You are here:

Carnivorous Plants/Alata (?) pitchers won't stay up


Floppy pitchers
Floppy pitchers  
I bought an unlabeled rhizome now that its grown I believe it is some form of sarracenia alata (very tall narrow pitchers all green with dark red on the underside of the hood). It is growing very vigorously with many pitchers most of them are smaller and underdeveloped with no coloration. The tall full ones (22-30in) I do get flop over right about when they reach full height.
I didn't pot the plant myself but I believe it is in 1:1 peat to sand. I did add 1:1 peat to pearlite to the top because it didn't seem the soil was high enough. It is growing outdoors in central Florida. It is on my porch so it is shaded for part of the day but gets full sun from about 2-3pm till sunset.

How can I get them to stay upright without tying them all to stakes?

Sarracenia alata in the Wild
Sarracenia alata in th  
Hi Ryan,

Your plant needs more sun.  The thin whispy pitchers with not much color is a dead giveaway.  Sarracenia should get no less than 6 hours of direct sun.  Our plants here in the nursery get roughly 10 hours on a sunny day.  You want your plant more out in the open, not under and eave.  The general rule I use is that wherever you place a Pitcher plant, you should be able to grow a tomato plant there well.  If you couldn't, then it's not bright enough.

Also, I would switch to a different type of water tray.  Something that isn't clear is going to heat up the water less as to not cook the roots.  A light colored ceramic or plastic dish or tray would work better.

With the pitchers that have fallen over, just remove the ones that are broken.  There really is not way to get them to stay upright when they grow in low light unless you stake them up.  If you get your plant to full sun, the newer pitchers will be much stronger and more colorful.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sarracenia Northwest


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.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2017 All rights reserved.