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Carnivorous Plants/Sarracenia rhizomes uncovered


Sarracenia leucophylla rhizome
Sarracenia leucophylla  
Sarracenia flava rhizome
Sarracenia flava rhizo  

22 C yesterday, spring is definitely in Germany now! Pitcher plants are sending their flower stalks towards the sky, I am counting 22 so far, quite good for a 4sqm balcony ;-)

Although sphagnum is growing extremely well, I could not bare to see the Sarracenia rhizomes covered by the moss. So I just spent 5 hours removing the moss around the rhizomes and trimming off dead leaves, felt like peeling onions ;-o Finally I sprayed the fresh rhizomes with a fungicide.

1.) Should I cover the rhizome/roots with life sphagnum moss again? Or it should be fine like that?  

2.) Will removing the old dead bulbs layers (like peeling onions...) encourage new growing points? Or should I really make a "V" formed notch?

Thanks a lot for your help Jeff, have a great weekend!




You don't need to cover the rhizomes.  They are fine like that.  The moss over time will encroach anyway.  S. leucophylla grows its rhizomes on the surface normally, and flava tends to be just like you see, partially underground.

If you're trying to encourage new growth points making the notches does help.  It's especially useful for Sarracenia that grow long rhizomes like S. leucophylla and S. minor.  You don't really need to do it with S. flava since it tends to clump just fine without any help.

Here's a word of caution.  Don't get too aggressive about peeling off the old leaf bases on the rhizomes.  Clean them up by clipping of old dead material close to the rhizome, but if you peel off all the old stuff you make little micro-tears opening up live tissue.  This becomes easy entry points for fungus.  Spraying with the fungicide was good in this situation.  Fortunately Sarracenia are pretty tough, but I know growers in parts of the US with hot humid summers (in the plant's native range ironically) tend to battle fungal infections much more than us in the West.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for your fast reply!

So should i spray the Rhizome with fungicide each week for a month to be on the safe side, or once should be enough? And since I am growing the plants outside on a south side, could fungus still occur?



Hi JP,

Follow the directions on the label for re-application as a preventative.  After a month the rhizome will have hardened off.  You shouldn't need to treat after that.

On a totally unrelated topic, I'm going to be on a gardening show live here in Portland at 10:00am PST today.  There a link on our Facebook page on how to listen live on the internet.  Here's a link:  That's in one and a half hours.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Whoops!  Slight mistake above.  The time is Pacific Daylight Time, not standard time.

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