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Carnivorous Plants/How do I know when to give up?


Sarracenia Flava AG3
Sarracenia Flava AG3  

Sarracenia Hybrid
Sarracenia Hybrid  
Hi guys,
I have several varieties of Sarracenia that appear to have died during the winter months this year.  My biggest concern is my Flava AG3 which is about 3 years old (it had a 2 foot pitcher last year!).  
I grow all of my Sarracenia in Vancouver, WA; in full sun; in the pots you provide standing in trays of water; they get rain water and water from a reverse osmosis filter; and I only use the mix of soil you recommend (peat moss and pearlite).
My question is this:  How do I know when a plant has no chance of coming back?  How far into the season should I wait before giving up and getting a new plant?
(The pics were taken after cutting off the leaves that looked brown with dark moldy looking spots).

I'm so sorry!  Looks like they're ready for the compost pile. You can also unpot them and examine the rhizomes.  Scrape the outer skin of the rhizome.  It should be white inside.  If it's brown, it's time to toss them.

You didn't mention about your winter care, so I'm going to assume that you didn't cover your plants during the freezes we had.  This is very important!  When the wind blows, it'll pull moisture out of the leaves.  However, because the water is frozen in the soil, the plant can't replace the moisture loss.  Hence, freeze drying.

At our nursery, we experienced temperatures as low as 8F twice, once in December and again in February.  In both instances, we covered the plants to protect them from the freezing wind.  When the freeze was over, we immediately uncovered the plants.  All of our Sarracenia and flytraps made it and are now producing lots of new growth.

I'll likely add a new service to our monthly newsletter that's dedicated to growers in Oregon and Washington.  Growers can receive weather alerts and instructions on what to do.  Stay tuned!

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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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.

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