Sarracenia etc.

James Waddick
Thu, 11 Feb 2010 18:54:16 PST
>   There's many kinds of Sarracenia on the market... species &
>hybrids.  Is any one species going to be more reliably hardy for me?  Or
>otherwise easier to grow?

Dear Dennis,
	First I think all the species, hybrids, selections should be 
hardy for you. All I have tried have been hardy here and I have a 
harsher climate.

There is a trick or two:

	Pot them in 50/50 shredded sphagnum and silica (pure SiO2) 
sand - not play sand or such. Water with distilled water or rain 
water ONLY. Keep them in full sun and in an inch or more (depends on 
depth of pot)  of water at all times. Repot every year or two because 
they grow too big.

	I'd winter mine in an unheated cold frame, but you can just 
throw a blanket over the pots and they'll be fine too.

	Same treatment for Venus Fly Traps*, but they don't grow 
quite as vigorously.

	I finally gave up because it was too much work keeping up 
with the repotting and distilled water all the time, but we get 
serious droughts here. Again your climate is a bit kinder.

	S. purpurea is a real sturdy one to start with and really 
nice, but do get some of the 'windowed' hybrids and giant /tall 
varieties too just for variety. Amazing and bizarre flowers, too. I 
never did grow them 'loose' in a bog  (still haven't quite got that 
bog started), but they can grow and spread better if not in pots or 
use really big pots.

	These are sturdy plants that take full sun and cold winters. 
Don't coddle them.

	I have never tried, but think Darlingtonia is not suited to 
these conditions, but it too is a great bizarre plant. If you are 
ever in Coastal Oregon there is a Darlingtonia reserve you can visit 
and see hundreds of plants growing wild.

	Go for it.			Jim W.

* Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea)  has a number of cvs such as 'Red Dragon" 
and "Royal Red' with bright red traps and more, 'Dente' with bigger 
'teeth' etc. Shop around. Makes this amazing plant even more so.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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