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Pitcher plant in winter

janebaljanebal Posts: 130

I have started growing Saraccenia (pitcher plants) in my greenhouse this year. They are doing fine and flowered well but I don't know what to do with them in the winter. Do I still keep them in a tray of rainwater? Do I cut them back? Do I need to put a transparent cover over them? Thank you.



  • I don't do anything special with mine, they live outside except for very cold weather so they get plenty of rain. They should be permanently damp. Dead leaves can be trimmed.

    Btw, "The Savage Garden" by Peter d'Amato is a very good book on cultivating carnivorous plants. I love the cover photo!

  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130

    Thank you Alan. I will look online for this book.

    Do you repot yours in the spring with new moss etc? (I have put mine in sphagnum moss and perlite.) They have grown a lot of tubes this summer.

  • I repot mine when they outgrow their pot, using commercial carnivorous plant compost. I don't think it matters what time of year you do it.

  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130

    Alan, how can you tell if they have outgrown their pot? I can't see any roots coming out of the bottom of the pot. Some of them have about 10 tubes of different sizes.

  • One of mine distorted the plastic pot when its horizontal rootstock got too big. Other than that I just repot them when the simply look too big for the pot.

  • I have kept mine outdoors for about 8 years, pot has no drainage holes, floods regularly, and comes through frost/snow, etc with no problem.  Probably best if they are kept drier in winter. Important they have a cold spell in winter, so a heated greenhouse should be avoided. Mine grow so slowly, no chance of outgrowing pot quickly, and it is a big pot.

    We get aphid damage in Spring (the pitchers become distorted and twisted), and squirrels nibble the pitchers and flowers in Summer, so for the first time I moved them into the greenhouse, but door/vents need to be open so their food can fly in!

    The flowers are incredible, see below.  You may also like Heliamphora Nutans, a pitcher type plant which you can keep indoors on a sunny windowsill (not recommended for Sarrecenia, which should be kept outdoors). 







  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130

    Lovely photos, Keen. Makes my plants look rather weedy! I like the red stripe down the pitcher. Do you know the name of this one?

    My flowers have all been greenish or yellowish - your red one is very attractive. Is it from the red stripe plant or is it a different sort?

  • The plant with the red stripe down the pitcher is Heliamphora Nutans.  It is a pitcher, but not part of the Sarracenia family.  Hampshire Carnivorous Plants sell them online.  They like rain water only, an intert growing media, such as Sphagnum moss, and must have light and humidity.  They do not like to be in dry, direct sunlight.  I keep mine indoors, on an east facing windsow, inside a glass cloche.  Sounds complicated, but trust me, I literally do nothing with mine other than top up the rain water once a month.

    The Sarracenia with the red flowers is Sarracenia Catesbaei Flava x Purpurea!  I have a Sarracenia Alata, and despite having red veins, the flowers are bright green, so don't make the mistake of assuming red veins means red flowers.  The aforementioned nursery are v. good, I have bought from them before, Chelsea Gold, etc.

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    When I was researching my pitcher (it floats in a bowl in the pond) everything seemed to indicate letting it live outside all year round.once they're acclimatised. Where are you from? Do you get very bad winters?

    Thanks for the recommendation of supplier Keen; I've been looking to expand my collective! image

  • mine are outside all years round in the north east of England, most of the sarracenia's are fairly frost hardy, I chuck some straw over them if the temp is expected to get below -10

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