Home arrow Sarracenia
Check out the latest deals on exotic orchids at
Main Menu
Care Guides
Who's Online
We have 5 guests online
Visitors: 610694
Sarracenia Print E-mail

Growing Sarracenia or Pitcher Plants


Sarracenia come from the USA mostly around the central and South East parts such as Carolina and Georgia although some reach as far north as Canada. Commonly known as trumpet pitchers as the carnivorous part of the plant is a modified leaf which has become tubular and widens at the top. Each pitcher has a lid covering it which prevents debris from entering and blocking the tube but it also acts as a landing platform for their prey. All of them are found on or near marshes and swamps where they grow in the peat and sphagnum. These plants are bordering on being hardy and can be grown outdoors in the UK if they are given sheltered conditions. Some of them have intricate and colourful veining on the pitcher and most have large lily like nodding flowers which are readily produced in yellows, oranges and reds.

There are approximately 8 genera of Sarracenia each one having location specific variants such as this one (photo opposite  S. flava Copper Top from North Carolina).

Sarracenia flava 'Copper Top' Sarracenia trap their prey by offering them nectar to sip which is secreted around the lip of the plant and also at the base of the lid. Insects which land on the lip drink the nectar secretion which is laced with a chemical that makes the insect 'drunk', the lip rim itself is slippery and smooth and once insects are 'drunk' they easily fall in to the tube which narrows toward the base. Once inside an insects fate is sealed as the pitcher has downward pointing hairs which help the insect go further down the tube but prevent their escape back up it. Once the insect reaches the bottom it is dissolved by enzymes in the bottom of the pitcher and the nutrient value is absorbed by the plant.

Growing Conditions

These plants are excellent for the cool windowsill and patio as they will trap insects all year long and will provide you with wonderful nodding flowers. They are easily cultivated in a moisture retentive mix which can be comprised entirely of sphagnum moss. Alternatively you can use a mix of 70% sphagnum moss, 10% peat, 10% sharp sand and 10% charcoal. These plants do not need feeding much as the trumpets are the plants way of obtaining their food, they like a good bright or sunny position, if you are growing them in full sun just place something in front of the pot to help keep the roots cool. If insect populations are low then you can apply a quarter strength general purpose plant food once a month but make sure you flush the pots with fresh water once a month to remove any excess food. An excellent patio/conservatory plant.


 Site by Les Pickin
1999-2010 Easy Exotics ®