How to propagate pitcher plant?

Pitcher Plant Propagation: How To Propagate A Pitcher Plant

If you’re a fan of the carnivorous pitcher plant, you’ll eventually want to propagate some of your specimens to add to your collection. These plants may look exotic, but propagating pitcher plants is no harder than propagating any other plant. Pitcher plant propagation can be done in a number of ways, but planting seeds or rooting cuttings are the best methods for home growers to succeed. Learn more about how to propagate a pitcher plant and you’ll increase your collection with very little effort.

Pitcher Plant Seeds

Collect the pitcher plant seeds in late fall by pinching open the dry capsules over an envelope or piece of paper towel. Drop the seeds into a sandwich bag, along with a fungicide such as Captan, and shake the bag to coat the seeds. Pour the seeds and powder onto a new sheet of paper towel and blow off the excess powder. Spread the seeds out on a dampened paper towel, roll up the towel and store it in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator for two to three months.

Sprout the seeds by sprinkling them over a mixture of sand and peat moss. Water it and place the planter under grow lights 18 hours a day. Germination can take weeks, and the seedlings need to stay under the lights for at least four months before transplanting.

Pitcher Plant Cuttings

A faster way to propagate is by rooting pitcher plant cuttings. Cut pieces of stem that have two or three leaves on them, and clip off half of each leaf. Cut the bottom end of the stem on a diagonal and cover it with rooting hormone powder.

Fill a planter with sphagnum moss and wet it. Make a hole in the damp moss with a pencil, place the powdered stem in the hole and push the moss around the stem to secure it. Water the pot again, place it in a plastic bag and place it under grow lights. The pitcher plant cuttings should root within two months, and can be transplanted after they begin to grow new leaves.

Propagation

Carnivorous Plants are generally easy to propagate. Their natural habitat, the bog, is one that can be disruptive to growing plants. Spring floods in the low wetlands often break up plants and wash them down stream. Carnivorous plants have adapted to reproducing vegetatively in order to spread and survive this stress. This features means that leaf and root cuttings can work very successfully with most carnivorous plants, especially the sundews and pitcher plants.

Methods of Propagation include:
Seeds
Vegetative Apomixis
Natural Leaf Budding
Stolons
Rhizome Budding
Rhizome Cuttings
Leaf Cuttings
Rhizome Divisions
Decapitation
Tissue Culture

Seeds
Generally speaking, the seeds of Carnivorous Plants are quite small and very slow growing. It takes a typical pitcher plant 3 to 4 years to gain a height of over 2 inches. Because of this, most Carnivorous Plants generally are not practical for classroom germination and growth. There is one nice exception: the sundews. These can germinate within a few days or weeks, grow quickly and even flower within a few months.

The best medium for seedlings is finely chopped, live green Sphagnum mixed with an equal amount of clean, washed sand. Mix and water thoroughly. The medium should be soaking wet. Sow the seeds directly on the surface. Do not overcrowd them and do not cover any Carnivorous Plant seeds with medium. Cover the growing area with plastic to keep humidity extra high. Place the seeded pots in the same growing conditions that the mature plants require. Use slightly filtered, rather than direct sunlight.

As a general rule, seeds that mature in the spring are ready for immediate sowing. Seeds that ripen in the fall must undergo a period of damp cold treatment called stratification. This can be accomplished by placing the seed-sown pot upright in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerating it for 6 to 8 weeks.

Vegetative Apomixis
Vegetative apomixis is the growth of a plantlet along the flower spike. This can occur with the Venus Flytrap and sundews. When the plantlet develops roots it can be removed carefully and placed in a Carnivorous Plant soil mixture.

Natural Leaf Budding
Some Carnivorous Plants will develop small plants along the leaf margin. This is fairly common with the butterworts and sundews. When the buds are large enough and have developed roots of their own, they can be separated and planted in a Carnivorous Plant soil mixture.

Stolons
Some Carnivorous Plants, such as the Cobra Lily, will develop plantlets along stolons or runners. These can be cut loose and replanted after they develop their own roots.

Rhizome Budding
Many of the pitcher plants and some other Carnivorous Plants will naturally develop small plants along the rhizome branch. These can successfully be separated by cutting them after they develop their own roots. Plant them in a Carnivorous Plant soil mixture.

