As an avid grower of Sarracenia, I find the winter months very hard. Every other season has something unique and exciting to look forward to… Spring gives us the flush of flowers and excitement of new growth, Summer … well… not much to say, its summer and its awesome! Autumn provides another flush of growth and in some species, some of the nicest pitchers of the season. Then WINTER!!!!
When its winter in the Northern Hemisphere, its Summer on the opposite side of the globe. Over the years, I’ve made some pretty good eFriends on the other side of the planet. One in particular, I’ve been in contact with for many years now… and every Winter, he’s good enough to send me photos of his spectacular Sarracenia collection. It’s literally Eye Candy for a winter weary person like myself.
I also asked him to send me some particulars of his growing conditions. There just might be some readers who live in similar conditions who might consider outdoor growing!
Intersperses in this post are photos from Julian’s collection for your enjoyment.
Julian lives in NewZealand… here’s the info he sent me regarding his climate
Location: 36.8500° S, 174.7833° E Auckland, New Zealand
Climate: Low lying isthmus with oceans both sides makes for a moist temperate climate. Summers are very humid.
Summer: November to March
Temps: The warmest average max/ high temperature is 23°C in January & February. Can get into mid 30s at times.The coolest average min/ low temperature is 7°C in July & August. Can get as low as 0°C at times with frost.
Rainfall: Auckland receives on average 1243 mm (48.9 in) of precipitation annually or 104 mm (4.1 in) each month.
Wind: Auckland is a relatively windy place due to proximity to ocean that surrounds Antarctica.
Sunshine: Very high UV levels (World’s highest – very bad for human skin). Full sunshine hours per day in middle of summer are 7.5 hrs
Sarracenia outdoor growing season: Flowers and pitchers begin to appear mid October in flava, leuco, oreo and purp, with other species beginning in November. Flava and oreo produce phyllodia during January. Leuco produce best pitchers in March. All species are dormant by May. Seed typically mature in late Feb. Like Sarras grown anywhere outdoors, gotta site them where they will get max sunshine. Mine get direct sun for 10 hours per day during summer.
Prey abundance: High (see attached photo of typical pitcher full of flies)
Sarracenia pests: Aphids, Mealy Bug, Scale, Thrips.
Sarracenia diseases: Fusarium Wilt
My outdoor plants are grown in individual pots that stand in polythene lined display boxes holding the necessary amount of water during summer. They are drained in winter.
As you can see from the above photos, his plants get great color! I want to say a big thanks to Julian for getting the photos and info together so I can post it here. Like I said, its a great way to make winter a bit less painful!