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Carnivorous Plants/Weird coloration


Blotchy red. Pitchers
Blotchy red. Pitchers  
Hi I am replying to give more info about my sarracenia flavas growing conditions. I live in redding Connecticut, and I keep the North American carnivorous plants outside all day until about 9pm, then I take them inside, I was planning on doing this until may 15 to avoid frost. i grow them in a peat perlite wet mix. and i keep them on a porch were they usually get more than six hrs of sun each day. But for some reason my sarracenia Flava is getting blotchy rusty red spots all over different spots of its pitchers. I think it has something to do with pests
But I am not sure. I cannot tell what is wrong and this is the first time this happen to any of my pitcher plants. Thankyou!

Sorry that the light made the picture hard to see the red color.

Those are rust spots, a harmless fungal infection.  They occur when there is some sort of micro trauma to the leaves, either from insects or environmental.  Unfavorable changes in the environment will also cause these micro traumas.  Once they occur, the rust spots are permanent.  They will not go away.  The most you can do is prevent new spots from developing.

First, lets take care of the lighting issue.  You mentioned giving your plants six hours of sun each day.   Is this direct sunlight where the sun is actually hitting the plant?  Sarracenia requires full sun, 6 or more hours of direct sunlight.  Indirect sunlight is not the same and will provide poor results.  Your plant is showing signs of poor lighting, such as indirect light.  So giving your plant more sunlight will improve its health and leaf appearance.  

Second, after placing your plant in a location where it can get 6 or more hours of direct sunlight, leave it there.  There is no need to bring your plant indoors every night unless you have a frost in the forecast.  (Frost is defined as temperatures of 31 or lower.)  If there is no frost in the forecast, you are doing your plant more harm than good when you bring it inside.  The idea of protecting Sarracenia from springtime frost is to protect the delicate new growth.  Your plant will not die if it experienced frost, but you will prevent it from acclimating to your local weather if you baby it too much.  This will lower its tolerance to cold weather and weaken its overall health.  

Frost is not at all harmful or deadly to Sarracenia.  We grow them exclusively outdoors at our nursery in Oregon.  Sometimes a late springtime frost will damage the new growth.  The overall health of the plants, however, are fine.  In time, the plant will produce new leaves to replace the damaged ones.  I checked your weather forecast for your region.  You have no frost in the foreseeable forecast, so bringing your plant indoors every night is not at all necessary.

So yes, this type of constant change to the environment can damage the plant and weaken its immunity against rust spots. When you bring your plant in at nights, the temperature is very warm and cozy.  When you put it out during the day, the temperature is much cooler.  When you factor in improper sunlight, your plant becomes more susceptible to rust spots.

Keep your plant outside in the sunniest location possible, and leave it there.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin  

Carnivorous Plants

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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