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Carnivorous Plants/trimming brown or deformed leaves


Hello, I have several varieties of sarracenia and a few flytrap plants.  I have had them since last summer.  I live in Chicago, Il (zone 5).  They are kept in 5 inch pots sitting in trays watered with rain barrel water, and are in the one spot in my yard that receives 8+ hours of direct sunlight each day.  They are kept in 50/50 peat moss/pearl lite.  They are not quite as tall as they were last year, but I'm thinking that is from the cooler summer we've had and the fact that they are in 5" pots now which also would make them cooler.
    Earlier this summer, I had a problem with aphids, which I treated with a systemic insecticide spray (Bayer Rose and Flower).  My question is should I remove the twisted/deformed leaves since they have new leaves now.  Also, should I remove the old leaves where they are turning brown near the top from being full of insects(sarracenia) and if I do remove, should I remove the whole leaf or just the brown part?

Hi Brian,

Go ahead and remove both the brown leaves and deformed ones.  I usually remove the whole leaf.  If you have pitcher leaves on species such as S. flava and S. oreophila that are early season growers there's some benefit to leaving the normal pitchers until winter since they may still be digesting insects in the bottom even though the tops are browning.  I always remove pitchers from the previous season, however even if there's still a little green.  What this does is open up the rhizome to more sun so that you get better formed leaves in a new season.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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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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