purple pitcher plant feeding

llamadog903(z7)October 7, 2005

How often should I feed my purple pitcher plant?

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RavnKing(MB, Canada z2b)

It really depends on what you are feeding it. I buy frozen blood worms for mine as they are fast to digest and are packed with nutrients. Even at that I usually give them a feeding about once every 2 months and they seem to do really well. If you are feeding them soft bodied insects then they will be able to break them down quicker and you will need to feed them more often. Generally I don't feed mine ants or wasps as they are not good for them from what I have been told. if you are feeding them sow bugs or something like that then if you give them one per pitcher every 4 weeks or so, they should be fine. I am sure everyone has their own ways that they feed their plants, this is just what works for me.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 4:14PM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

I have mine growing outside it gets Lots of bugs in it, ive even seen a few wasps in it, but every day i see a cople new bugs in a few pitchers... But a couple crickets per pitcher depending on how many you have. (each leaf is a pitcher) But would say about a cricket in each pitcher about once a month, that sounds about good, you can also foliar feed But i dont think you would have very much time left to feed their dormancy period is almost over. you are talkign about Sarracinea Purpurea right? I dont know of any Purple Neps.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 4:17PM
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I am talking about a sarracenia purpurea. Also what is the minimum temperatures this plant can take.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 5:10PM
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If you are growing it outdoors, don't feed it anything since plenty of bugs will find their own way in. In fact many of the tall "trumpet" pitcher types (flava, leucophylla, etc. and their hybrids) can become overburdened with bugs and this decreases the life of a particular pitcher. Some growers actually block the opening of the trumpet using cotton balls or the like so that insects can't get in!

S. purpurea, even ssp. venosa needs no protection in winter as long as it's being grown correctly. PF

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 6:43PM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

Well they grow in Michigain up to Canida so im guessing the negatives... It gets Frezzing in Canada, Unless their are micro climates where they grow but i dont think so.
I think if any natural bugs were luard to it they would be for a reason, so then Any bug would do, Except if you have sprayed it with weed killer or summin, then obvoiusly Dont.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 12:12AM
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sazji(8bNW Turkey)

I think it's easiest to just let these grow outdoors and attract what they will. I've seen them in the wild and they rarely have the amount of insects in them that the trumpet-shaped species have; unlike them, they depend on collected rainwater in the pitchers as part of the trapping mechanism. But I've never heard about wasps and ants being damaging. I used to get a nice fuzzy feeling as I watched yellowjacket after yellowjacket slip down my S. flavas back in Seattle. Lord knows there are plenty of such in their natural habitats!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 11:48AM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

Well, I have had quite a few bugs should i be washing out the pitchers of bugs? thats what they do in the wild like you said I saw them in MI to. I think that will be a Plant i will buy for next season is a S.Flava, or a white top pitcehr whos name escapes me right now but they seem really cool looking

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 5:45PM
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Bug "overload" is not a problem to the health of the plant, but rather shortens the life of a particular pitcher. The point of keeping bugs out is to make the plant more beautiful to the grower. In Florida I grew most of the trumpet species (the white top one is S. leucophylla) with no protection and they thrived. Spent pitchers, if cut open, have loads of trapped exoskeletons in them. Mine tended to be full of ants and spiders mostly.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 4:54PM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

My ants just recently foud mine(s. purpurea) Two Newly opend not even full pitchers are now full in two days. But i will have to take that into mind next season kind of late now. What should i do to stop the Insects to go in except the few i want? What are others veiw point on lettings bugs in or out.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 8:54PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)

Hey akhead

Well like many CP experts have said many many times.
American Pitcher plants are absolute pigs, naturally they dont only eat one or two bugs but eat until they are so full that they topple over from the weight.
Personally I think its great that your plant has found such a ready source of food and Im sure is very happy at the prospect.

I would leave it be and be happy that they are not only been well fed but also helping to put a dent in your ant colony back there.
The amount your plant is eating should have no adverse effect on your plant what so ever.
In Summer before the hail from hell struck my plants the larger Yellow pitchers were gobbeling down a good amount of those evil bee impersonators you call "yellow jackets".
The plants seemed all to happy and after they got demolished from the hail, proceeded to pump out a large amount of leaves and recover very quickly.



