Carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant make an excellent addition to any plant collection. Apart from looking completely alien, they are also very fun to care for and offer a level of interactivity not often available. These plants are pet friendly as long as your pet isn’t a bug!
In the wild pitcher plants can often be found in the branches of a tree where they receive bright dappled sunlight. In your home try to keep your pitcher plant in a bright space, some direct morning sun is fine. Afternoon sun is okay, but be careful in the peak of summer.
In high light positions the colour of your plant may shift more red than green. This allows the plant to tolerate more intense sunlight by producing a red pigment called anthocyanin. This pigment protects the plant’s green chlorophyll, like a kind of sunscreen.
Keep the soil slightly moist with small regular waterings. Dry soil will be tolerated for a day or two but it is not wise to leave your carnivorous plants in this condition. These plants do not want to be completely soaking wet for long periods of time as well.
If you notice the pitchers are empty try to refill them with water up to about halfway.
Melbourne’s humidity of around 60% is fine for common pitcher plants but a little extra will really help your carnivorous plants to thrive.
Hot Tip: To encourage more pitchers to form, try to mist the tiny new pitchers. Misting mature pitchers will help them continue to flourish!
Warmer weather is always better for most indoor plants. Melbourne indoor temperatures will be totally fine for most common varieties of carnivorous plants.
Many varieties of pitcher plants are quite well adapted to colder conditions and will be fine with the temperature in your home and some types can even survive outdoors in Melbourne.
Pot size and soil
Carnivorous plants don’t need particularly large pots as they don’t grow very large root systems.
Carnivorous plants generally enjoy a chunky moss based substrate that is low in nutrients. Sphagnum moss is a good choice for carnivorous plants as they are able to be slightly moist and still have some good air circulation.
Carnivorous plants eat bugs! If you’d like to boost your plant's growth you can feed each pitcher roughly once every two to three weeks. Carnivorous plants come from low nutrient environments and don’t want additional nutrients added to their soil.
If your plant isn’t able to capture any bugs at all then a heavily diluted amount of liquid fertilizer can be added to the soil in Spring/Summer during your regular watering routine.
What is the pitcher?
The pitcher is actually a modified leaf. Through the magic of evolution this leaf has become shaped into the perfect bug catching machine. This is an adaptation to these plants living in very low nutrient conditions.
This is my favourite pitcher plant YouTube video. I highly recommend checking it out for a more in depth look at this awesome plant!
Greener House Nursery is an Indoor Plant Nursery located at 95 Sydney Road, Brunswick, in Melbourne, Australia. We have the specialised knowledge to make sure you get the right house plants, pots, and accessories for your home. Weather you're looking for low-light, low-maintenance, pet friendly, hanging, or air purifying plants, we've got you covered.