Rhizome Cuttings
Pitcher plants can easily be propagated using rhizome cuttings. Use a large mature rhizome. Completely uncover the upper half of a horizontal rhizome of a healthy mature plant. Leave the lower rooted section intact. With a sharp, fresh, single-edged razor blade, carefully slice perpendicularly into the rhizome about halfway. Repeat this at several points about 1 inch apart. Leave the top of the rhizome uncovered, and in a few weeks new growth buds will appear at the cuts. When they develop their own roots they may be separated and planted in a Carnivorous Plant soil mixture.

Leaf Cuttings
Leaf cuttings work very well with sundews, moderately well with butterworts and fairly well with Venus Flytraps. This is best done in the early growing season of Spring. Cut off a fresh, healthy, mature leaf at the base of the petiole with a clean, fresh, single-edged razor blade. Place the entire leaf right-side-up on a bed of moist, finely chopped green Sphagnum. The lower side of the leaf must lie flat on the Sphagnum. You can do this by placing a single layer of cheesecloth over the leaf or by pinning it down with toothpicks. Place your pot of leaf cuttings in the shade into a plastic bag or other high humidity area. Choose a warm, but not hot place. Plantlets will occur in several weeks. Let them develop their own root systems before separating them and planting them in a Carnivorous Plant soil mixture. Slowly acclimate the new plants to their normal growing conditions. Leaf cuttings also can be placed in water to develop plantlets. This is especially useful with the sundews.

Rhizome Division
Rhizomes of many Carnivorous Plants can simply be cut into 1 inch sections and planted separately. If roots are included in the sections, take care not to damage them. This works very well with pitcher plants.

Decapitation
Many sundews can be propagated asexually by decapitation. Simply cut off the plant at, or just below, the soil level. Place the cut off top firmly into Carnivorous Plant soil. The top will regenerate roots and the root section of the original plant will regenerate another plant.

Tissue Culture
Carnivorous Plants can be rapidly propagated using tissue culture. The resulting plants are identical to the parent plant. This is a rather involved process and too lengthy for discussion here. Find appropriate directions and materials, and you should have good success.

Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant or Trumpet Pitcher)

Pitcher Plant Care Guide

Light

This is a sun-loving plant and it just can’t get enough of it. During the growing season (April to October), your Pitcher Plant must get full sun, or at the bare minimum very bright light, for the pitchers to form and properly develop. South facing windows with full exposure would be this plants first and prime choice.

East and West may be suitable as a last resort, but it will need direct sun for at least a few hours a day. You may just scrape by with a bright location on a windowsill, but in almost all cases you’ll need somewhere with direct sunlight exposure for a thriving plant.

If you only have space in a North facing room then a long term relationship with this plant isn’t going to work out and you should look for something else to go in that room.

Watering

Pay attention because you need to get this right. There are two simple rules to remember –

  • Keep it permanently wet – This plant needs to be wet or at the very least moist almost all year round. Do not let it dry out at all. The only exception is during the resting period in the cold months of the year at which point you need to reduce watering to prevent the rhizome rotting.
    You can water very heavily, so the bottom third, or even half of the pot stands in the excess water. The native home for these plants are bogs or marshes which are constantly damp and wet. Sarracenia tend to have a thirst and this combined with the hopefully sunny spot (see above) you’re trying to grow it in will mean regular watering is a must.
  • Use the right type of water – carnivorous plants need acidic water and using neutral or alkaline water for long periods will kill your plant. Once or twice in an emergency will be okay because it’s better to use the incorrect water than no water at all.
    The most commonly accessible source of acidic water is rainwater. You may be able to use tap water but only if you live in a very soft water area, hard water must be avoided as it contains too many minerals. Bottled water might be okay, but if it’s been collected from springs which run through limestone the water will be slightly alkaline and so this is a no-no. Mineral water shouldn’t be used or water from fish tanks or ponds due to the high concentration of nitrates.

Humidity

If you water correctly there should, in theory, be a constant source of moisture around the plant which gives a natural buff to the surrounding humidity levels. This means there is nothing additional you need do here unless you have a very dry home or place your plant in excessively dry air such as above a radiator. In this instance artificially raising the humidity level will be needed to prevent the tips of the pitchers from becoming crispy.

Pay attention, because you need to get the care requirements right

Feeding

No fertiliser of any kind should be provided to your Pitcher Plants. They’re experts at dealing with nutrient-poor situations and this is why they’ve evolved to capture insects.

All the nutrients they’ll need will come from their own ability to trap pray within the pitchers and you don’t need to give them anything extra. If you never get any insets in your home (lucky you!), then consider putting your plant outside for a few weeks or so during the Summer and they’ll catch ample food during this time.

