Trumpet pitcher plants grow well both indoors or outdoors in a sunny, wind-free position. Do not plant your plant in unglazed ceramic, clay or tin containers. If you want to plant a sundew directly into the ground you need to prepare a special bog-type garden using a mixture of sphagnum peat and washed silica sand as they have very specific soil requirements. Ordinary soil will kill your plant.
In summer during the growing season give your Trumpet pitcher six or more hours of direct sun for vigorous growth. If full sun is not possible, provide a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight with bright indirect light during the rest of the day. Your plant won’t be as vibrant or sturdy as one grown in full sun but will still be able to maintain good growth.
Trumpet pitcher plants originate from an area where temperatures regularly rise above 32°C in summer so they tolerate heat well. In their native habitat the soil temperature is moderated by a slow seepage of cool spring water. When growing trumpet pitchers in containers you need to pay attention to soil temperature as plants can overheat when the soil temperature approaches 43° C. This can happen when the daytime temperature rises above 38°C. At these temperatures you will need to top water your plants daily to prevent the roots from overheating.
Your plant needs mineral-free water. Collect rainwater or use reverse-osmosis or distilled water to ensure the long-term health of your plant. Stand your plant in a tray of water at all times and let it drink from the bottom. Never let the soil dry out completely. In summer fill the tray with 4-6 cm of water and refill the tray every second day. In winter refill the tray about twice a week so the soil remains damp. Too much water in winter may results in root rot.
It is not necessary to feed your Trumpet pitcher. Carnivorous plants have adapted to capturing insects on their own and insects will be naturally attracted to your plant. If you choose to feed your plant use live wriggling insects or ones that have been recently killed. Do not feed your plant meat. Avoid putting too many insects in the pitchers as the leaves will rot. Chemical fertilizers will kill your plant quickly. Feeding is not required at all during the winter months when the plant is dormant.
Trumpet pitcher plants are hardy perennial plants that emerge from dormancy and start growing strongly in spring when the temperature start to rise and daylight hours become longer. Clip off all leaves from the previous year to make way for flower buds in spring and new leaf growth.
As winter approaches plant growth will slow and eventually stop altogether. The leaves of the trumpet pitcher will remain throughout winter but will turn brown around the edges. This 3-4 month period of winter dormancy is necessary for the plant and corresponds to when there is little or no prey for it to catch. This dormancy period is triggered by cold temperatures below 10°C and shorter daylight hours.
Trumpet pitchers can tolerate temperatures as low as -7°C and overnight frost with minimal protection. They are however susceptible to frost burn when grown in containers and they will require protection when temperatures fall below -7°C or whenever there is a combination of freezing temperatures and wind.
Cover the flytrap with black plastic or move it into an unheated of freezing temperatures and wind. Cover the flytrap with black plastic or move it into an unheated space indoors. As soon as the freeze is over and the temperature climbs above 2° C, uncover your plant and allow it to continue its dormancy outdoors. Even while dormant, your plant will still need to sit in a small amount of standing water to prevent its soil from drying out
Trumpet pitcher plants need nutrient-free soil. Use a blend of sphagnum peat and washed silica sand available from jozicarnivores.co.za or certain nurseries. You may repot your plant every year. Changing the soil restores soil acidity, improves root aeration and strengthens the health of your plants. If necessary place the plant in a larger pot as plants tend to grow faster and larger when their roots have room to grow.
Repot in late winter or early spring for robust plants in time for summer. You can however repot your plants at any time of the year. Never use potting soil, compost or fertilizer. These ingredients will kill your plant.