Pitcher Plants

Pitcher Plant Information

Pitcher Plants occur in many areas of the world in wet, boggy environments. Usually they flower first, before developing their pitchers or nectar, so that their pollinators won't be eaten before they can pollinate the plants! Most pitcher plants secrete a sweet-smelling nectar around the lip of the pitcher which attracts wasps, yellow jackets, beetles, ants and other small insects. The nectar makes the insects drowsy, and once they follow the nectar trail into the trap, they are unable to keep their footing and slip and fall in. Downward pointing hairs add to the difficulties in escaping. Once they're down in the tube, the digestive enzymes start to work; by fall, the tubes are often quite full of beetle backs, wings, feet, and other indigestible body parts!!

To grow indoors, plant your pitcher plant in peat, or peat with sand, or even long-fibered sphagnum moss.  Keep the potting medium at least damp all the time, they can even live just in water!  Be sure to use only rain-water or distilled water.  They need acidic water; if you are using distilled water, add a little vinegar to make it acidic.

They need to go dormant in the winter, re-emerging from their rhizome in the spring. If planted outside around a pond or in a bog garden, they should be well-mulched to protect them if the ground freezes. If growing indoors, you can put the potted plant in a very cool room or even a garage that stays around 40 degrees for the winter months.  Or the rhizome can be dug up, dead leaves trimmed off, and placed in a plastic bag (closed, but not completely airtight) in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for 2-3 months.

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Fly-Trap Farm
1930 Civietown Road SW
Supply, NC  28462

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