Pots for Sarracenia
So, I always wondered this:
Common wisdom is that containers for Sarracenia should be plastic pots, rather than unglazed clay/terracotta. (Always done that, never had any problems.)
The opposite it true for Darlingtonia, because they like their roots cool, and the evaporation of water from the unglazed clay helps with that (or that's the idea at least).
But why do Sarracenia do better in plastic pots? (Or: do they?)
Do they like their roots warmer, or is it just that they don't care?
Or is it something else?
A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous.
My experience with Sarracenia in situ is that their roots are seldom hot, barely warm at most. Even near Charleston in July a few years ago the soil and water around the roots of S. minor and S. flava felt cool to the touch, though not really cold. I'm guessing 80-85 degrees or so.. definitely cooler than the 98 degree air temp.
I think Sarracenia can just tolerate hotter temperatures, but I have been wondering how hot air temps and thus warmer pot temperatures are affecting my plants. I always get funky growth -- gnarly and twisty pitchers -- from even summer growing species and hybrids around this time of year (late July/August). This is always the hottest time of year for us here in southeastern Missouri, and I have excluded pest and fungal attack to the best of my knowledge. My plants in shadier areas of the yard, however, and those in the inground bog don't display these tendencies as much.
As such, I think this next year I will consolidate a lot of my plants to larger, community plantings. Bog containers, if you will. It sucks using that much media, as smaller pots use less soil and move easier. Watering needs and soil temps drop drastically in larger pots, in my experience.
About cobra plants in terra cotta: I am trying that for the first time this year. I usually implement insulated sytrofoam containers. So far I notice not much difference. One little cobra I have in a thin-walled plastic pot is suffering some, though.
Last edited by CorneliusSchrute; 07-24-2015 at 01:23 PM.
That's what I was thinking as well.
Does anyone have experience growing Sarrs in unglazed clay pots? Side-by-side with ones in plastic pots, by chance, for comparison?
Originally Posted by marcus_r
I had a Sarracenia psittacina in an unglazed terracotta pot for a few years. It never thrived, got smaller each year, and succumbed to scale this past winter. I was growing it next to a Sarracenia minor in a glazed clay pot, which is still going strong.
Originally Posted by marcus_r
It's not? Do tell!
Originally Posted by fredg
Tanukimo—thanks! That's interesting.
The plant loves to be flooded. You can't do that in terracotta. I use undrained trays, some say the plants look ok.
I started a little experiment (best way to find out, right?) after the brief discussion here, to see whether I can observe something similar to Tanukimo experience.
I transferred a few Sarracenia into unglazed clay pots and otherwise treated them the same as their fellows in the plastic pots.
Two months is too short to really tell, I suppose, but I see no difference in growth between the Sarracenia in the clay pots and the ones in the plastic pots so far. All are equally happy.
If it's too early to tell, why are you writing, you ask. Good question. Here's why:
While I can't tell a difference in the growth of the Sarracenia, I can definitely tell a difference in the growth of algae and mold on the outside of the pot.
Urgh. The plastic pots are practically clean, while the stuff that's growing on the clay pots makes them look as if any moment they're going to get up and walk away.
So, there's an argument for sticking to plastic...