Q/A #113 - Sarracenia Didn't Survive Winter in Nebraska

June 22, 2023

Q/A #113 - Sarracenia Didn't Survive Winter in Nebraska

Last year I had to buy all new plants because my plants from the previous year died over winter. Did they die again? Do any of them appear to be alive?

I'm in Nebraska. We had a slow start to spring and summer. In fact, our rose bushes just finally started blooming and we have some bushes that are just now starting to get leaves.

I have replanted my carnivorous plants from several smaller bog pots into one large one, but I think they might all be dead. We have had a good week of 90°F (32°C) weather and the soil has been kept moist.
( Submitted in June 2019.)


? Unfortunately, most of them are dead. Some of the plants that still have green and red showing on their cut pitchers may have some life in them, but you should be seeing some new growth now, and I didn't see any when I inspected your photos more closely. 

It's unusual to lose so many plants, even in a cold winter unless the plants were totally exposed during a harsh cold period. How were they being cared for over the winter? What was the location of their growing containers? Did they get any kind of covering? Were they on the ground or up on a table or bench?


?? Dang it! They were potted in 12-18" containers that sat in a pond form on large rocks and the pond had distilled water. The pond form was on the ground in a high sun location on the south side of a building to block high winds. We really didn't get much snow this year. Because of the rocks they were a good 8" off the ground level. I overwintered with hay.


Ok, now a picture is emerging for me as to what happened. So, the plants were in large containers, and the containers were set in a pond form (as a large water tray) that sat on rocks. With the pond,being elevated on rocks, the plants were more vulnerable during very cold weather. The hay helped I'm sure, but with the type of freezing weather you can get in Nebraska, the protection needs to be more substantial. The hay would have needed to be quite deep, and the sides of the containers would also need to be insulated with hay. 

Overwintering container plants in your region can be done, and we have many customers in the Midwest and New England area who have been successful at it. I would recommend taking any future plants out of the pond for the winter and overwintering them someplace like a garage since they are potted. Do you have our digital download? We have an extensive chapter in there on winter protection. That will give you more pointers on protecting your plants from extended freezes.

• The original question and response have been edited for publication.
• With a database of thousands of questions, we will post a Q&A every few days or so.
• To search for similar posts, click on a hashtag below or use the site's search function.
• To submit a carnivorous plant question, visit
Ask the Growers.