Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Sarracenia purpurea Purple Pitcher Plant

Sarracenia purpurea

Purple Pitcher Plant

Plant Type:


Sarracenia purpurea – Fat, squat pitchers lie decumbent in this curious rendition of a rosette form. The Purple Pitcher Plant is the hardiest – some say into zone 3, but we are erring on the side of caution when we claim USDA zone 4 hardiness. As this is a wide-ranging species if they are to be grown in colder regions it would be wise to be certain the plants you choose have regional provenance which will bolster hardiness. This dark little monster may not only feed on insects but spiders and small frogs, too. Tall stems emerge with 2.5” semi-glossy flowers in purple-red, brownish-red and sometimes greenish depending upon the genetic make-up – they are always fascinating and oddly beautiful. Sarracenia pururea is clumping with slow increase. Please see the Genus Overview below.


2-5 in


Red Purple-Brown
Item Description Price  
SARRPUR Sarracenia purpurea (3.5 inch Square Press Fit Pot – 1.05 pints / 497 ml.) $22.00 Sold Out

Characteristics and Attributes for Sarracenia purpurea

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Nature Attraction

  • Insectivore


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Dappled Shade
  • Shade


  • Bog
  • Potted Plant
  • Marginal

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow


  • Sandy
  • Wet
  • Acid


  • Eastern North America

Propagated By

  • Division

Genus Overview: Sarracenia

Common Name: Pitcher Plant

These are the fascinating Pitcher Plants. All are from eastern North America, most from Southeastern U.S. One species occurs in the north all the way up into Newfoundland in peat bogs, Sarracenia purpurea with USDA zone 4 hardiness... perhaps some populations hardy into zone 3. The spring and summer flowers which last for many weeks are as beautiful as they are fascinating. All species have evolved pitchers with passive pitfall traps… the insects enter but can’t back up due to downward facing hairs which disallow retreat. They are structurally curious and in their own unique way very beautiful. All require constantly moist to wet feet, boggy conditions suit them well or can be easily pot grown in 50% coarse sand to 50% peat mix. In a natural setting they can tolerate vernal flooding but for most of the year their crowns must be above the water line or they will rot… yes, I know: it’s hard to believe! Most of the literature tells you not to feed them and it is true that any chemical fertilizer should be avoided as these plants have little tolerance to salts. But you can use quarter strength fish emulsion on occasion and I mean only on occasion, not at every watering, and only during active growth. Potted plants must be re-potted every 2 years with a fresh mix of peat and coarse sand or they languish. They are easy to transplant and respond well to good treatment. Most prefer sun although I have found that S. purpurea seems particularly happy during the summer under the shade cloth in my greenhouse. That was a bit of a surprise as I’ve seen them growing in the bright open sunny conditions in the fantastic peat bogs of Nova Scotia. Generally I would say they need be planted in full sun in the north to to partly shaded exposure in the south. They make fascinating potted plants. All of the following are offered by division.