The purple pitcher plant is a true classic in any carnivorous plant collection. It's easy to see why. The cartoonish, short, tubby rain-collectors look more like hooded garden gnomes than any plant. Along with a Venus flytrap and Cape sundew, they are often one of the collector's first plants.
Unlike other North American pitcher plants, the purple pitcher and most of its varieties are ground-hugging rain-catchers, sporting conspicuous purple-red leaves with wide, heavily patterned hoods. They can also attain impressive size over time, growing broader and denser as other species grow taller, and deeper coloration as others grow brighter. Venation patterns in their hoods against a green complexion are an attractive bonus to their deep coloration. They are very cold-hardy, and keep most of their leaves through winter.
The species traps terrestrial prey like earwigs and spiders more often than flies and wasps. There is significant scientific interest in their place in wild ecology, particularly concerning their accommodations and mutual relationships with frogs, salamanders, insect larvae, and other organisms within the pitchers. Water within the pitchers is a habitat for much microscopic life, the castings of which break down and are absorbed by the plant.
Plants You Receive
Plants are 2-3 years old and will reach flowering maturity within 2 additional seasons. All plants are shipped in 3-inch pots with proper growing media.
All cold hardy plants are grown outdoors at our nursery in Oregon and experience the changes of the seasons. Care instructions are provided.
Please watch the monthly video
for examples of how your plant may look at this time of the year and important growing tips for the season.
Type of Plant
Cold hardy perennial for outdoor growing.
Florida panhandle through North Carolina
Size of Adult Plants
6 inches tall.
Full sun, 6 or more hours of direct sunlight.
Use mineral-free water or water low in minerals (less than 50 parts per million). Keep the soil wet by setting the plant in a dish of standing water.
Use 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite (or washed river sand). Avoid fertilizers, regular garden soil, and compost.
April - October. Pitchers will brown at the onset of winter dormancy.
Hardy of winter frost. Mulch in USDA zones 7 and colder.