Temperature

They like it warm to hot when in active growth so a typical home is perfect, and in Winter they like it cold. Really cold. Unlike almost every other houseplants they’ll happily take mild frosts when dormant.

Repotting

You seldom need to repot a Sarracenia into a bigger pot unless the container you’re starting with is very small. As a base guide, consider potting on once every 2 to 3 years and this is primarily to refresh the growing medium to ensure it holds water correctly as well as removing any build up of minerals that have occurred over time.

By this point in our article, you should know already that these plants are used to a lack of nutrients, and this extends to the type of growing medium they live in. You must not use any normal houseplant compost or, as someone once asked, “dirt from the yard”.

There are lots of different mixes you can use or create yourself, but if you’re very new to these plants and don’t want to spend a long time researching growing mediums, just pick up or order some compost that’s labeled for carnivorous plants.

Propagation

You can propagate Pitcher Plants from seed, but this requires two different plants to start with and then a large amount of time (3 to 5 years) to grow the plant from seed to a large enough size to produce pitchers. Instead it’s normally more efficient to use the rhizome, which is the most important part of a Pitcher plant and holds the key to successful easy propagation in most cases.

All you need to do is split a mature rhizome in half (or even smaller if you want more than two plants). It’s best to wait until early Spring when new growth is starting so it’s easier to handle and gives you a good view of where all the bits and pieces are.

Try to make sure each split of the rhizome has a few new leaves forming and some roots to give the plant the best chance of establishing. Pot up using carnivorous plant compost and treat like you would an adult plant.

Speed of Growth

With warm temperatures, excellent light levels and ample water these plants grow really fast. Several new leaves / pitchers forming each week is not unheard of.

Height / Spread

There are many varieties and hybrids which all have different growing traits. In general, your plant will be classed as either a tall or short growing variety. Most shop or store brought Pitcher Plants will be the short fairly compact growing variety and they’ll unlikely to reach more than 25cm / 10 inches.

The tall varieties grow considerably higher, up to 100cm / 3.5 ft although they normally need full outdoor exposure and for that reason tend not to make good houseplants.

Flowers

Given a Winter Rest (see below) come Spring the plant will come back to life and shortly after “waking up”, it will often produce some interesting complex looking flowers that rise high above the plant and last for a few weeks. These die down and are gradually replaced by the pitchers. On our own plants’ flowers have also appeared in mid to late Summer if they’ve been treated well. They’re sometimes scented although at times the smell can be unpleasant. If you find it too overpowering then you can simply cut the flower stem off.

Is the Pitcher Plant Poisonous?

Pitcher Plants are non-toxic to cats, dogs and people.

Winter Resting Cycle

Many houseplants benefit from a Winter rest but for Pitcher Plants, it’s essential for them to stay healthy and long-lived. If you don’t follow the resting process, over time your plant will become weaker and will eventually die. The good news is that the Winter rest is very easy to do:

  • Towards the middle and end of autumn (October / November in the northern hemisphere) the light and temperature levels will fall, which should then trigger the dormancy process. You’ll notice during this period that some of the growth will be dying off, turning black or just looking very tatty and this will continue for a month or so. Remove and discard the dead or tatty growth. – Pitcher Plant not showing dormancy signs?
  • During this time, cut back on the watering and aim to keep the soil just damp rather than wet as you should have been doing during the Spring, Summer and early autumn.
  • When growth has stopped and the existing leaves are looking tatty or have died completely (November / December) you should move your plant to a cool location for the Winter. An unheated greenhouse, porch or conservatory are all good places.
    Some people even put their plants outside in a sheltered place like a shed or cold frame, although you should still take care to protect the rhizome from extreme weather conditions and excessive rainfall. Remember to only keep the soil just damp during this period and ensure there is ventilation to reduce the chances of rot or fungus attacks.
  • When the heat and light levels increase again, so very late Winter / Early Spring (February / March / April) new growth will start to appear. Cut off all the tatty growth from the previous year and slowly bring it back to where it was growing prior to the rest. New leaf shoots or pitchers should start to appear fairly quickly and within a few months, your plant will be its usual self complete with many new pitchers to admire as it uses them to lure prey into once more.
    The photo here shows our Pitcher Plant in Spring (end of March) after it’s completed it’s Winter rest period in an outdoor garden shed. We removed all the tatty and dead leaves and pitchers at the end of February leaving just a few inches at the base. Already you can see several new shoots growing.

