Care of Sarracenia

Overview

Sarracenia, or pitcher plant as it is commonly known, is a species of carnivorous plants evolved to help meet their nutrient requirements by luring and digesting insects. According to John Green at the University of Utah, Sarracenia are capable of growing in nutrient-poor wet soils and the supplemental nutrients derived from digesting insects keep them alive and healthy.

Step 1

Provide your sarracenia plant with generous amounts of bright sunlight. Several hours of direct sun and several hours of bright indirect light each day is ideal. When growing indoors near windows, ensure that the plants do not get overheated or burned through the glass by direct sunlight.

Step 2

Water your sarracenia consistently and generously. Setting the plant pots in a shallow bog of fresh water is preferred by some gardeners. Rainwater free of chemicals, dissolved solids and mineral salts work well. Distilled water and water treated via reverse osmosis also work. Provide a growing location with high ambient humidity. Protect the plants from winds, grow them in a lush planted area and keep the soil in the area very moist with frequent watering and misting, but do not spray the sarracenia plants directly.

Step 3

Pot your sarracenia into easy draining, lightweight containers filled with a half and half mix of peat moss and clean white silica sand. Substitute perlite for sand, if desired. In dry climates use two parts moss to one part sand or perlite to hold more moisture. Place the pots in a deep saucer to catch runoff water and keep the roots very moist to wet at all times, if not growing the plants in a bog or shallow pond.

Step 4

Ensure your sarracenia gets a winter rest period to go dormant every year to boost the health and extend the life of the plant. Mulch over outside plants with several inches of pine needles in the late fall. Reduce the light and temperature around indoor-grown plants by placing them in a cool garage for two to three months. Place container-grown plants back into the sunlight in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water
  • Tap water

References

  • University of Utah: John Green's Carnivorous Plants
Keywords: growing pitcher plants, caring for sarracenia, carnivorous plants

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.