Taking Care of a Tropical Pitcher Plant


I usually never buy Tropical plants and usually never pay full price but late last summer when I saw this at Home Depot I could not resist. It was small and the actual "pitchers" were small and skinny and thought to myself it will take years to get large pitchers and a large plant (the large pitcher plants were $39.99 and the small ones were $9.99).
I have to be honest here, and usually I do not listen to the people at big box garden centers because they most often give bad advice but the guy's tag said "specialist" and I had no idea how to water such a weird plants -so I said how do I water this? He told me put a drop in each pitcher and that is it. I did follow the instructions for about a month and the poor thing just looked sick and the pitchers were dying off. I was getting heart sick (as I usually do if I see a sick plant) and stopped watering the way I was told. I started watering by taking the plant off the hook in my gazebo and watering the pot (as you would any other plant) and made sure to soak the soil and hang back up. After a few weeks it was time to bring inside and to my sadness there still was no new pitchers. I hung my baby in my dining room window which faces East an continued to water about every 5 days by taking to the kitchen sink and making sure the soil was soaked, let drip, and then hang back up (I use rain barrel water for all of my indoor and outdoor plants).
My home is set at 65. I do not like it hot in my house and so for most of the winter the Pitcher plant just hung there...Then I realized about 6 weeks ago that it was growing and putting out tiny little pitchers! I was so excited. and then it was like overnight it doubled in size and last week this huge pitcher emerged! There are more leaves getting ready to put on pitchers and I could not be happier.
This is why I say that there are no rules set for gardening or growing plants. I think the energy and passion that one has for gardening is 75% of the game and the other 25% are the basic rules such as growing plants in the right zones and learning how to water. I grow things every day that I have been told was 'wrong' or impossible. I have had to move plants or take a different approach when I find that the plant is not flourishing but I have only killed one thing in the last 10 years and that was a rose bush that was 1/2 dead when I found it.
So Happy Gardening and talk to your plants because they are listening...
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taking care of a tropical pitcher plant, gardening

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Fla29287302
    on Mar 7, 2018

    Purchased my Alata Pitcher plant just 2 wks. ago and have 2 big pitchers and several but they have the top of them look dried up also the top slip on my big pitchers are brown dried up. Is this normal?

    • Shannon Albright
      on Jan 31, 2019

      Add water to each pitcher fill them about halfway. It will trap bugs like flys and ant 🐜

  • Cindy Kreydatus Wilson
    on May 21, 2018

    I bought 2 small plants How long will it take for them to grow and hang down

  • Adela Hodgson
    on Sep 22, 2018

    I bought one and the pitcher died an fell off but no new pitcher as yet. How would the plant eat and would the pitcher grow back? 😢

Join the conversation

2 of 5 comments
  • Nancy
    on Oct 6, 2018


    I bought my pitcher plant at a flea market, so far doing good, getting new baby pitcher, but the older larger ones are turning brown on the top, not sure if I should cut these off or let fall off on there own. I hope I can keep it going when I bring in for winter, here in PA.

  • Shannon Albright
    on Jan 31, 2019

    Yes you can cut them off. Don’t forget to add water to you pitchers

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