How to Care for a Pitcher Plant Summary

  1. High Light Levels Direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day is needed.

  2. Heavy Watering Try to ensure the plant is sitting in water constantly.

  3. Warm Temperatures Normal to warm indoor room temperatures are required when it’s growing.

  4. Feeding No fertiliser should be provided at any time – it creates its own by catching and digesting “prey”!.

  • Do not grow the plant in a North facing aspect unless you’re using a grow light
  • Do not let the plant dry out at all during the growing seasons
  • Do not hand feed your plant with insects

Pitcher Plant Problems

Crispy Leaves / Pitchers

This is caused by one of two things – firstly Sarracenia loves the sun, but if it’s not used to intense sunlight then the leaves / pitchers may burn and crisp as you can see in the picture below.

The second and more likely cause is that you’ve allowed the soil to dry out too much during the growing season. No Sarracenia species is forgiving of its watering requirements. You must supply a constant source of water around the roots during the growing months.

In either case hopefully, you’ve spotted the damage and corrected the problem before it became too bad. If it’s very disfiguring you can cut the damaged pitchers away and new growth will eventually fill the space.

Only producing leaves not pitchers

If the light levels are poor then this could be the result – Move to a sunnier spot. If you’re noticing this towards the end of Summer then it’s probably normal. The plant knows the Winter dormancy is coming so it conserves its energy by creating more simple leaves rather than the more complex pitchers. Give it the Winter rest and the pitchers will be back next Spring.

Pitcher Markings are fading

You must provide high levels of sunlight to keep the markings. If the light level is too low, over time existing pitchers will develop a washed out appearance and new pitchers will either be completely green or only mildly marked.

Should I feed my Pitcher Plant with dead insects?

No. The plant is adapted to capturing live prey itself. And they can catch a lot over a growing season. If you feed the plant with dead insects then it could cause issues in the long term, for example, the insects might be dead because they were poisoned which you’re now spreading into the plant.

If you really do have an insect free home and no access to put your plant outdoors occasionally then a weak houseplant feed once or twice a year might be worth considering.

Pitcher Plant not entering dormancy

It’s not known for certain exactly what triggers Pitcher Plant dormancy, the general view is that it’s the combination of lower light levels with falling temperatures. So in most cases, if your plant fails to stop growing as you approach Winter then it’s likely because it’s too warm in your home still.

The dormancy is essential for the continuous long term health of your plant, so if it’s not happening naturally move it to a cooler spot to force the process to start.

Aphids

Pitcher plants are quite hardy when it comes to pests and diseases, but they can be weakened and damaged overtime by pests which attack in mass. For that reason, Aphids can be a problem and if you notice them you should take action.

About the Author

Tom Knight

Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team.

Also on Ourhouseplants.com

Credit Sarracenia pitcher close up shot – Gallery – Geoff Gallice
Credit Pitcher Plant Sarracenia leucophylla – Article / Gallery – Xscd
Credit for the Pitcher Plant rhizome and the annotated diagrame of a pitcher – Article / Gallery – Noah Elhardt

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How Do Carnivorous Plants Reproduce?

The Fascinating Difference

Carnivorous plants are not half-animal, half-plants. They are unusual only in that they consume insects; in all other respects of their life cycle, including reproduction, carnivorous plants are the same as other plants.

Carnivorous plants consume insects for nutrients, not to produce energy. Their leaves produce energy through photosynthesis–chlorophyll in the leaves combines hydrogen from water with carbon from carbon dioxide to produce sugars that the plant needs to grow. Botanists believe that consuming insects is an evolutionary adaptation to soils that lack nitrogen; it is not relevant to the way they reproduce.

Life Cycle and Seeds

The life cycle of a carnivorous plant, as with most plants, begins with a seed. The flowers of carnivorous plants produce seeds. The seeds germinate. Seedlings grow. The plants mature, which takes less than a year for some varieties but can take longer. Depending on the amount of sunlight and competition with other plants, a Venus Flytrap can take two to four years to flower. The cycle of seed germination, plant growth, flowering and producing seeds is repeated.

Vegetative Reproduction

In addition to reproducing by seeds, some carnivorous flowers grow small plants from the roots at their base. These small plants grow to maturity and spread in the same manner. These plants still produce flowers and seeds.

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3. Propagation

By S. Roger Horman

Pitcher plants thrive in sunlit bogs, where the soil is constantly moist, acidic and contains few nutrients. Propagation from seed is best performed with these factors in mind. The process described below includes:

  • When to plant
  • Separation of seeds from their pods,
  • Measuring the right number of seeds to plant by counting, weighing or volume,
  • Making the planting mix,
  • Filling the pots,
  • Planting the seeds,
  • Making and installing protective tents for the pots,
  • Providing constant moisture, and
  • Repotting the plants when this is needed.

