I love Pitcher plants because of their fascinating ability to catch their prey and it is also one of the most beautiful plants on earth. They’re one of the coolest carnivorous plants we’ve ever seen…
Pitcher plants are amazing because they frequently have large, dark purple flowers that are known for attracting small insects. The flower will release sweet nectar that lures them in close and then the plant will suddenly snap its jaw-like leaves shut trapping the insect inside.
This is incredibly beneficial for the plant as it can now consume its prey.
Pitcher plants are also very important in scientific research because they can be used to study how evolution works and what kinds of factors affect a plant’s ability to reproduce successfully.
Check out our DIY plant stands if you want to showcase your pitcher plant.
The Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes) is a carnivorous plant. As the name suggests, these plants have a pouch that resembles a pitcher. This pouch contains a digestive fluid that grabs the attention of several insects. The insects get drenched with this fluid and they act as a nutrient source for the plant. These plants are usually found in environments with scarce nutrients, abundant water, and rich light exposure.
These bug-eating plants may be a danger for insects but is extremely useful for humankind. Several medicines are synthesized from this plant’s roots and leaves. Pitcher plants are also used as a cure for digestive disorders, different infections, and smallpox.
Care for Pitcher Plants
Pitcher plants require minimal care and can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Indoor plants require fertilization at the beginning of the growing season. This is because they have reduced exposure to insects, and thus, require a substituent nutrition source.
However, you can be saved from the hassle of fertilization if you grow one outdoor. The plants grown outdoor can serve their nutrient demands by seducing some bugs! Whether you keep one indoor or outdoor, a pitcher plant requires well-drained and boggy soil and appropriate light exposure for ideal growth.
This post shall introduce you to the best types of these insect eating plants to grow in your lovely garden.
Popular Types of Bug Eating Pitcher Plants
There are around 80 types of pitcher plants with different hybrids and cultivars. This is a piece of great news for plantsmen like you as there are different options you can choose from. Let’s now explore some of the best pitcher plants out there!
Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)
This carnivorous flower plant is mostly grown in gardens located up north and can withstand harsh conditions. Therefore, it’s also known as the “Northern Pitcher Plant”. Your garden’s charm can now be further enhanced, thanks to its purplish-red flowers and green vein-marked pitchers. The purple pitcher can grow up to 1-2 feet tall during the blooming season in mid-spring. These plants require full sun exposure and wet soil for proper growth. One of the coolest carnivorous plants we’ve seen!
Yellow Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava)
The beautiful Yellow Pitcher plant comes with vibrant yellow leaves and greenish-yellow pitchers. Just like other pitcher plants, this species also traps the insects with its rolled leaves, drowns them in fluid, and digests them for nutrients.
Southeast America is home to the Yellow Pitcher. The yellow-colored charismatic plant can reach up to 3 feet, and thus is considered among the tallest pitcher plants. Boggy and acidic soil is required for the Yellow Pitcher’s ideal growth.
California Pitcher Plant (Darlingtonia californica)
The California Pitcher plant has catchy yellowish and purple-green flowers. As the name suggests, this plant is native to Southern California. The Darlingtonia californica is also known as ‘Cobra Lily’ because of its cobra-looking leaves. This pitcher plant can grow up to 2 feet tall and can resist high temperatures for short periods. Its seeds need to be pressed in damp and cold soil and can take up to four weeks for germination.
Sun Pitcher Plant (Heliamphora spp.)
The Sun Pitcher plant has more than 20 species, the most appealing of which is the ‘Deep-Red’. This species is popular for its bell-shaped flowers. South America is home to this amazing plant. Heliamphora can be grown in a humid, cool greenhouse, but requires proper light exposure, and a specific temperature for conventional growth.
Their pitcher length can reach up to 16 inches, but the plant itself only grows up to 10 inches. A container filled with sphagnum moss guarantees proper growth of the Sun pitcher.
White Trumpet Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia leucophylla)
The White Trumpet is one of the most alluring ones among different pitcher plant types. This is because they come with white pitchers covered in dark veins, and produce brownish-red flowers. It is also known as the ‘Crimson Pitcher Plant’. The Sarracenia is native to Southeast America and is the easiest one to grow.
The White Trumpet can grow up to 20-36 inches tall, which makes it stand out from the rest of the plants in your garden. A well-drained and acidic soil prevents its roots from rotting, and thus, a perfect place to grow one.
