil should be wet, cant tell how much water you will need, this depends on your final mix.

Now you should wait an hour or so until everything is really soaked up (as i used clay granules which will need the time to soak up the water).

After that waiting time you can fill your glass with the wet soil. I hope you can see to which level i filled mine (i guess between 30-40%), remember the total weight this will have in the end.

(Note: As my glass had a big crack, i had to use some silicon to seal it shut, otherwise the water would drain out all the time, which would be a real nightmare. Simply follow the instructions that come with the silicone, theres not much to write more about it)

Step 3: Getting the Carnivorous Plants Into the Glass

So there are 2 ways to do this. You could easily put the plant with all the soil out of the pot you bought it into the glass without removing the old soil around the roots. This is the most gentle way. You should only watch out when doing it this way that he soil is really wet, otherwise you easily turn your drosera's into the so called drosera black (soil all over its sticky leafs).
But i wanted to seperate the venus fly trap plants (was a big fail) and the drosera capensis plants (was successful) and had the drosera alicea hybrid already put into a glass, so i decided to go the 'hard way'. The first step is the same as the first way, get the plant with the soil out of its pot. I used a spoon so push it out of its small pot. For the next step you fill the bucket or a bowl (you see the one i used on the pictures) with some destilled water. Now gently swing the soil clod in the water. Most of the soil should get "washed" away. But be really gently, the less roots you damage the better for your plants.

After that you should decide where to put your plants, its fully up to you where you place what, but make sure you got some space between the glass and your plants. Otherwise your plant may is pushing against the glass some day, which especially isnt that cool for the drosera's. Use the spoon or a dibble to make small holes that the roots can fit in. Put it in, now gently press the soil on it so there are no holes below your plant and the roots touch the soil on every side.

I also placed 2 different kinds of utricularia's in the glass (im not sure if they will survive in there, but as always, trial makes wise).

(Note: since some of the drosera had some blossoms, with extra long flower starks, i used some wire to down bind them, it isnt looking that nice, but my heart doesnt allowed me to cut them off)

Step 4: Adding Decoration and Some Extra Plants

So this part is where you can get creative as much as you want. I will just show what i did to give some inspiration, there are other instructables which give awesome idea's too, make sure to check them out!

I will place my glass in a corner, so i decided to make a small rear wall, it wont block any incoming light.

At first you need to decide what pieces you want to place where. As you decided that, you can go further and think about what plants you will attach to the rear wall.

The cork in my glass isnt attached to the glass with glue or anything,
they just stand on the ground, leaned on the glass. The stone infront of them holds them in position, so it wont fall over the plants in case i move the glass or something. The single pieces of cork are also not attached to each other. This way it is alot easier to remove something/change a plant on it or something (if it doesnt work out well for the orchids for example). To make the single parts of the cork fit simply use a saw (best would be a real one, not such a thing i used, i cant tell, its no fun to use that thing) or a bread knife, the cork is pretty soft, so its easily done.

As listed under materials i used 3 different orchids (barbosella handroi, angraecum elephantinum and a phalaenopsis cornu cervi chattalade red), some moss (actually 2 different kinds, but nur sure if the sphagnum will make it) and 2 tillandsia's (had more, but decided i just use 1 kind). I attached all of them to cork wood. I'm not sure if the orchids will grow under this conditions, but i thought like why not. And actually i love their look. If you place them in there like that, you have to make sure their roots wont touch the wet earth, they would quickly rot. I think the pictures show how i tried to solve the problem (with a thin wire or sticking them in between a sawn piece of cork).

The tillandsia's are attached to the cork with some glue, make sure its heat resistant and not water soluble. Theres not much more to say about that, pretty fast done.

As last step i put some coloured decoration stones in it, i used green and orange (i hope the orange colour will be attractive to some flies :D) ones in the same size, and some green sand. You can also place moss in there or whatever comes in your mind. But if you use some decoration stones make sure they are colourfast.

I added a picture of a alternate building of the rear wall as well as a picture of a smaller fish bowl i have on my table at work, so you get some other ideas.

I hope you enjoyed that Instructable and thank you for checking this out. Have fun :)


Gardening Contest 2017

Participated in the
Gardening Contest 2017