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Sarracenia ....what next?

Middlesex, United Kingdom Gb

I bought this sarracenia this year at Chelsea Flower Show. The display of carnivorous plants was stunning , especially the giant ones, and I got tempted. I have never had one before. Since then it has been in its original pot sitting in a tray of rainwater and it has flourished. It now looks as if it needs planting in the garden or moving to a bigger pot. I believe they like wet conditions and my garden is the opposite ; the soil dries very quickly. So I am thinking about a bigger pot. As it is or split it ? Any tips or advice would be welcome because it has done so well I don't want to make the wrong move and lose it.

On plant Sarracenia




Hi...I can't help you with this but I know we have a member called Sarraceniac, these plants are among his passions! Sure he could help you. Suggest you leave him a message.

21 Oct, 2008


Hi Inverglen. Thanks for the PM. I had missed your question.

If that is a photo of your sarracenia then the short answer is 'yes, it needs splitting'. I've never known a sarra to get 'pot-bound' in the traditional sense but they do stop growing and developing and would eventually rot off. The first thing to remember is that their nutrition is obtained purely from the insects that they digest NOT from the soil. In fact a soil rich in nutrients would kill it. NEVER use a fertilizer. I use a mixture of 1:1:1 peat, pearlite (or vermiculite) and sharp sand. I also grow sphagnum moss on the top and some mixed in with the growing medium that helps to retain moisture and add a little acidity.

In summer, the secret is moisture - no, more than moisture - WETNESS. During the growing season they like to be sopping and will be happy being in an inch of water all summer. The least pure water you can use is (as you have already noticed) rain water, but not if your clouds come over an industrial conurbation. The water MUST be pure and many people more expert than me say that even rain water is not pure enough and insist on distilled water or water subjected to reverse osmosis. I've never had any problems with FRESH rain water but our rain round here is pretty clean and slightly acidic.

In winter they must be allowed a period of dormancy so don't put them in heated conditions. They should be kept moist (but not sopping) in a cold greenhouse or cold frame. You might even get away with leaving them outside, where you are, with some severe frost protection. The only trouble is that if you use fleece that can get wet and freeze which doesn't do a lot of good if it is in contact with the plant so a frame would be essential.

There are several good web sites or by all means PM me if you want further info. There are a couple of photos on my 'My photos' a couple of show specimens and one of babies just potted on, plus one of my sarracenia nursery, a dead wheelbarrow lined with polythene and filled with growing medium.



22 Oct, 2008

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