Carnivorous pitcher plants (Sarracenia species and hybids), add wonderful color to any garden with their shades of burgundy, red, pink and green, often complimented by decorative vein patterns.
It’s the nectar around the pitcher mouth that attracts insects, some of which fall in and are eventually “eaten” by the plant.
Adding to the attraction of pitcher plants, red or green flowers appear in summer.
Pitcher plants make fascinating indoor plants, loving cool, bright rooms or unheated conservatories.
Even those coming from a warm climate, need a cool winter.
They come in a range of sizes, growing up to 12 inches in height and 6 inches in width (30cm x 15cm).
Pitcher Plant Care
Planting Pitcher Plants
Plant in a small to medium sized pot measuring between 4-6 inches (10-15cm) in height.
Use a specialist compost mix designed for carnivorous plants or create your own using a ratio of 2 parts of fine fir bark, to one part coarse lime free grit to, one part perlite.
[Important: Never use potting mix or your carnivorous plant will die.]
Set in a bright sunny spot to enjoy warm summer conditions. Move to a cool room in winter with bright light.
Pitcher plants can handle a wide variance of temperature between winter and summer, ranging from 23-77 F (5 – 25 C).
Given that pitcher plants need a cool winter, it may be necessary to move the plant to a bright, cool room of around 50 F or 10C.
Watering Pitcher Plants
In summer, stand the plant pot in a tray of rainwater or distilled water about ¼ – ½ inch deep.
Pitcher plants usually become dormant from late autumn to early spring, so remove the pot from the water tray and just keep the soil damp.
Never use fertilizer on a pitcher plant. It should receive all the natural insect prey it needs by placing the plant by a window sill or outdoors, during summer.
Other Pitcher Plant Care Tips
Repot your pitcher plant every 2-3 years during autumn when the plant is dormant.
Never plant in a large pot as these plants, unlike most indoor plants, need to be root bound in order to thrive.
Types of Pitcher Plants
The following types of pitcher plants are some of the easiest to care for indoor carnivorous plants.
Sarracenia flava (Yellow Pitcher Plant)
The elegant yellow pitcher plant has tall slender yellow/green pitchers with upright lids and nodding yellow flowers in spring.
Sarracenia psittacina (Parrot Pitcher Plant)
Crawling insects are trapped in the rosettes of the parrot pitcher plant that appear as decoratively veined, red, white or green horizontal traps.
Its dark spring flowers can vary in color.
Sarracenia Pururea (Purple Pitcher Plant)
The purple pitcher plant has short, fat pitchers in a deep burgundy color, with dark red or pink flowers in spring.
It’s quite a hardy variety that will also survive quite well in outdoor gardens and on patios.
Sarracenia ‘Judith Hindle’
The Judith Hindle pitcher plant is a very popular hybrid with its profusion of slim pitchers with frilly lids.
The plant produces young green pitchers that turn dark red with marbled veining when mature. Dark red flowers appear in spring.
The “Bella” is so named as it’s a truly beautiful hybrid with its bright pink, red and white vein patterns on the pitchers and lids.
Bright red flowers appear in spring.
Like to see more amazing, easy to care for carnivorous plants?
Check out these beauties;
Venus Fly Trap: venus-fly-trap-care
Cape Sundew: cape-sundew-indoor-care
Monkey Cup: monkey-cup-plant-care