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Should I trim old leaves?

pappydew

I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me.
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
1,212
Location
Miami, FL
Many of the dormant rhizomes I received a couple weeks ago still had old pitchers and/or phyllodia from last season. Most are waking up, slowly but surely, but I'm wondering if the plants may be putting too much energy into trying to maintain the older leaves (some are still rather green) rather than new growth. Is there any merit to this, or am I making this up? I know many people trim off the browning stuff over the winter, but I also read to not touch anything still green :scratch:
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Sacramento, California
Overwinter, i cut off all pitchers and cut they pyllodia in half. The phyllodia still photosynthesizes for the plant, so it is a good idea to keep them on as long as possible. I like to trim the plants when the plants start to wake up, to make room for the new growth,
 

SubRosa

BS Bulldozer
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,484
Green, actively photosynthesizing leaves are a benefit to the plant. Dead or dying ones are ugly and letting them decay in place can promote rot.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
What John/SubRosa said: if it's still green then it's doung good work (photosynthesis). If it's diseased or dead, it's condusive to pathogen growth.

Personally, I've found that plants that are allowed to retain at least some of their functional foliage through winter and into spring perform better and make larger pitchers that summer. I used to cut all of the previous year's growth off the Sarracenia, but now I leave most of the healthy, functional pitchers and phyllodia intact, at least until new pitchers are fully formed.
 
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