    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 6:50AM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

I hope all the bees crawl in a pitcher plant and die. Speaking on behalf of my bee sting i came across from today. It makes me smile when i look into the pitcher and see a carcas of a few yellowjackets and they remind me of Bee's I plan on purchasing a S. Flava The yellow topped ones look interesting along with a S. Leucophylla I know the Leucophylla is slow growing but it looks Very Cool, and the flava just looks awsomely great, and maybe a S. Psittacina to grow along with my ground loving Pitchers well the Midget ones at least (s. purpurea)

cheers best of luck with youre poor hail victems.
May many many ants bees wasps hornets and unwanted Insects fall prey ot youre Pitchers sundew and venusflytraps (and any others any of you all might have!!!)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:05PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)


I agree, those freakin yellow jackets are mean suckers.
The S. Flava's grow fast and are touch plants, the wasps seem to like them as well.



    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:25AM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

What do you mean by Touch plants?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 9:55AM
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i have mine inside on a window sill. this is my frist one so i hope im not killing it

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 6:17PM
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Sarracenias, like VFT's, are hampered when NOT outside, in direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Yeah, as petiolaris indicated, Sarracenias and Venus Flytraps tend to need the same amount of sun as garden plants outside. Especially Purple Pitcher Plants. Among all carnivorous plants, the Purple Pitcher Plant needs the most light to develop properly (25000 lumens). The rest, including the Venus Flytraps can barely get by on about 12000 lumens. Outside, they will likely get twice that on an overcast day.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:41AM
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i got a purple pitcher from lowes and i have planted it in a plant with miracle grow sphangum moss also fro lowes. i am using a clay pot with a tray with water in it. so i have two questions. 1. what should i feed it? and 2. can i use nestle pure life water fro watering or what should i use?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 11:57PM
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Put it outside and food will come to the plant.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 10:23AM
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Yup, there is no need to feed CPs. They will get plenty outside on their own. Sunlight is far more important.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Don't use Nestle Pure Water, it contains dissolved minerals. The pure is a sale pitch to let customers know it doesnÂt contain impurities & chlorine.

Use distilled water only, 2nd choice is rainwater, lacking these first 2, R/O filtered water but only for emergencies.

Other then that, the plant will feed itself. Don't worry about that.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 2:07AM
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hello, I have a few of these I recently got and I am confused here. I thought when they get some thing in their mouths they close up like a Venus fly trap does. when closed they are eating and when open they are hungry. Is that or is that not how it works. I have the southern purple pitcher I got from Lowes. I water only with distilled water and when I first got them they were root bound so I put them in a bigger pot and used sphagnum peat moss. I keep them damp at all times and just moved them outside to my greenhouse, I was using the red and blue CFL light rays inside to harden them off, now they are under a 60% shade cloth, and getting used to the heat outside in the greenhouse. I did not know that I needed to water the inside of the pitcher as well though, oh and another thing one of the pitchers head came off when I was removing it from the plastic, I took propagation in college and so I put that broke piece down in the soil, it has been weeks and it has not changed colors or anything so I think you can propagate them my leaf cuttings, that is what we call it. Any way let me know about them opening up and closing up, because one of mine closed up right after getting home, so I take it that it ate something. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:31PM
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Purple pitcher plants do not open and close their pitchers. Only Flytraps do that. Some Sundews wrap their leaves around their prey. Also I have never heard of their leaves being used to propagate new plants. They are usually propagated but division of the rhizome. Harden them off to get full sun. Keep them in a shallow tray of rain or distilled water.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:29PM
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I would beware of anything containing Miracle-Gro. They put fertilizers in their products that tend to burn the roots of CPs. I would strongly advise against using Miracle-Gro anything with CPs. If you insist on fertilizing, do some research on what is safe for your plant.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 3:42AM
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bernadette_gourder(5 from Newaygo, MI)

I am growing a Purple Pitcher Plant from seed. It is in a terrarium right now in a east facing window. What do I feed it when it's just a seedling, less than two inches high? When do I start feeding it bugs? Thank you for any help!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:16AM
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    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Thanks for that link, tommyr! That's exactly what I was looking for. I just got some seeds for sarracenia purpora, and I'm also not sure what to do.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I find my S purpurea to be a good receptical for Japanese Beetles
I hate those %$&* things!!, but not my Pitcher!!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:38PM
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