Pitchers changing color

cj_speciosa(7a)March 29, 2013

I'd love some input on this pitcher I have. This thing is growing out of control. I'm getting new pitchers almost every week. Thing is, this plant started out green with red veins and highlights. Now, it's completely red. Does anyone know why this is? Is it missing something in it's diet? I'd love for it to go back to the green looking pitchers if possible but have no idea what to manipulate to make this happen.

Also, all of these pitchers are coming from two stalks. To me, this plant looks completely tight and bound in this small pot although it just keeps growing and growing. Should I separate them into two separate pots to give them more room?

Any advice would be appreciated....

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They do not mind being cramped, make sure soil is staying moist. Next spring you can repot before new growth emerges.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:14AM
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Any idea why they are turning all red instead of the green they used to be?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 10:50AM
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More sun, more red coloring. It's normal.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Because those pitchers all grew this winter. The ones on the left are newer and they have come up since being in the sunnier spot?

They are actually greener since getting more sun.......??

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:33PM
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What you've got is a Sarracenia purpurea. The leaves get redder/more purple with the cold, not the sun. At least S. purpurea ssp. venosa does for sure. The pitchers will grow green with the purplish veins again when the weather warms up.

It grows in a cramped rosette, so that's 100% normal too. If it's been a while since you've repotted it, go ahead and do it now before it starts growing again for the season. It's not like a bigger pot with more/extra soil will hurt it any, so go for it. However, if the roots aren't growing out of the bottom of the pot yet, or the plant isn't totally rootbound, it isn't necessary, despite how awkward it looks.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 12:28AM
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Another great post by you Mel.....thanks! That makes much more sense. It does sit next to that window all year so I guess it's getting a nice dose of NJ winter weather. Glad to know it will revert back to the nice green color I prefer.

It's already shooting off new sprouts, so I'm not gonna touch it. Although I have no idea where the heck they are going to go....there's no room as it is.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Outside! The more sun you can give this plant the better it will do. Full sun, and just put a tray with some water under it so it stays wet. If the window was cold enough to give it a good dormancy and it's mature enough, you should get some stunning flowers shortly

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:29PM
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I love this plant. Anyone here know where I can buy one of these in Tampa?


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 7:32AM
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I love this plant. Anyone here know where I can buy one of these in Tampa?


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 7:33AM
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I love these!! I saw little small ones at Lowes. But Im sure yours is a different variety than the ones they sell.
I love the look of the redness!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Its a very beautiful plant. I have the same species, but mine is not growing nearly as fast as yours. Do you feed it? Fertilizer? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:01PM
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This is the first time I read someone complain about their beautiful plant growing very well & acquiring healthy normal maroon colors typical for a Sarracenia purpurea. When many people, especially newbies struggle keeping their plants alive, much less having them acquire their colors.

The reason the pitcher plant you have is named scientifically "Sarracenia purpurea", is because it's pitcher leaves are either dark maroon or purple, hence why the latter scientific name "purpurea" is Latin for purple. Same reason it is commonly knowing as "purple pitcher plant".

So when a purple pitcher plant is growing normally under healthy levels of light. The new pitcher's it sprouts will be green with purple veins, but as the leaf gets older, the vein will began to flush or blush & pretty soon the whole leaf with become purple. That's normal for the plant, the older the leaf the darker it will become. Already I can see some of the new green pitchers blushing, on their way to become maroon colored. Cold temperatures will give it a dark maroon color but mostly happens when the leaves get older during its growing season.

The reasons for acquiring that dark maroon or red colors (depending on the variety) is part of the luring mechanism to attract its prey insects. The colors contrasts the trap against the normal green background from the rest of the vegetation. It may be imitate be imitating a flower, plus the sugary secretion it produces.

Sure it also depends on the variety of Sarracenia Purpurea, usually the 'Montana' variety, doesn't blush much and it's leaves are normally green with dark veins, but it is harder to grow because it prefers colder climate, maybe you will have a chance since you already live in an area with a colder climate. But your type is obviously the the variety that turns all red as the leaves get older, a popular variety sold everywhere.

So if you want greener lives, give it less light. You have to find a balance, otherwise you're going to end up with long spindly limp plants. So, if you follow JungleMel's advice, you will have darker colored pitchers. Even new developing leaves will be sprouting red colored.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:29AM
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I'd hardly call it complaining. I was asking a question. There's a difference. Not sure what's so hard about growing them. Keep em wet and give em light.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Sorry If I sounded rude or coming down to hard. Many people noticed that ab out me, especially my kin. I don't know whether its because the stress at work, which I'm currently suffering a bad ulcer.

