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Thread: My sarracenias, may i cut them down?

  1. #1

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    These are my personal plants. I have an S. minor, S. flava, and an S. oreo x leuco. They are dieing back now. It is extremely windy today with gusts at or exceeding 40mph. The S. flava was caught by the wind and tipped over and I had to go upright it. I have irises that I trim back so that they do not get uprooted by winds. I don't do this until they begin to go dormant on me. The Sarracenias have an incredibly shallow root system and I really just wanted to know if it was ok to cut them back to say 6".

    The other question I have is... is there any seed on these plants anywhere? I went out specifically to look and I blatantly am not seeing anything that even remotely resembles seed anywhere on these plants yet they have been in the ground for a few months and they do have pitchers.







    White blotches on plants are a squirrel/rabbit/deer repellent of some sort.

  2. #2

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    Laura,

    I generally cut back my pitchers to "healthy" green all season long. It looks like yours could use a hair cut. I think most agree that you should only cut back to healthy tissue as the plant still benefits from living tissue. Then in the spring as new growth starts you can cut them all the way back.

    You would find the seed in the dried "pod" of the flowers. I don't see any flower stalks on your plants. Did you remove them earlier? Sometimes it takes awhile for a plant to reach flowering size.

    Your minor looks nice and tall - good job [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    The oreo x leuco was bought from Cooks along with a few other tall pitchers. His plants were very healthy when he sent them. All of them were sent to me pretty much like the one you see here other than that they were considerably greener back in early September. The others I bought from him didn't make it (not Cook's fault) but to the best of my knowledge, none of them had flowers. The S. flava and the S. minor were sent to me by a personal friend who said I needed an addiction. Those didn't have any flowers on them either when he sent them to me. I can call him and ask if they ever had flowers. Fred would remember.

    That S. minor is my favorite. A botanist professor friend of Fred's collected the parent plant back in the late 1960's. I know Fred has location details on that plant. That's the one I need to reproduce so I can pass divisions of it on. How many years will it take before I can get divisions of that plant?

    Can I presume it safe to cut back any portion of a plant that is brown and dried up?

  4. #4

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    oh, those blotches look cool
    Join the CCPS, you wont regret it: http://s4.invisionfree.com/CCPS

  5. #5

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    I would say you're pretty safe in cutting back any of the pitchers that are brown and dried. We're all losing daylight at this point so the plants should be going dormant soon.

    Also, here's a photo of a flava flower from today. You can see the seed pod in the center. Once you get a few of these going you'll have boatloads of seed to grow (as long as you've got busy bees or you hand pollinate).

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pdxjeff/spod.jpg[/img]

  6. #6

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    So! You liked my blotches huh! I figured I better comment as to exactly what those blotches were before somebody thought the Cooks sent me diseased plants.

    I have never had flowers on my plants. I have to admit I took a flashlight and started looking down the tubes as I was convinced there was seed down there inside of them somewhere. Tomorrow I will give them their "hair cut" and hopefully this will reduce the potentially damaging effects of high winds.

    Nice photo. Looks as if Ma Nature made these flowers complete with a collection basket underneath to gather any seed that fall from the pod or is that just an optical illusion?

    I have native Mason bees that I re-introduced here as well as two different species of native Bumbles and Italian Honey Bees here. These are all extremely non aggressive species. If anyone is interested in establishing Mason Bees, I can help as the process is extremely simple. Beats pollinating plants by hand.

  7. #7
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    I don't cut them in the Fall. Mine have their dormancy under a pile of oak leaves and all those pitchers and phylodia help keep the leaves from moving around or packing down. Plus the green parts can keep photosynthesizing through the winter. But that's here in Zone 6 CT and things might be different in Zone 5, if that's what the Z5 in your name means.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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