Western Australian Pitcher Plant (Cephalotus follicularis)
Found in the damp sandy terrains of southwestern Australia, the Cephalotus follicularis is another species of flesh-eating pitcher plants known for its aesthetic look. Perhaps the most distinctive trait of such plants is the small size of their pitchers which maybe 1 to 1.5 inches long.
The pitcher lid comprises red and white stripes whereas their opening is decorated with various smooth, dark rings that produce nectar for attracting insects. Watch out for Water Fleas!
Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes spp.)
Most of the insect catching plants pitcher plants discussed are the ones found in North American. There exists a special variety of these species known as the Tropical Pitcher plants which are typically found in South East Asia.
Their leaves hang downward from the rest of the trunk as a mature plant. There exist over 150 species of these organisms which feed on all sorts of insects, lizards, and even small birds. It may be tricky to grow this variety domestically as it depends on the provision of the correct nurturing environment. Be careful of its soil needs! What a gorgeous, bright color, though- one of our favorite color varieties.
Kinabalu Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes kinabaluensis)
The Kinabalu variety is the one native to Malaysia. The distinguishing feature of these species is their dark red pitchers which are significantly larger. If you’re a garden enthusiast, growing this special variety can embellish your yards with its mesmerizing blooms. Always make sure that you provide the correct sun exposure and keep the soil’s moisture levels to the most suitable degree.
Monkey Cups (Nepenthes)
Monkey Cups are typically found in South-East Asian climates such as in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Sumatra. Their pitchers are long and cup-shaped which can hold more than a liter of water.
The name ‘Monkey Cups’ comes from the fact that monkeys are used to drinking water from their pitchers. Grown domestically, these plants can be a perfect blend of flamboyancy and exotic wilderness beauty.
Veitch’s Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes Veitchii)
Another colorful variety of Nepenthes family is the Veitch’s Pitcher plants which are native to Malaysian Borneo. The exterior of the pitchers comprises a yellow matrix with black stripes or dots in some cases. These pitchers can grow up to 1 foot in length. Orange and reddish variants of this species are also found in Malaysia. It might take extra effort to nurture and maintain these species, but the visual appeal of their flowers is surely worth the hard yards.
Villose Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes Villosa)
Nepenthes Villosa is a Bornean species typically found in Northeastern Borneo. In comparison to the Veitch’s Pitcher plant, the Villose species produces shorter pitchers (as short as four inches) and are orange in color. This plant species grows at a higher elevation (higher than 10,000 ft above sea level) as compared to any other pitcher plant species.
Splendid Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes edwardsiana)
Nepenthes edwardsiana, commonly known as Splendid Pitcher Plant is another Malaysian Borneo species native to tropical and humid climates. This plant is renowned for its large-sized pitchers that might grow up to 18 inches in length, whereas the plant itself might grow up to 20 feet. To grow these plants in your garden requires special care, such as the preparation of the right kind of soil.
Green Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia oreophila)
The Green Pitcher plant is another carnivorous plant species native to the North American mountainous habitats. The term oreophila translates to ‘mountain loving’. Belonging from the genus Sarracenia, this plant comprises slender, tube-like pitchers which can grow as long as 2.5 feet with a diameter of 2.5-4 inches.
The pitchers are bright green and are a perfect blend of aesthetics and natural beauty. In the US, the green pitcher plant carries an endangered status and therefore, you may need state permits to carry out its purchase.
Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes ventricosa)
Nepenthes ventricosa is another tropical pitcher plant species usually found in the Philippines. It grows best at an elevation of around 3000-6000 ft above sea level. The plant is an easy-to-grow species and can tolerate fairly high-temperature swings between day and night time.
A lot of pitchers can be found on this plant, and grows as long as 8 inches. The pitchers range from white to red and look ravishing when planted domestically.
Parrot Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia psittacine)
The Parrot Pitcher plant is another American native species that is known for its ease of growth in domestic habitats. You can even grow this plant indoors due to its high shade tolerance. The pitcher has a very unorthodox shape that resembles a parrot’s beak. It ranges from 2 inches to 8 inches in height. The light shines through some false openings in the pitcher thereby attracting the prey.
To conclude, a pitcher plant is a must-have to increase your garden’s charm. One can also sell pitcher plants and earn a few bucks, thanks to it’s benefits in the medical industry. These amazing plants come in different varieties, each with a different captivating color and shape.
A few famous types with minor details have been discussed in this post. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends if you found it helpful in any way!
Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge. I’m a DIY enthusiast who loves building fun woodworking plans. These DIY plans are fun hobby projects for enthusiasts or even more advanced builders that want to build things like bunk beds, end tables or even a duck box!