Q/A #125 - Damage on Sarracenia

July 17, 2023

Q/A #125 - Damage on Sarracenia

My Sarracenia Godzuki is not looking healthy. He has developed brown spots and has a large hole in one of his pitchers. I transplanted about four weeks ago; I used sphagnum peat moss and perlite. It's typically been shaded for most of the day with maybe 2-3 hours of direct sunlight. I kept him inside by a window through March-April. Most of his symptoms were apparent before the transplant, but they have gotten worse. I live at 4,000’ in NE Oregon - much drier and cooler than the west side. Please help!
( Submitted in July 2020.)


The brown spots down on the pitcher is a kind of "indigestion" that Sarracenia often get from catching lots of insects. It's pretty normal and doesn't affect the overall health of the plant.  If anything, it just looks unsightly.

The ripped sections of the pitchers is most likely from a bird ripping the pitchers open to get at the insects inside. Jays and crows are known to do this. Can't blame them since the bugs are easy pickings.

A bigger problem I see is your sun exposure. Sarracenia are full sun plants. They need the same amount of sun you would need for a vegetable garden. 2-3 hours of direct sun are not enough. I like to use what I call the tomato rule; wherever you would need to grow a tomato plant, that's where a Sarracenia should be. If you couldn't grow a tomato plant in that spot, it's not bright enough. Also, don't fall into the trap of "Well, he couldn't possibly mean that here". Yes I do. When you move the plant to full sun after being in much lower light, you may get some burn. Any plant does that including cacti if kept in low light then moved. If some leaves burn, cut them off. When the plant grows new ones they will look normal. Your plant should have much more color than it does.

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