Plant of Sarracenia
Sarracenia is a carnivorous plant belonging to the Sarracenia family. The genus consists of 10 species and originates from North America, most of them are endemic. Sarracenia grows in swamps, brought to England and Ireland, it acclimatized to local conditions, and in some countries of Western Europe it is grown in soil as an ornamental plant.
Sarracenia is one of the largest perennial insectivorous plants. This is a grassy rhizome marsh plant with two types of leaves. The lower ones are covered with scales, and the upper ones are collected in a small outlet on short petioles. They are twisted into peculiar hunting “jugs” with wide necks adapted for catching insects and located almost vertically. Most often, the leaves grow in length from 10 to 40 cm, but in Sarracenia Yellow they can reach a size of 80 cm.
Hunting leaves have a colorful coloring with bright yellow, green and purple flowers. The upper edge of the “pitcher” is most vividly colored, part of which expands and hangs over the hole, forming a canopy that protects against debris and rainwater.
Sarracenia flowers are colored red or purple and are located on a strong peduncle one at a time. Some species have found application in medicine.
Insect catching mechanism
The plant attracts insects with bright coloring, strong aroma and sweet nectar. The prey sits on a trapping leaf, covered with wet hairs directed downward, slides inward and drowns in digestive secretions. Insects supply sarracenia with all the substances necessary for life, the main of which is nitrogen.
But certain types of insects secrete substances that impede digestion, and even adapted to life inside the trapping “jugs”. They, as well as birds hunting for insects, can cause considerable harm to sarracenia.
Sarracenia Purple is exactly the species that acclimatized in the North European peat bogs. Leaves about 15-25 cm long are colored depending on the intensity of illumination in colors from greenish yellow to purple and grow not vertically, but obliquely, almost lying down. The “bedspread” is decorated with a wavy edge; it, like the “jug”, is covered with a crimson pattern. In the spring, a purple flower appears on a long peduncle of about 30 cm.
Sarracenia Yellow - ribbed “jug” 60-80 cm long, painted yellow-green and covered with reddish veins. Yellow flowers are located on declined peduncles.
Psittacin's sarraces are maroon, almost black “jugs” are more like claws. The flowers are red or yellow.
Sarracenia Red - a rare species with a height of 20-60 cm. The color of hunting leaves passes from burgundy to scarlet with a bright red top.
This plant is difficult to care for, grows slowly, however, it becomes an adult in a year. Depending on the species, it grows from 10 cm to 1 m. With good care, it lives up to five years in a pot culture.
Temperature and lighting
Sarracenia needs a lot of light. They put it on the south window and do not shade even in the summer afternoon. If you can not provide the plant with intense lighting, you have to light up. It is very important not to rotate the sarracion relative to the light source and not to move - it does not tolerate this.
The plant is more tolerant of the temperature regime in summer - it grows at ordinary room temperature. In winter, a period of relative rest sets in and you need to lower the temperature to 10-13 degrees. The minimum that a predator can withstand in a pot culture is 5 degrees.
Humidity and watering
Sarracenia is a resident of swamps, hence her requirements for moisture and watering. It is important that you can water it only with previously purified water - if you pick it up from the tap, then simply destroy the plant. From April to October, the soil should not only be wet - it should be wet. You can put the pot in a container of water or pour it into a deep pan of water so that the bottom of the pot touches the water.
During the rest period, the water from the pan is drained, watering is reduced to regular. The soil in the pot should still be slightly moist all the time.
Although the humidity should be high, you can not spray sarraceniya - so you spoil her beautiful pitcher leaves. If there is always water in the sump or the outer container, no additional measures are required - the air will still be humid.
Fertilizer and fertilizing
Do not give the plant either mineral or organic fertilizers to the ground - this will destroy it. Better to catch a small insect and feed the predator.
Soil and transplant
Sarracenia needs a poor acidic substrate. Ready-made mixes for predators are very rare for sale, most likely you will have to cook them yourself. Take 3-4 parts of sphagnum moss or acid peat, 2 parts of quartz sand, 1 part of perlite. If you doubt the origin of the sand, it is better to replace it with perlite.
Transplanted sarracenia in the spring, after exiting the dormant period. It is advised to do this once every 2 years, but may have to be transplanted annually. The root system of the plant is powerful, the pot should be of normal shape, large and with a mandatory hole. Drainage is not necessary - the soil is already loose and permeable.
In summer, a peduncle appears up to 70 cm long, on which usually one, rarely two or three brown, red or yellow flowers bloom up to 10 cm in diameter.
- In winter, a period of relative dormancy sets in, and the leaves of sarracenia begin to die. Remove them in a timely manner.
- If you are feeding a plant, do not give it large insects, as they may not be digested and rot.
- The lower leaves die off as they grow - they need to be removed.
- Sarracenia becomes attractive with age - no need to share it often.
The plant can be propagated using seeds. They must first be stratified for 1-2 months, and then sown in moist acid peat in separate small pots. But this is a long and complex process, an error at any stage will lead to failure. Seed propagation of sarracenia can only be done by flower growers with extensive experience in maintaining predatory plants.
Sarracenia Yellow is considered the easiest to care because it can be propagated by dividing old plants during transplantation. You can’t divide the plant every year - daughter sarracenias will be small, and may not even take root.
Pests, diseases and possible difficulties
- Aphids, thrips and mealybug can affect sarracenia.
- In winter, the plant can become infected with botris.
- Excessive watering during the period of relative rest is fraught with decay of the rhizome and leaves.