Q/A #115 - Thrips on Sarracenia

June 23, 2023

Q/A #115 - Thrips on Sarracenia

This is a Sarracenia Extreme Green I got from you a little over a month ago. I don’t think this is your fault. Just an example. I have quite a few other Sarracenia in my collection that look the same, while others that seem just fine. What research I’ve done it points to thrips. But I’d like to see what you might think. 
(Submitted in June 2020.)


This could very well be thrips and possibly aphids. Is your weather pretty dry right now? That seems to be the conditions that foster thrips outdoors. We get an outbreak of them once in a while in late summer. Both pests will attack new growth as they emerge. As the growth develops into a pitcher, it appears deformed like in your photo. It looks like the attack happened when the new growth was in its later development, right before opening into a pitcher.

To treat them try a Neem spray first. You will have to do several re-applications. Follow directions on the label for when to do that, and any other relevant information such as best time of day to spray. You will need to spray several times, 2-3 days apart. After that, you will need to monitor closely and spray as needed.

If new growth is still coming out deformed during the rest of the growing season, you may need to break out the heavy artillery - acephate. It's nasty stuff, and I don't recommend it unless the thrips keep coming back. They can be very persistent. Wear gloves, long sleeves and a mask to spray it. Change your clothes and shower afterwards. It's quite safe on the plants when used as directed, and is systemic, so it will protect your plants for about a month. If you have any flowers buds, you will need to cut them off because the insecticide will transfer to pollen and nectar, which will ultimately affect bees. 

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