This exotic, very decorative plant is perennial and depending on the species hardy, conditionally hardy or not hardy. It impresses with its intensely colored and veined tubes, which depending on the species lie on the ground or protrude upwards and act as insect traps. Insects are not only attracted to the plant, but also digested by it. Compared to the rest of the plant kingdom, this ability is probably the most complex and effective. Sarracenia does not form stalks, as can be found in many other plants. Eight different species of the pitcher plant (Sarracenia) are known. Depending on the species, it can grow to a height of between 15 and 75 cm under optimal conditions and even more than 100 cm and a growth width of 23 – 30 cm.

Planting in the bog bed

Carnivorous plants grow particularly well in a bog bed, including the pitcher plant species leucophylla, flava and purpurea. Here they find the best conditions such as sufficient space, light and a rich supply of food. In addition, these species are hardy and can be kept in the garden all year round.

For planting, a hole is dug in a corresponding bog bed, into which a bucket or a similarly sized container should fit. Then the bucket is filled with raised bog peat and dug into the hole. The peat should not be fertilized. Then the plant is inserted into the substrate and always kept well moist.


  • Above all, the location should be bright or full sun.
  • Several hours of light a day are ideal.
  • The blazing midday sun should be avoided or the plant should be protected from it.
  • In summer, temperatures of 20 – 25 degrees are optimal.
  • Plants cultivated outdoors also cope very well with temperatures above 30 degrees.
  • Otherwise, cooler temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees are sufficient.
  • The location should be well ventilated.

substrate and planter

The optimal substrate should be acidic, which is why a bog bed is best. However, the substrate can also consist of a mixture of white peat and quartz sand in a ratio of 2:1 or 1:1, or of a mixture of sand, white peat and perlite, or of pure white peat.

The respective pot should by no means be too small, as the rhizome of these plants grows sideways, which means that there should be a corresponding freedom from roots. The more root freedom, the better the roots of these plants can develop. To ensure sufficient humidity, especially in particularly warm temperatures, it is advisable to spray the plant regularly with warm water.

watering and fertilizing

  • Pitcher plants need a constant supply of water.
  • As a result, casting using the so-called accumulation method is ideal here.
  • The coaster should always be filled with 1-2 cm of water.
  • This ensures constant moisture in the substrate.
  • Stagnant moisture is not a problem with this plant, but rather wanted.
  • It should only be watered with lime-free, soft water, i.e. distilled or rainwater.
  • Pitcher plants do not need to be fertilized because they are weak consumers.


In winter, these carnivorous plants go into hibernation. Some types of pitcher plants stop growing completely in winter. In others, so-called phyllodes serve as an energy reserve. Phyllodes are non-carnivorous leaves that look a bit like squashed tubes. When less light is available in autumn, some species develop such leaves.

During the hibernation, watering should be significantly less and the plants should be kept drier. Mold and rot are the greatest dangers in winter and should be avoided at all costs, as should drying out the plant completely. If the rhizome is already attacked, it can usually only be cut off generously. With a bit of luck, it will sprout again the following spring.

Among pitcher plants there are hardy, conditionally hardy and non-hardy species. Conditionally or slightly hardy can overwinter outdoors in light frosts. However, covering it with a layer of leaves or brushwood is recommended as winter protection. Pitcher plants that overwinter outdoors have the advantage that they have particularly beautiful colors.

Pitcher plants that are cultivated in pots or that are not hardy are at high risk of frost. The root ball would freeze relatively quickly in frost. As a result, they should overwinter indoors in a cool, bright spot. With these plants, the phyllodes ensure the best possible light absorption in winter. The temperatures during the hibernation should be between 2 and 10 degrees. Young plants should generally overwinter frost-free. In contrast to adult pitcher plants, young plants do not need to hibernate for the first three years.


Vegetative Reproduction
Vegetative reproduction of this carnivorous plant is by division. The best time for this is spring to early summer. The strong rhizome of the Sarracenia is decisive for the division. This rhizome has several growing points at which it can then be broken through or cut through with a sharp knife. The points at which the tubes grow are referred to as vegetation points.
When dividing, make sure that all sections are well rooted. In order to prevent these from becoming mouldy, it is advisable to treat the respective fracture or interface with charcoal powder. The new plants can then be planted in the appropriate substrate.

