Plants That Bite Back

Family Friendly Household Plants—With a Twist

Plants That Bite Back has very modest beginnings—ten years ago, Robert Lindstrom’s family brought a sundew plant home and cared for it. Excited by their success, they created a bog garden to grow more plants, and, next thing they knew, their sundews had multiplied into the thousands. They began to expand their collection to include other kinds of carnivorous plants, growing to the point where Robert’s mother told him he needed to start selling them. So he did.

Many of the plant species Plants That Bite Back offers are critically endangered in the wild, suffering from both loss of habitat and poaching. Plants That Bite Back ensures no more damage is done by sourcing all of their plants ethically, propagating via cutting, seed, division, or dormant rhizomes from domestic plants; no plants are ever taken from the wild. Plants That Bite Back’s customers are helping promote the survival of these fascinating species by caring for their own plants.

The Hillsboro Farmers’ Market offers Plants That Bite Back the opportunity to sell their plants and educate the local community about what a carnivorous plant is and how you can grow your own. They hope to show customers that, as daunting as growing your own carnivorous plant may sound, it is actually an easy and rewarding process. Each plant comes with its own care sheet and water bowl and people are always welcome to send an email and ask for advice if their plants are struggling. Even if you had never heard of a carnivorous plant before visiting their booth, they make sure you can still successfully care for one at home.

In addition to the sundews they started out with, Plants That Bite Back will be offering multiple varieties of pitcher plants and flytraps. Those who have visited their booth in past seasons will notice a new addition this year: nepenthes, which are a kind of pitcher plant that grows on a vine. They like to remind customers that their plants are functional as well as unique; since they trap and eat bugs, they can help control the populations of unwanted bugs within your home. Different plants work best for different insects, so be sure to ask for recommendations when choosing one to get rid of household pests.

To get an up-close and personal view of how these unique and useful plants work (and maybe take one home with you), visit Plants That Bite Back at either the Downtown Saturday or Orenco Station Sunday Markets. You can also keep up with them and ask questions via their Facebook page.