Sarracenia are also known as American Pitcher Plants, and many species can be found growing in the Pacific Northwest. There are currently around 8 to 11 species of Sarracenia, and many more subspecies and cultivars.
Sarracenia use pitcher traps to catch the prey. Pitcher leaves produce a nectar and pleasant smell, which attract insects to the trap. Insects that are lured to the plant sit on the plant’s leaves and slip into the pitchers because of slippery waxy surfaces. The nectar also intoxicates the insects, and they get trapped inside the pitchers where the digestion starts shortly after. Pretty scary, isn’t it?
Use the water tray method to water your American pitcher plants. Place the pot in the deep saucer with water to around 1 inch of water level. Don’t worry too much about how wet the soil is – keep it damp to wet. General rule is to keep the soil wet in summer when the plant is active. You can also keep the soil very wet for few days in a month, during the summer period. In winter, when the plant is dormant, let the soil be slightly damp and not too wet.
As with all carnivorous plants, your water should be as close to mineral free as possible. If you live in San Francisco and are on the Hetch Hetchy system, tap water is ok, but distilled or rain water is always preferred when possible.
Sarracenia 'Meercat Mob' is a hybrid cultivar species of Sarracenia whose exact parentage is unknown. It exhibits tall, flamboyant pitchers with a beautiful range of colors.