Generative propagation
The generative propagation method is by sowing. This method is a bit more tedious, but has the advantage that new interesting culture forms can arise through crossbreeding. As a rule, before sowing, the seeds must be stratified, that is, subjected to a cold treatment. This is important to stimulate or support the germination of the seeds. To do this, store the seeds in the refrigerator for about two months.

After these two months, the seeds can be sown. To do this, they are placed on a moist substrate. The seeds must not be covered with substrate, as these are light germs. The seeds will germinate after about 2-3 weeks, provided the substrate does not dry out. Sowing indoors is possible all year round. After about a year, the seedlings are between 5 and 10 cm tall. It can take up to four years for them to flower for the first time.


Rot and gray mold can occur, especially in winter, and gray mold is particularly dangerous for these plants. It manifests itself in a grey, hairy coating over the rhizome.
The cause of such mold growth is usually improper maintenance with poor air circulation, excessive humidity, lack of light and temperatures that are too cold or too warm.

Antifungal sprays are usually required to treat gray mold. The affected rhizome should be cut off generously. To prevent infestation, the substrate should be less damp and well aerated in winter. It may be advisable to repot the plant in a coarser, better aerated substrate. In addition, dead plant parts should be removed regularly.


An infestation with aphids occurs on many carnivorous plants. The first signs of this are small white, shed shells of growing lice. In addition, affected plants usually look sick. Commercial plant protection sticks or a special aphid spray can be used to combat them.

Carnivorous plants cultivated outdoors are often prey to caterpillars. The damage ranges from holes in the hoses to completely eaten leaves. The best way to combat this pest is to collect the caterpillars again and again.

Scale insects
The first sign of scale insect infestation is sticky excretions. The scale insects themselves can be recognized by the small brownish shields under which the lice sit. They suck plant sap and damage the plant. A contralineum solution, with which the affected plant is sprayed, is suitable for combating.

pitcher plants in the bog bed are also often visited by snails, which can severely damage the plant by feeding damage. You can also collect them, but this is relatively time-consuming, since the snails usually hide quite well during the day. It is helpful, for example, to use organic slug pellets from the trade, which you spread around the bog bed in question.

Spider mite
An infestation by the spider mite can be recognized by the fine webs. The cause is often too low humidity. Corresponding mite or aphid sprays from specialist shops are suitable for combating them.


The tubes of these fascinating plants vary in shape and colouration, and can be faintly or heavily veined or marbled, with dark or light spots. The flowers also shine in bright colors. They also impress with their size and unusual shape. The pitcher plant can be cultivated both indoors and outdoors.

What is special about this carnivorous plant is the way it feeds itself and how it gets its food. The hoses are perfect pitfalls lined with a waxy coating on the inside. Inside these tubes are glands that secrete nectar. Both the nectar and the intense color of the tubes attract the insects.

These cannot hold on to the smooth inside and fall into the hose. Small hairs pointing downwards prevent the animals from crawling out of the hoses again. In addition, there is a digestive fluid inside the tubes, in which the insect body dissolves. The plant digests its prey, so to speak. Among the carnivorous plants there are also some species that do not produce digestive fluid, but decompose their prey with the help of bacteria.

Popular styles

Yellow Sling Plant (Sarracenia flava)
This cultivar is a typical bog plant, forming upright, tubular leaves between 30 and 70 cm with a trumpet-shaped calyx, the openings of which are up to 12 cm in diameter. In this hardy variety, the tubes can grow up to a meter high. The 7.5 – 10 cm large yellow to brown flowers appear in early summer.

White pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla)
The ‘leucophylla’ forms 30-80 cm high green leaves. This conditionally hardy variety often forms phyllodes in summer. Just below the opening and on the lid, the trumpet-shaped tubes are pure white with an intense purple mottling. The 4-7 cm large, sweetly scented flowers appear from the beginning of March to the end of April in a yellow to purple colour.

Brown- red pitcher plant (Sarracenia rubra)
The conditionally hardy variety ‘rubra’ is the smallest of the Sarracenis species. There are several subspecies that differ significantly in shape and color. The leaves or tubes are initially olive green and later copper-colored with a brown vein. They reach a height of 30 – 40 cm, in rare cases up to 45 cm. The 3-4 cm large flowers form from April to May.

There are many carnivorous plants and each one is unique. The pitcher plant Sarracenis is very suitable as a beginner’s plant if you are not very familiar with this type of plant. It is usually very easy to care for and can last for many years if cared for properly.

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