ORNAMENTAL

A Guide to Growing Pitcher Plants

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Carnivorous plants are becoming popular once again, and with good reason. They’re pretty to look at and can be challenging (and thus fulfilling) to take care of. And let’s face it, it’s also fascinating to cultivate a plant whose diet features insects.

One of the most common carnivorous plants in the market are pitcher plants, named after their pitcher-like pitfall traps, which contain digestive fluid that breaks down its prey.

If you’re thinking of growing pitcher plants indoors, here are some things to consider:

  1. Water is the answer

    Pitcher plants usually look good for a couple of weeks, but afterwards, the tips start to turn crisp and brown. The browning eventually works its way down to where the trap joins the rest of the leaf. Luckily, the answer is simple: lots of water.

    Keep plants in pots without drainage. And once a week, fill the pot right to the top so the water reaches the brim. It is important to stop the plant from drying out.

  2. Feed them regularly

    Nutrient deficiency shows in the yellowed leaves of pitcher plants. A half-strength liquid houseplant feed once a month has shown improved growth as opposed to those that are receiving any form of sustenance.

    Also, flies are not necessarily a part of the diet so just let nature take its course and don’t go running around trapping insects.

  3. Sunlight is essential

These plants are light hungry so grow them on a spot that’s within one meter of a window that’s exposed to a large amount of sunlight.

If sunlight is a problem, the solution is set up a grow light. Use energy-efficient LED bulbs that are affordable and will fit into desk lamps.

While these are quick tips on how to care for carnivorous plants, it is important to conduct a little experimentation in order to find out what helps your plant’s growth and what hinders it. Constant attention to its needs can elevate your chances of growing pitcher plants indoors.

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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