Yes, its true! I’ve been growing Sarracenia since for 37 years now (but who is counting?) and you’d figure I’d know better.
A few years ago I decided to move my entire Sarracenia collection outdoors to face the harsh realities of the Canadian climate of Niagara Falls. I had read somewhere once that renowned botantist Fred Case grew all his plants year round outdoors at his home in Michigan (in Zone 5a). So I figured if he could do it, so could I.
The experience has been awesome, that’s why I decided to blog about it! to share my experience with other growers and encourage them to make the leap to outdoor culture, even if you live in a cold place! I’ve proven without a doubt, that Sarracenia can certainly take everything our cold winter can offer (with protection). They come up year after year, flower and seed and do quite well. However, from time to time, I’ve noticed a decline in vigor in certain plants, and it hasn’t been consistent from season to season. That is to say, that some plants are doing better this year than I’ve ever seen, while others are performing the same as usual, but a number of them seem a lot less vigorous. So what’s going wrong? What am I doing wrong?
For starters, I noticed that the same plants that had thrip last year have got them again this year and others that were not affected last year are showing signs of infestation. I asked my long time CP friend and professional horticulturalist Jay to come take a look and give me his opinions. He confirmed my suspicions… it was indeed thrip. This is my first indicator that something is not right!
From what he explained to me, thrips don’t bother healthy plants. They tend to attack plants that a weak or declining in health. These “less vigorous” plants act as magnets to thrips… so that fact that the same plants have it again is no surprise as these are the plants that are “failing to thrive!” These will have to be religiously dealt with again.
So what’s going wrong? Aside from the thrips, Jay and I discussed a few things that can be changed in my horticultural methods. Sadly, one of the “tips” I blogged about is now 100% confirmed to be ”bad advice”… best part, I knew better! More to come…