Planting a Pitcher Plant


Pitcher plants make an exotic addition to any home garden or greenhouse. The eight species of North American pitcher plants range in length from 3 inches to 3 feet. The plants secrete fragrant nectar to lure insects into their long, funnel-shaped leaves. Once inside, insects drown in a mixture of digestive fluids and are ingested by the plant. Pitcher plants can be grown inside or outdoors and require hot, humid environments.

Step 1

Mix distilled water with dry sphagnum moss until the mixture turns black.

Step 2

Add enough silica sand or medium-grade orchid bark to the soil mixture so that the new mixture is 50 percent sand or bark, and blend thoroughly.

Step 3

Fill a plastic or metal pot two-thirds full with the soil mixture. Avoid terracotta and clay pots as they tend to collect salt, which will kill carnivorous plants.

Step 4

Place the pitcher plant in the center of the pot, gently. Cover the roots with 1-2 inches of the soil mixture. Do not pat down soil as this could damage the roots and prevent air flow.

Step 5

Water your pitcher plant with distilled water immediately. It is difficult to overwater pitcher plants as they thrive in boggy conditions. Keep the humidity high by placing the pot in a tray of water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use only rainwater or distilled water to hydrate your pitcher plant. The roots of carnivorous plants are highly sensitive and should never be fertilized.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic pot
  • Medium-grade orchid bark
  • Silica sand
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Water


  • Bug Biting Plants: Pitcher Plants
  • Sarracenia Purpurea
  • DIY: Growing Carnivorous Plants
Keywords: grow pitcher plant, carnivorous plants, pitcher plant

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.