Re: Sarracenia mulch etc.

Bob Beer (
Wed, 30 Mar 1994 08:33:09 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 30 Mar 1994, Oliver T Massey CFS wrote:

> Sorry to hear it! Don't know about anybody else, but I believe
> Sarracenia are tough to grow successfully for long periods.

Hmmmm...this is the first time I have heard this. I have been growing
Sarracenia here since 1987, and the only plant I have lost is one that
had a "difficult" transplant - it arrived covered with root mealy bugs,
and then was uprooted a couple of weeks later by an unidentified (but I
suspect a possum) backyard marauder.

> I lost a few that were planted in the backyard - thanks to the neighbor's
> Chemlawn and that I couldn't control the water level during the winter, :(
> (altho the occasional quicksand did keep the neighborhood child population
> down).

Well, now Chemlawn will do it I guess.
> As to the mulch, interesting, I was concerned that mine wouldn't get
> enough cool weather. I am (mostly) convinced that the Sarracenias
> need a good cold snap. The plants I mention below were mostly with me
> in Missouri a few years back, and once or twice they froze solid
> (including the water in the tray) and the next spring came back better
> than the previous year with no losses.

I kept my plants outside this winter with no losses. I used to keep
them indoors in an unheated sun porch where it did occasionally freeze,
but not hard. I did bring them in when we got a really cold arctic snap
(i.e. down to 8 degrees), but this year we got down to 15 for short
periods and everything did okay. I believe S. minor is the most tender,
and I would pull it in if it got much below that.

> Most of my Sarracenia pulled through and the early bloomers have
> dropped their petals. All but a few are producing their first set of
> traps. The cutthroat flava are about 19" while the other varieties
> and alata run about 16". I am pleased to say that the first trap on
> one lueco. is about 2+' without etiolation. Last year the traps on
> this plant were a uniform 14-16". S. minor is running about 14" under
> lights. One day I will get these suckers to the 40+" I have seen in
> the wild!

I think the main requirement for getting really big plants is giving them
lots of root run. Tom Kahl here in Seattle had the biggest S.
leucophylla I have ever seen in cultivation, and he had them in big
(2-3') tubs. He also has a few "bogs" planted in even larger ones about
4' wide, out in the yard.

Good luck