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QUESTION: On your web page there is a picture of Darlingtonia sitting in cat litter pans, what are there conditions ? How much light do they get ? & is it possible to grow Darlingtonia if North facing building full shade

ANSWER: Hi Mike,

In that photo the plants are in a peat, perlite, and bark mixture (we don't use the bark anymore), they only get top-watered with a drip system, and are in full sun.  Low, wide pots help aerate and cool the soil.  Also notice that they are up off the ground.  This is super, super important.  Darlingtonia are subject to the fungal diseases Cylindrocarpon and Pythium.  They pick it up from ground contact or other infected plants.  This is also why we don't use bark in the medium anymore since it can carry the diseases.  Both diseases are spread via water trays too, hence only top-watering.  This was only recently discovered, and is probably a big reason that Darlingtonia have a bad reputation for being difficult.

Full shade won't work.  Darlingtonia are more shade tolerant than Sarracenia, but I would estimate you need at least a four hour exposure.  I once had several on the South side of a house in-between the house and a fence.  They got around 4 hours of sun there, and did quite well.  In nature they mostly grow in full sun.

If you haven't seen this video we made a few years ago, it's pretty informative:

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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

QUESTION: Dose your drip system drip all the time or is it on a timer ?

Hi Mike,

It's definitely on a timer. We currently do about 5 minutes twice a day, then increasing as the weather gets hotter.  You'll have to gauge in your own situation how much water you can use, the weather, etc...  In Ontario you probably get more summer thunderstorms than we do, so that will be a help.  We have to purify our water and store it, so water demands during the dry PNW summers put a heavy demand on our water, so we have to be conservative.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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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.

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.

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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!


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