Q/A #144 - Brown Edges on Sarracenia

August 4, 2023

Q/A #144 - Brown Edges on Sarracenia

I hope that you will tell me that this is normal and not a result of sunburn from the heat we have had in the past. To me, Sarracenia Barry was a show stopper this year. Bought him March of last year where we had only 5 hours of  sun. Grew well, but wasn't as showy as this year. Since this past spring, he resides in a totally southern exposure. Have not transplanted since original purchase from Sarracenia Northwest. Do not fertilize. My set up is under construction. Have black rubber feed troughs with water from the tap (Portland OR). My question is, do you believe the plant is healthy or has he been burnt by the sun?
(Submitted in August 2021.)

This isn't burn. It's actually quite normal for this hybrid at this time of the year. This is an early-season plant, meaning that it produces its best looking pitchers in early summer, such as June. In late summer, such as in August, the pitchers will start to decline. At first, it will start with the edges of the pitchers, as you're seeing now. That brown edge are nectar glands drying up. It actually looks quite attractive. In a few weeks, the edges will start by dry and crispy. By early September, the pitcher top will turn brown.

Yes, more sun exposure will quicken the process, as you've noticed this year compared to last year when you had it in less sun. But it's with sun exposure that you have the beautiful pitchers you see in early summer. Your late-season plants, such as the Sarracenia leucophylla I see in the background, will soon produce its best pitchers of the season. So, just keep in mind that your plants have their own cycle.

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