Q/A #121 - Sarracenia Are Turning Brown

June 30, 2023

Q/A #121 - Sarracenia Are Turning Brown

Could you look at these pictures and tell me what I’m doing wrong? They grow tall and skinny, they fall over, and the tips turn brown. I keep them wet and they get eight hours of sun. I’m in Jacksonville, Florida. I do not fertilize, and I use RO water. Thanks
( Submitted in June 2020.)


Given your location, you're not doing anything wrong, and the plants are looking exactly like many do when you get to the heat of the summer, especially if they are catching lots of bugs. Being in Florida, your growing season is 2-3 months ahead of ours. What you're seeing now is what we would see in the Pacific Northwest in August. 

Your plants have caught a huge amount of insects, and most of the die-off seems to be in the tops of the pitchers from where the insects collect. It looks like a combination of those mass insect captures combined with a midsummer slowdown that many plants have during the hottest parts of the summer.

It looks like these are Sarracenia alata and alata hybrids that are having the issues. These plants will produce a new flush of pitchers in late summer when the weather moderates as we enter fall. 

In your third photo, looks like you have a hybrid with S. oreophila. Hybrids of this species prefer mild temperatures. They tend to enter a summer resting state when the weather gets hot. Depending on the hybrid, you might see another set of pitchers in late summer.

I would just cut off the worst looking pitchers where they are brown and leave the green sections. They may still be digesting some insects in those areas. As we get to some cooler nights in late August and September you should see a turnaround and some of the prettiest pitchers of the season for those plants.

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