Pitcher Plant Care and Information
Pitcher Plants are great for water gardens - they love boggy soil and are very interesting looking. Like a Venus Fly Trap, they enjoy munching on insects!
Named Sarracenia purpurea in Latin, the Pitcher plant has a tube-like stalk with an opening at the top. A floppy "lid" keeps water from pouring into it. The insect climbs in, and hairs prevent it from easily climbing back out.
At the bottom of the tube is a small amount of liquid called "phytotelmata". This quickly drowns the insect. Then, depending on which plant type you have, either bacteria that hang out there or enzymes the plant makes will dissolve away the bug, giving the plant precious nutrients.
Don't worry, pitcher plants are not smelly! Think of them as natural fly / mosquito traps that will help to keep your pond area clean!
Pitcher plants like acidic, boggy growing areas. For a water pond, these do well in a "bog" area set up next to the pond where the soil stays very moist but the plant isn't completely in the pond. While most plants need very fertile soil, because they get all their nutrients up through their roots, pitcher plants are great because they can grow in very poor soil. They don't rely on the soil to get their nutrition - they get it from the bugs they eat.
The Pitcher plant typically flowers between May and June. There are many varieties of pitcher plant out there, growing in a wide variety of world regions. Be sure to research the pitcher plant before choosing one, to know that it will do well in your particular climate and that it is appropriate for your region. It's usually best to get a plant which is native to your area, so that it does not become invasive if it happens to 'escape' from your immediate pond area.
If you're looking for an unusual plant for your water garden that is sure to be of interest to guests, definitely give a Pitcher plant a try! They are lovely and fascinating on many levels.
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