But people having difficulty growing them, you'll be surprised. Usually the problem is water, many place have chlorinated and/or fluoride water, plus is loaded with salts. Number one killer of carnivorous plants. Then there is the problem they place them in Terrarium with too much humidity, causing fungus infestation ant rot. Next killer is not enough light, usually people trying to avoid cooking them with too much light. Third is the wrong soil type, using regular potting soil. But if they do use the correct medium, like Sphagnum peat moss, problem is that the company added additives the peat like wetting agents or fertilizers.

I live in a desert already hitting 115 degrees my Venus fly traps are as happy as they can be (and my Sarracenias, sure the spring leaves are starting to die. Some of my pots are infested with happy little Drosera drummondii; little bastards like the dry heat! :-O), I don't care the flowers they produce. Usually it is a good idea when you are new into this that you cut them off the moment you see the flower scape sprout. The Venus fly trap that newbies are growing are barely surviving and under stress, having them produce flower then seed usually kills them or weakens them so much they become vulnerable to fungus attack. I killed a bunch of Venus flytraps myself years back.

My plants have been growing int their pots for 3 years straight, it is time I change their medium it so broken down already. Now my only worries are rats and people. People are the worse

"Oh look at the pretty flowers! Hope he doesn't mind I rip a few of them out from the pot to put in a vase!"

Anyways, if I sounded to hard... sorry! Wasn't my intention to be rude. But I still thought it was funny ;-) I couldn't help but chuckle. I was thinking you was even kidding, just rubbing it in or something. Sorry...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 3:40AM
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lol. Thanks for clarifying.

Actually while hiking the other day I found these same pitchers growing wild!! I had no idea they were wild in NJ. I was freaking out so much my girl friend had to calm me down. I'm such a dork.....I just really couldn't believe it. I mean I've found sundew's before, just not pitchers. The ones growing wild were green though, like mine used to be, but they were the same plant. The wild ones had a nice big red flower on them though....I can't get mine to do that.

My flytraps are doing fantastic as well. As a matter of fact they're right next to each other on the window sill. It's already split and formed a new plant next to the old one.

For me it's simple. I use filtered water.....zero water to be exact. They are both in natural peat and I keep them wet ALL the time. They sit right on the window sill and get light all day long. That's it.....they just grow.

I was actually thinking about thinning the pitcher out some.....what do you think?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Where did you see wild Sarracenia purpurea in the wild. Was it in or near the Pine Barrens? The type of Sarracenia purpurea is a subspecies different the one you got. The type you got is Sarracenia purpurea subspecies venosa. The ones that grow in NJ are Sarracenia purpurea subsp. purpurea, and those get real red.

There is nothing like seeing wild plants grown in their natural environment. A couple of years back I was in the State of Oregon, took the opportunity to visit the Darlingtonia Wayside. Wild cobra lilys growing natural in a preserve, near the city of Florence, about 80 miles west of Eugen Oregon.

These plants growing in the wild were beautiful. Tall four feet plants with the "head" bigger then my fists. I've visited California Carnivore on that same trip and admired Peter D'Amatos collection, including his cobra plants. They're beautiful but it didn't compare to the plants growing on that preserve. D'Amatos cobras were midgets.

I wouldn't recommend thinning them out. They look so healthy and robust, and beautiful. It gives it that so natural look.

But you can split the rhizome just before the plants start grow in the spring at the end of their dormancy. Watch the plants and at the first sing of growth, do the divisions. make sure the portions have a share of roots. Sarracenia are tough and do survive being divided at other times of the year but it can take them much longer to recover and I have experience having the smaller cuts die on me.

So be careful & good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 5:07AM
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As a matter of fact it was in the Pine Barrens. Home of the Jersey Devil.....

But yes, they are my back yard. I had no idea that they grew here.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:02PM
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They are real healthy looking, must be cool you can go get some in the wild, never found any here.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Are you in Jersey? I've never taken them out of the wild because I already have some. It was just surprising to see them in there natural habitat.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Hi CJ, I am in the middle of pa here. that would be cool to see them in there natural habitat though.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:27AM
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