Pitcher plant seeds are formed in the 5-carpellate ovaries of the flowers. The structure of the flower, as shown below in figure 2(a), maintains this five-fold symmetry, and shields the ovary during much of its development behind a highly modified umbrella-like style. When the ovary has matured, it will become dry and take on a tan to reddish brown color, figure 2(b). The number of seeds per ovary is highly variable, ranging from a few to hundreds. The size of the seeds is also highly variable between species and from different plants within species due to environmental factors and maturity of the parent plant.

When the capsule has dried completely, the ovaries are ready for harvesting. To prevent loss of seeds, they can be cut while still green in late August. Frequently, the ovaries will split open like the lower one in figure 2(b), but some will remain tightly sealed like the upper capsule in that figure. The seeds are easy to remove from the ovary with the fingers aided by a dental pick. Because it is easy to confuse debris from the ovary with the seeds, it is best to try to remove the seeds without crushing and scattering the ovaries. A dental pick or a very small brush can be used to remove debris from the seeds. This can be tedious with a large volume of seeds, therefore it is recommended that only a single ovary be processed at a time and clean seeds be removed from the work area and stored in a vial or bottle with a top. The seeds should be stored in paper envelopes in a cool place such as a refrigerator.

The best time to plant is in mid winter. Planting of the seeds is best done in pots with a nominal volume of 1 gallon. Although there is no set rule about the number of seeds to be planted in each pot, 100 seeds seems to work out well. This is actually a small volume of seeds, as can be seen in figure 1. If you do not intend to measure germination and survival rates, you can approximate 100 seeds by measuring the weight or volume of a small volume of seeds, count the seeds measured, using a dental pick or a small brush, and then use this information to approximate 100 seeds. For example, figure 3 shows a scoop fabricated from a previously fired .22 caliber long rifle casing and wire. It tended to contain approximately 150 Sarracenia flava seeds on several trials. Remember, the size of seeds is highly variable, so do not assume that this scoop will even approximate the count that you will get with your seeds. If you want to measure germination rates, there is no way around counting the seeds.

The planting mixture for virtually all North American pitcher plant seeds is an even mixture (by volume) of masonry sand and peat moss. The best way to mix large volumes of peat moss and sand is in a wheel barrow or on the ground. The two materials should be mixed well, as if you were mixing concrete. Add water as you mix and thoroughly hydrate the peat to the point that you can squeeze the soil and see water, but not to the point that you can make the soil a soup. If the pots are used, it is recommended that they be sterilized by washing with bleach and detergent, followed by thorough rinsing and air drying.

When completed, the mixture should appear uniform as in the case of figure 4.

Next, pine needles should be pressed into the bottom of the pot until the compressed needles completely cover the drainage holes plus a quarter of an inch (about 5-10 mm). The purpose of the pine needles is to prevent loss of the planting mix through the drain holes in the pots. This loss in turn can lead to slumping of the mix in the pots and damage or loss of plants. We have also used a double thickness of institutional coffee filters, which works well at first, but which frequently rots and fails. The pine needles last well and do a good job of retaining the planting mix. Add the planting mixture to each pot being careful to press the mixture in firmly to avoid voids in the mix. The soil level should be approximately one quarter to one half inch from the top of the pot. Insert an 18 inch (approximately 45 cm) long stake firmly into the pot, taking care that the stake is vertical (see figure 5.) Afterwards, take care to press the mixture surface such that it is as flat and level as possible. Next gently tap the seeds from the seed container as evenly as possible over the entire surface of the mixture in the pot. Do not bury them or water them on top. The seeds are very hydrophobic and direct surface watering will result in the seeds floating away. Handling of the seeds with fingers or other tools may also result in the unwanted transfer of seeds to other experimental pots. Do not bury them. A tent of unwoven fabric or the tubular cloth covering made for drain tile (see http://www.carriff.com) will protect the seeds and seedlings from most of the negative effects of rain and adverse weather, as well as provide some protection from large insects.We make ours approximately 13 inches (33 cm) high, and attach the top to the stake with a “twist tie” and, if tents of unwoven fabric are used, the bottom to the pot with rubber bands. The rubber bands will degrade in sunlight, but normally will remain effective until the seedlings are ready to live without the protection of the tent, about 6-9 months (figures 6 and 7.) The tubular cloth tents have an elastic nature, which allows them to be used without the rubber bands.

