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PLANT CARE Sarracenia: Learn how to grow carnivorous trumpet pitcher plants

THE HELP FILES: GROW LIKE A PRO

The complete beginners guide with basic care instructions.  Learn how to grow carnivorous plants in our South African climate

AMERICAN TRUMPET PITCHER PLANTS (Sarracenia)

LIGHT:

  • Generally, plants in the trumpet pitcher plant family will thrive outdoors - think sunflowers, roses and summer vegetables... 
  • Grow your plant in a sunny spot, year round, for strong growth and ultimate colouration
  • Protect your plant during hail and heavy rainstorms as strong winds may knock plants over and damage pitchers
  • In Gauteng, we recommend growing trumpet pitchers in full sun (or at the very least) 6 hours direct morning sun with very bright light for the remainder of the day.  Note that during summertime soil may become very hot and plants may overheat during heatwaves.  During these spells, ensure your plant is well hydrated and protect it from the harsh afternoon sun

WATER:

  • Trumpet pitcher plants are native to wetland areas, for this reason soil are to be kept moist all the time. Top-watering is fine too, but avoid filling the pitchers with water as the weight may cause pitchers to break from the main stem
  • Low-mineral water is highly recommended and we use distilled- or reverse osmosis water, when rainwater is scarce.  Tap water with a low TDS (total dissolved solids) reading will be a good substitute, but plants will need to be repotted yearly to eliminate mineral buildup
  • Fluctuate the water level to air the roots by letting the tray dry in between waterings, but never let the plant itself dry out completely

FEEDING:

  • Carnivorous plants are self-sufficient hunters and have adapted to catch and digest their own food.  Trumpet pitchers are plants, therefor their growing energy is derived from the sun via photosynthesis (Your plant will more likely die from light starvation than from being deprived of insects)
  • During the growing season they will lure, catch and digest their own insects which acts as a type of fertiliser. Never feed your pitcher plant hamburger meat, viennas, biltong, braaivleis, milk or vegetables (Let me know if I left something out 😂 )

SOIL:

  • Do not fertilise your plant as it may burn the roots and only use sphagnum-peat based plant soil, which is low in minerals. Compost, coco peat, palm peat and regular garden variety potting soil contain salts and minerals that will kill your plant
  • We recommend repotting trumpet pitchers yearly, into fresh carnivorous plant soil, at the end of winter dormancy

WINTER DORMANCY:

  • Trumpet pitcher plants are sun-loving temperate plants which means they grow actively during summertime, and die back significantly during the winter months when the daylight period is shorter
  • Please note that in order to display individual characteristics, images mostly represent mature plants in full summer growth cultivated in optimal conditions
    • During winter dormancy pitchers usually die off partially (halfway) or in some cases entirely.  Plants will appear smaller and present with dry (dying) pitchers during and a couple of weeks after the dormancy period in the colder months of the year (Usually May to October)
    • New growth will sprout during springtime, once your plant has settled into its new environment 

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE:

  • This is a lot to digest, but following this guide we trust that your plant will thrive in your care.  Below is a quick reference guide on growing a happy and healthy trumpet pitcher plant

    How to care for your trumpet pitcher plant

         

         

         

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