Members of the Sarracenia genus are hardy perennial insectivorous plants that may reach from 15 cm to 1.2 meters in height.
The pitcher plant usually come into bloom in the second half of spring
They carry green or purple veined hooded pitcher flowers; though some varieties of Sarracenia have drooping yellow flowers.
The above two photos of pitcher plants were taken in Borneo, and belong to the Sarraceniaceae family, most likely Nepenthes (Monkey cups). I've included them here, because they are just so beautiful and I have no relevant place on the site for growing these tropical plants.
See the picture below for the North American Sarracenia spp.
Some common names for Sarracenia include Pitcher plant, Indian Cup, Trumpet Leaf and Side Saddle Flower.
Sarracenia leucophylla photograph by i-saint
It is difficult to grow Pitcher plants from seed and hard to look after them, you may want to consider buying pitcher plants from a garden center.
When growing from Sarracenia seed, unless you live in a very warm area then start off indoors. Seeds should be sown about 2 months before they are to be put outdoors (middle of spring when there is no chance of a frost).
Pitcher Plant seeds should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for about one week. Seeds should then placed on a wet piece of blotting paper; this should be in a dish and kept permanently moist. The dish should then be covered in cling film to provide a humid environment; the dish should be placed in an area of 20 to 25 degrees centigrade.
Germination of Pitcher plant species should take from one to three months, the seedlings should be pricked out to individual pots once they have germinated.
The Sarracenia seedlings (or bought plants) should then be transferred to a lightly shaded part of the garden (they will tolerate full sunlight but results are not so good). The Pitcher plants should be spaced at about 30 to 50 cm apart into an area that has moist/damp swampy soil, that is slightly acidic. It should take about 4 years until the pitcher plant will produce its first flowers.
Pitcher plants, Trumpetleaf and other members of the Sarracenia genus are not easy to care for. Although they are insectivorous plants it is important that you let them feed naturally, as too much nutrition from insects will make them wither. Keep the soil that the pitcher plants grow in very moist so water frequently. It is important that the crown of the plants remain dry.
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