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Carnivorous Plants/Did we kill the pitcher plant?


wilted plant pic 1
wilted plant pic 1  

wilted plant pic 2
wilted plant pic 2  
My father put his pitcher plant in the garage for winter - as he has done for past 3-4 years.  I don't know which kind it is as he bought it off the discount table about 4 years ago at a grocery store for $5 This year a winter storm hit us (N. GA) and the garage dropped to about 30 degrees.  Now his plant looks like it suffered from frost or has froze to death.  What should we do to care for it or is it a gonner and needs to be tossed?

Hi Melba,

The short answer is yes. :(  Say some final words.

This is a classic case of where carnivorous plants are not a "One size fits all" proposition.  They are very diverse, and pitcher plant is a very generic term.  Any type of plant that has some sort of well or tube that insects fall into, and are absorbed by the plant is called a pitcher plant.  This includes plants like Cephalotus, the Australian Pitcher Plant which comes from an area with weather like California, Heliamphora, from mountains in South America and likes cool, but not cold temperatures, Sarracenia from the United States and Canada, which are very used to freezing temperatures in winter, and your plant, a Nepenthes that comes from Southeast Asia, and is a tropical rainforest plant.  

At first I thought you may have had a Sarracenia, many of which are native to Georgia.  30 degrees F. would not even be worth a second look.  They experience those temperatures all the time in nature.  Nepenthes, however, are very tropical and cannot handle cold at all.  Some varieties don't mind cool, but we never let them go below 50.  Nepenthes are definitely houseplants.  Sarracenia on the other hand, should be outside, even in cold and snow in the South.

If you acquire more carnivorous plants in the future, and are not sure if the identity, a quick web search is always a good idea to at least see what family it's from.  You're always welcome to send me a photo here at Allexperts, and I'll do my best to ID the plant.  Here's a link to our website than can be helpful with this:

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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