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ijason

when / if to trim my Sarracenia flava's winter-browned pitchers?

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greetings.

i've got a Sarracenia flava that's been fairly successfully growing in a large pot for nearly a year. this past winter all of the pitchers browned off at the tips, but have retained green lowers. the plant is now putting up several new pitchers and even has 4 flowers! my question is, should i trim back the browned top-portion of the old pitchers to let more light get to the new? i'm hesitant to cut the browned pitchers off at the base, because they're still green from about two-thirds down.

any suggestions?

i know i've missed the winter trimming/repotting that you're supposed to do, but i'm fairly sure the current pot is big enough for another season.

thanks for any advice!

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Welcome Jason

There are two schools of thought on this.

Some people only trim off the dead growth, while others cut every right down. I only cut off the dead and leave the rest to carry on photosynthesising. But either option seems fine.

One of the main reasons for removing the dead material over winter (apart from neatness) is to remove the dead which could cause botrytis (fungal infection) to flourish.

Best not to repot too often anyway - only when needed.

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Guest X-Bumble

Over the years I have done both methods on different plants and it hasn't made any difference to be honest.

My personal preference is to cut them back as they brown, then cut them off about now if there is any left. It's always a bit grim seeing a half-cut flies head sticking out of a tube you've just snipped!

My Flavas seem to be tough old birds, and I'm sure all others are the same.

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My personal preference is to cut them back as they brown, then cut them off about now if there is any left. It's always a bit grim seeing a half-cut flies head sticking out of a tube you've just snipped!

This is my method exactly! I've trimmed the brown bits off over winter but left the green on. I spent a few hours trimming off all remaining old pitchers this weekend to tidy it all up before all the new pitchers/flowers start coming through over the coming weeks.

As Phil says, some people wait though until all the old growth is brown before cutting it off - its more of a personal preference thsn a straight rule but the thinking behind it is if its green and is left on then there's more material available to photosynthesize. I'm a neat freak though so didnt want to wait any longer before cutting them off fully :laugh:

Heather

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Brown material is dead material. For the most part our hobby is cultivated artificially, so what would normally take place in nature is altered (food, water, light, etc...), including potential mold and disease. I would recommend cutting off all that which is dead.

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This year for the first time I've cut down all the old pitchers...and it seems that for plants with a lof of pitchers it's a good thing because there are some parts of the rhizome that doesn't take so much light and so are more likely to get fungi and moulds attacks.

By the way...have a look at this rhizome...it's from a plant owned by Andrea Amici...he cuts down everything every spring, and his plants are always amazing!

http://www.aipcnet.it/content?uid=4263;mode=data_800

Edited by mrAlmond

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That is an impressive rhizome(s)! I wonder how old the whole plant is. It shows splendidly how they could (and probably do) spread naturally without seed propagation.

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I'll second what Jim says - very impressive rhizome!! Never seen anything quite like that before :wink:

It make me feel a bit better about trimming everything off :wink:

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That is one awesome rhizome, the plant in full growth must be truely fantastic site to behold.

When it comes to trimming my sarras I'm a lot like Heather. I like to trim off the dead bits and leave the green bits for as long as I can stand to look at it and then once spring starts I cut off all of the old pitchers, like in the photo of the rhizome ring, and allow the new growth to come through all nice and fresh.

It's best to cut them off before the new growth starts getting too tall or you run the risk of cutting of the top of the new pitchers or flowers.

Dave.

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And what about phyllodia that are still all green?

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And what about phyllodia that are still all green?

Not sure about anyone else but I have kept those even though I've cut off all the old pitchers....

Heather

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yep...same here..

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I always leave the phyllodia on until they go brown the following season.

Dave.

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Here in N.Y. I have to put mine in the fridge so I cut all mine off. shorty after bringing them out in Mid February they begin o push flower stalks and starter leaves.

I do NOT cut off my Purpea pitchers though.

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Hmmm.

I do prefer to remove all the previous years growth from my Sarr's especially the ones that produce lots of crowded pitchers. Removing green stuff would sesibly seem to be weakening the plant though, its still able to Ps so gain energy. But then leaving the old stuff prevents light getting to the rhizome......

I removed all the completely dead stuff gradually through the winter to prevent disease but my J Soper, Sxreadii and Minor still have green pitchers so I left them. Might go and remove them now though ;)

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I have so many picture plants that thy are so close together they have white fly, so I think I will have to cut off all the old pictures down to the base and spray with Bayer bug killer thank you for your tips                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Colin

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I always leave phyllodia until they die back but old pitchers I trim back the dead stuff initially. Once they are properly dying back for winter they get a close trim whether 1/3 of a pitcher is green or not, I think the improved ventilation is good for them. This doesn't apply to S. minor or hybrids that don't die back that much, just trim dead stuff with those.

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