Sarracenia leucophylla, the American pitcher plant, attracts insects into its tube-shaped leaves. The plant then breaks down the insects, extracting the nutrients it needs to grow. These carnivorous plants also produce flowers at maturity, though they are more prized for the lace-like color patterns on their leaves. Pitcher plants grow naturally in bogs and wetlands, so providing the right cultural conditions is vital to growing pitcher plants successfully.
Plant Sarracenia leucophylla in a pot or terrarium filled with sphagnum peat moss or a mixture of two parts sphagnum peat to one part coarse sand or perlite. Do not use standard potting soil.
Set the plant in an area that receives four hours of sunlight a day, such as in an east or west facing window. Provide warm temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the spring and summer months, and temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter while the plant is dormant.
Water pitcher plants with distilled water. Keep the growing medium moist at all times; do not allow any drying.
Place pitcher plants outside in the summer or set them in an indoor location where the plants have access to insects. Alternately, place small insects on the rim of the pitchers with tweezers every two to four weeks.
Prune the plants in fall when the foliage begins dying off as the plant enters dormancy. Cut off dead and dying pitchers at the base of the plant with a pair of shears.