Sarracenia, also known as Pitcher Plants or Trumpet Pitchers are extremely popular, easy to grow and long-lasting houseplants. They are easy to care for, and make ideal growing companions for those who enjoy both indoor and outdoor garden applications. One of the most stunning things about Sarracenia is its asymmetrical, flowering appearance that has the appearance more of a flower than a plant. The flowers are short-sized with very fine, trumpet-style petals, and large center leaves. The blooming period occurs during May through August, with the flower appearing on the outside and the leaves on the inside.
It was named after the planet’s disc shape, which is like a basket. In its most natural color, the rhizome appears to have a narrow stem, but the plant can be propagated by cutting off the rhizome at the base. Propagation of the sarracenia requires digging up the plant in the late summer or early fall and re-potting it. Keep in mind that this species is an annual, so be sure to purchase it at the right time of year. You should be able to purchase the plant in the late winter or spring, and it will start to bloom in the summer.
Unlike other members of its genus, Sarracenia cannot be propagated by cutting, slicing, snipping or pruning. It will grow to be about four to five inches tall. The flower begins to bloom in the spring and continues through the summer. During the winter period, it hibernates and comes out of dormancy in the fall. As the seasons change, it comes out of dormancy once again and begins to bloom in the late winter season.
Like many members of its genus, the sarracenia thrives in gardens with well drained soil. You will need to add a good bit of organic matter and fertilizer to the soil, especially if you are growing it in a colder climate. However, since it is a carnivorous plant, you will have to make arrangements to provide it with some meaty foods. A great source of protein is the tenderloin, small sirloin loin, and the white tail boneless leg of the whitefish. These tenderloins are very tasty, and you may find them more attractive than the leaves of the plant.
Because these plants grow best in full sun, they will require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. They do not do well in shaded areas, and although they look better if you put them in pots with indirect lighting, this is not recommended. Their leaves do not turn colors when they are in poor light conditions, so you do have to make sure they get at least six hours of light per day. Because they are grown in soil, you should water them only when the soil is completely dry. You can repot them every couple of years or so, but it is best to move them outdoors when the temperatures start to warm up. If they are left in the cold weather, they may freeze, which can be very bad for the health of the plant.
Flowering time is late summer through early fall, and during this time they are dormant, except for a blooming time in late winter. They may bloom again in the spring, but by that time the majority of their roots will have been established, and they will need to go into hibernation. This is their normal process, and they usually do quite well during winter rest. Springtime is a great time to try re-potting your pitchers, because you will get an opportunity to see the extent of the roots at this time.
Unlike most members of their genus, these carnivorous plants are actually rather easy to grow from seed. They will generally produce a single flower each year, unless one or more of the flowers are pollinated by some butterfly. Because they are not true vines, the plants will usually spread out and make themselves a good, if somewhat large, addition to your backyard landscaping. These plants prefer rich soil, so if you are not growing them from seed, you will need to add a good deal of organic matter to the soil in order to keep the roots healthy.
Because they are a rather delicate member of their genus, I recommend using a net or wire fence to surround the plants as they grow, in order to prevent them from getting damaged by the hard surface on which they are growing. This should be a fairly simple process, requiring only that you net the rhizome and any young plants that may be growing near the rhizome. Just be sure to keep the fences in good shape so that new growth is not damaged.