The pots should be placed snugly together in a flooded bed with water maintained at a constant level of about 1/3rd to 1/2 pot height. We have found that an automatic watering system, coupled with a drain the height of which determines the water depth, prevents accidents such as letting the pots dry out. Since drying is frequently fatal to the seedlings, care must be taken to check the water depth on a regular basis, even if an automatic watering system is used. Reference to the Potomac Elementary School (Dahlgren, VA) site will provide photographs of such a flooded bed and watering system.

One of the most efficient ways to break dormancy in the seeds and prepare them for germination is to sow them on the surface of the prepared pots in mid-winter. Once the seeds are sown, the tents are placed over the pot, and the whole assembly is placed outside in the tank of water maintained at 1/3rd to 1/2 pot height. The freezing and thawing which occurs over the winter months breaks dormancy in the seed and the tent prevents seed loss. Furthermore, since the seeds have already been sown in the pot they can then germinate and grow in the spring under the protected conditions provided by the tent. Pitcher plant seeds typically germinate outside during May in the mid-Atlantic states. The tents will prevent damage to the tender seedlings from severe storm events during the summer months. Tents may then be removed in mid to late summer.

If one desires to germinate pitcher plant seeds and raise seedlings indoors under lights during the winter, the following changes may be made. After one month of freezing and thawing bring the pots inside. Place the pots in water maintained at 1/3 the height of the pot. Cool white flourescent lights, with an 18 hour photoperiod, may then be placed 10cm from the top of the pot. Germination will begin within two to three weeks. Instructions for building light stands are provided on the Potomac Elementary School web site.

Depending on the quality of the seeds and the water used, germination rates from 1% to 84% can be expected. Because most of the water consumed by the evaporation from the pot comes from the base and not the top, hard water can cause a build-up of toxic minerals called caliche. Caliche formation can be avoided by use of soft water, distilled water or rainwater. However, unless you are growing a small number of pots, the amount of water consumed during the summer months in a climate like that of Virginia will require more water than can normally be collected in a rain barrel.

The seeds will germinate in 3-8 weeks after the last thaw, but will have very short roots. This is the main reason why the use of tents is critical. The young sprouts are easily dislodged and moved, even to the point of being knocked out of the pot, by rain drops which hit them directly. The sprouts will look like very tiny pitcher plants from the beginning. If weed seeds were in your sand or peat moss you will see a very prompt and healthy germination of them as well. Take care when pulling weeds, but normally there will be no question of the difference between them and the little pitcher plants. If weeds are allowed to get too tall, their root structure is usually extensive compared to that of the pitcher plants. This will require a careful touch to tease the weeds out of the mix without dislodging the pitcher plants. Figure 8 shows what a pot of pitchers looks like about one year after germination, when grown outside in soft well water.

It is possible to force the growth of pitcher plants indoors during winter through use of fluorescent lighting in a heated room. Reference to the Potomac Elementary School Website, devoted to work performed with the assistance of grants from Toyota, the National Science Teachers Association and Virginia Power, will provide detailed information concerning how to make light tables and show the dramatic growth possible through this forced growth. It is important to allow the seedlings to go dormant for a few weeks prior to bringing them inside.

Regardless of the method by which the seedlings are raised, outdoors or forced inside under lights, the time to transplant small seedlings from crowded pots is in early Spring. We do not recommend transplanting seedlings in the Fall. Fall transplant of seedlings results in a greater likelihood of mortality due to freezing effects on the poorly rooted plants.Disturb the roots as little as possible. If it is possible to remove the plant and a core of soil containing all its roots, this is recommended. If you are transplanting a large number, either transplant them one at a time or place the seedlings in water to avoid desiccation until they are ready to plant.

It generally takes 5-7 years from planting of a seed until the plant reaches sexual maturity and blooms. This can be somewhat accelerated by ideal growing conditions and/or a winter of forced growth under lights. Continued forced growth beyond a year is frequently detrimental, so it should be viewed as a means to get the plants to a size and state where they will be more likely to survive on their own.

The plants in figures 8 (a) and 8 (b) are hybrids, which can be beautiful and surprising in your gardens. You should not plant hybrids into the wild, nor plant known species into the wild except into areas of their current or historic range. This is important to prevent any further deterioration of pitcher plant stands in the wild and to avoid competition with attempts to restore threatened and endangered plants to their historic ranges.

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