Re: Sarracenia

Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 17:33:07 PST

Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 20:33:07 EST
Message-Id: <aabcdefg4015$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Sarracenia

In a message dated 99-11-27 04:30:28 EST, you write:

<< Hi!
 I am looking for sites or people with experience growing Sarracenia in
 areas that never, ever see frost or temperatures below 10\272C. I would
 like to know how you convince your plants (if necessary) that they
 should go dormant. Please, can anyone help?

Dear Marianne,

I am afraid that all Sarracenia growing in the tropics are known as
Nepenthes! (Only kidding and yes, Heliamphora grow in the tropics).
Seriously, I live in a fairly warm area that is tropical most of the year but
receives less than 5 days a year on average at or below freezing and perhaps
only a few more days with frost. Sarracenia have not done all that well
here. S. flava, alata, rubra, the northern purpurea have all died after
two-three years of cultivation. I use a pretty standard mix (3 parts peat/ 1
coarse sand/ 1 perlite (opptional) and use R.O. water. The plants get 5-7
hours direct sun during the growing season and are kept wet in summer and
somewhat dryer in winter. Despite all this they do not seem to thrive year
after year. Now this is not true of all species, S. leucophylla, the
southern purps, and minor do fairly well, as do some of the hybrids, but
aside from S. minor which is native here, I don't believe they would tolerate
much less dormancy than they are getting. I do also have the problem of salt
spray as I am less than 1/2 mile from the ocean and this may be the reason
they do not thrive.

     The plants do seem to shut down, even in our limited winter, but if you
are truely in the tropics you may want to chill them. You could remove them
from the pots, dip them in a fungicide and place them in damp (not wet)
sphagnum and refrigerated them for 2-3 months. I have tried this but it can
be pretty hard on the plants and you can expect some losses.
     Still, I have seen nice plants at Clyde Bramblet's in Homestead, which
is about as tropical as you can get in mainland Florida. I do not know how
many years he has had the plants, or if they will survive long term.


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