Sarracenia Scarlet Belle Questionable Health
I recently received this plant, and was somewhat disappointed to find that while the plant probably has 20 pitchers, they are almost all too tiny to catch anything, many of them never opened, most of the tops dried out in shipment, and remain brown and brittle. I'm wondering if there is a cure to this rampant but mostly useless growth... should I cut the tiny pitchers off at the base in hopes of a few stronger larger pitchers replacing them? Should I ask for a refund?
Hello, I must be going...
Leave them as is or trim off the brown parts only if you must. Do not cut any living tissue as the plant needs them for photosynthesis. Since this hybrid has S. leucophylla you can probably look forward to a few more months of active pitcher growth before it slows down for dormancy. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere then you should still be getting spring growth.
Too small to catch anything? From the dark spots I can see in the pitchers of the 4-5 month old Sarracenia seedlings I'd say they are catching something - probably fungus gnats and springtails. The first pitcher leaves these plants put out in the first few weeks after germination are fully functional. Were you expecting a plant with 3 foot tall pitchers? It all depends on how the plant was described when you bought it.
I might complain about the condition of the plant but unless you paid for overnight or two day shipping your plants are pretty much at the mercy of the shippers.
Not expecting three foot pitchers by any means... five or six pitchers 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch at the top perhaps. This plant has no pitchers above 3/8 of an inch in diameter at their widest part. They are all incredibly slender. The entire plant height is about 3 1/2 inches above the soil level. The largest opening in any of the pitchers is under 1/4 of an inch. Shipping was nothing fancy, I think it was 3 days from the time I received the click 'n ship confirmation until I received the plants. I'm just going to leave things alone, hopefully it will sprout some more vigorous pitchers soon.
Its only because its been (probably) living in really bad conditions all summer, before you bought it.
its a very young plant, 1 year old or so, and has tiny pitchers only because its so young.
just give it good growing conditions for the rest of this summer/autumn,
give it a winter dormancy this winter,
and next summer it will look like a totally different plant!
Hello, I must be going...
Pitchers on adult plants can get up to 15 inches, the average is usually around 8 inches. At 3.5 inches puts it about 44% of the average adult height.
This cultivar is in wholesale tissue culture by AgriStarts III in Florida. You probably have a TC starter from them which accounts for the large number of pitchers and small size.
I bought these TC 'Judith Hindle' at Lowes in January. The tallest pitcher was probably 3.5 - 4 inches tall, many of them browned off and covered with mold. They're currently producing pitchers 6-8 inches tall at a wild guess.
As Scotty says, give it good growing conditions and you'll be rewarded with a totally different plant. You should still get some fall growth from the S. leucophylla in this hybrid where as many of the other Sarracenia species are starting to slow down their growth.
Thanks for the advice, I made the mistake of planting this in my terranium, I guess I'll repot it in a little bit of a larger pot and winter it over in my garage (I live in colorado, garage stays above 30 degrees where the outside gets down below zero).
Tissue cultured plants often have abnormal hormone levels, which makes them churn out lots of little pitchers for a while.