How to Grow Sarracenia


Sarracenia is a genus of pitcher plants consisting of 11 species native to North America. All sarracenia plants have a tube, or pitcher, that fills with digestive enzymes and exudes a sweet aroma. Insects are attracted to the aroma and follow it into the tube where they become trapped in the liquid and are slowly digested to provide nutrients for the plant. Sarracenia plants are native to bogs and fens, and they are easy to grow either indoors or outdoors with proper care.

Step 1

Plant sarracenia in a growing medium made of one part peat moss and one part coarse vermiculite. Fill a large planter with the growing medium and transplant sarracenia into the container. Water until the soil is thoroughly saturated, as sarracenia prefers boggy conditions.

Step 2

Place the container in a location that receives six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Place a humidifier near indoor plants to keep the relative humidity high. Mist outdoor sarracenia with a spray bottle several times a day to raise the humidity level.

Step 3

Water sarracenia twice per week, ensuring the soil is consistently wet. Use distilled or rain water, as chemicals in tap water will be absorbed by the plant and cause permanent damage. Leave tap water out in an open container overnight to allow the chlorine to dissolve if it must be used.

Step 4

Feed indoor sarracenia a tiny insect once per month to provide the necessary nutrients. Do not feed outdoor sarracenia, as they will attract and trap their own prey. Drop the prey into the pitcher of the plant, where it will be digested.

Step 5

Transfer indoor sarracenia into a dark, cool room like a garage or root cellar during winter to induce a necessary dormant period. Leave the plant in the room for 2-3 months, and then move it back to its growing location.

Step 6

Mulch outdoor sarracenia with pine needles in late fall, before the first frost of winter. Remove the needles in late winter just before spring growth begins and after all danger of frost has passed. The pine needles will provide insulation for the plant's roots during cold temperatures.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never allow the soil to dry out completely, or sarracenia may die. Do not feed sarracenia ground hamburger or other meat products manufactured for human consumption. These items do not contain the proper nutrients for the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Coarse vermiculite
  • Planter
  • Humidifier
  • Spray bottle
  • Insect
  • Pine needles


  • University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley: The Plant Deck
  • University of Utah: Carnivorous Plants
  • Book: Complete Guide to Water Garden Plants; Helen Nash, Steve Stroupe and Perry Slocam; 2003
Keywords: sarracenia, sarracenia plants, pitcher plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including