Care and growth guide for the Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia Purpurea)

Purple Pitcher plants are sturdy carnivorous plants that originate from tropical regions of North America. 

Sarracenia Purpurea

They are members of the Sarraceniaceae family and can be found growing in water-logged areas like lakesides, swamps, and even ponds. 

As carnivorous plants, they survive by killing and digesting smaller insects. They feature  modified leaves that act as pitchers. 

These pitcher leaves are cup-like and help in retaining water which the plant uses in trapping and drowning insects. 

The Sarracenia purpurea plant can be grown indoors as an ornamental plant because of the stunning aesthetics it offers to your living space

Botanical Name Sarracenia Purpurea
Common Names Purple Pitcher Plant
Origin North America
Family Sarraceniaceae
Plant Type Carnivorous herbaceous perennial  
Full Size Ranges from 6 to 18 inches tall 
Sun Exposure Full or direct Sunlight 
Soil Type Always Moist, rich soil 

Caring For The Purple Pitcher Plant 

Pitcher plants can be considered as average maintenance plants because they have specific needs that might require more experience. 

However, with proper knowledge of its basic light, soil, temperature, and water requirements, the plant should be easy to care for. 

Purple Pitcher Plant Lighting Requirement

Adequate sunlight is key to proper purple pitcher plant growth, so ensure you provide the potted plant with enough direct sunlight in a day. 

Exposing your purple pitcher plant to at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day is great for healthy growth. It can also survive shaded or partial sunlight but if it receives too little sunlight, its pitcher or leaves could end up looking droopy. 

When growing a purple pitcher plant indoors, ensure you place it in an eastwards facing room, next to a window with enough access to direct sunlight. For outdoors, a simple sunny garden should do.    

Watering Requirement for the Purple Pitcher Plant 

Watering Requirement for the Purple Pitcher Plant

A wild pitcher plant does well in a wet environment, try to simulate this for the purple pitcher plant when grown indoors. Watering should be a frequent affair and as such should be done once or twice a day. 

Try not to overdo it with the pitcher plant by leaving its roots in soggy or wet soil. Aim for moist soil when watering but never let the soil dry out. 

Use clean distilled water or rain water when watering, and ensure that you water the entire plant when watering, not just the soil, as these pitchers need to be moist in order to attract insects for feeding. 

Soil Requirement for the Purple Pitcher Plant 

The best soil type for your purple Sarracenia plant is soil with good draining abilities that can also hold in a little moisture.  

You can achieve this by mixing one part sand with peaty soil and a part Sphagnum moss in a container with appropriate drainage holes for easy passage of water. 

As for the pH value, ensure you keep it at an acidic level between the range of 3.0 and 5.0 

Proper Temperature and Humidity Condition for the Purple Pitcher Plant

A moderate or warm temperature condition should be perfect for the plant. So keep the temperature level in the range of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For humidity, Pitcher plants love high levels of humidity, so ensure you mist the exotic plant often or make use of a humidifier to maintain the needed humidity level. 

Fertilizer Requirement For the Purple Pitcher plant

Fertilizer Requirement For the Purple Pitcher plant
Royal Botanical Gardens

You do not need to use fertilizer on the purple pitcher plant as the nutrients they get from killing and digesting insects should be sufficient. 

However, using a slow-release fertilizer  2 to 3 times a year on the Purple Sarracenia plant does help in promoting healthy growth. 

You could damage the elegant plant if you feed it any more fertilizer than it needs, and ensure the fertilizer used is suitable for orchids or bromeliads

Common Health Problems of the Purple Pitcher plants. 

Although the purple pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant, it is susceptible to a few insect infestations and fungal attacks. A few are;

  • Thrips
  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs 
  • Root Rot 
  • Fungal Molds

A few more carnivorous plants: Venus Fly Trap, Butterwort, Mokey Cup, Cobra Lily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pitcher plants have flowers?

Yes, they do, pitcher plants produce nice blooms that have a wide range of colors. 

How big do pitcher plants get?

The pitcher plant size depends on the variety, but on average a pitcher plant can grow from6 inches to 37 inches tall. 

What is the scientific name of the pitcher plant?

The scientific name for a purple pitcher plant is Sarracenia Purpurea 

Are pitcher plants perennials?

Yes, all pitcher plants are well-known perennial plants with a long life span

How do carnivorous plants work?

As an insect step into the plant’s trap, the little hairs in the plant are triggered, this sends tiny signals to the leaves forcing them to close shut. After which enzymes are released to digest the insect.

 

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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