New pitchers take time to grow and open.

This is the first pitcher of the growing season and it opened today. The first pitchers are always the largest.

Care: This is a hardier species of the carnivorous Pitcher Plant. It originates from the Northwestern reaches of the US and tolerates cooler temperatures. Although it’s said that this plant doesn’t need to be fed, I enjoy giving it a taste treat from the garden every once in a while. They do NOT like hamburger or other fatty foods, but bugs are fine. I feed mine grubs from the garden. These are bog dwelling plants and should be kept in a mossy medium (peat moss works fine.) Keep the pitchers/traps full of (rain/distilled) water at all times. Without the water the plants could not hunt. Do not fertilize the plant, the roots are not equipped to absorb nutrients from the soil and providing them with fertilizer could burn the root system. The roots are more an anchor for the plant then anything else.

Propagation: Once it’s a well established plant it can either be propagated from it’s rhizomes (root system) or through seed. They bloom in spring, and if the flower is pollinated, then you should gather the seeds and germinate like you would any other plant. Place seeds in a %50 peat %50 perlite mix and let it grow. Keep humidity levels high while the seed/ plant is in the early stages of life. The plant should bloom in about three years.

Watering: Watering from the bottom is “best” but your plant won’t mind either way, especially since it needs to catch water in its traps in order to survive. Since it is a bog dwelling plant, I usually leave about a half inch of water in its container. You may move it outside (in a shaded area) in the summer, just remove it from the plastic box it came in (but don’t take it out of its pot) and place it in a tray of water to help with humidity and soil moisture levels. Using rain water (or distilled) is best when watering. I use the water from my fish tank, and my plant seems to be thriving.

Pests: I have yet to see pests on mine. If left outside some mosquito larvae may be found in the pitchers themselves. This does not harm the plant, and is actually beneficial because the larvae help break down the pitcher plants food. Bacteria/fungi will also be present in the pitchers and this is also beneficial to the plant for the same reasons. If a trap becomes brown (BROWN not purple) or black, simply trim it off.

Lighting: Purple Pitcher plants enjoy bright to full sun (when indoors). If your plant is maintaining a bright green color, and not turning purple, then light levels are insufficient and the plant should be moved to a brighter location. The plant should be slowly “acclimated” to the brighter light levels, and can be placed behind other plants and then slowly moved to the front of the group. Placing it in a bright window is best.

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