Hardiness of native CP's

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May 27, 2007
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Another quick question...I recently discovered that in the wetland part of our property next to our neighbors house there are a lot of spots where sphagnum moss is growing, a lot more than I thought I would ever find around here actually. Anyways, I have a few Sarracenias and Venus fly traps that I want to try to plant in the moss to naturalize there and I was wondering what the hardiness is of both are. I already have a native sundew planted there and just moved a sarracenia rubra or minor, I think rubra, there. They are really small ones that I think I got at lowes. I had the pitcher plant in with a Nepenthes but I know that they need a dormant period so I decided to put it down in the moss. I just hope it makes it through the winter. So what does everyone think, that they'll make it or not?
There are several Sarracenia hybrids that are hardy to as low as zone 6; Dana's Delight and Judith Hindle come to mind. The species S. purpurea (ssp. purpurea) is hardy to zone 3-4 (though some varieties are more tender). There are many other species of Sarracenia though, which I am not familiar with, that have varying hardiness ranges. VFTs are hardy to zone 8. So, whether they'll survive or not depends on where you live.

I have a purpurea growing in a pot with a VFT. I got it at a garden center in Feb. or March. It had I think 5 pitchers on 3 eyes (I'm not sure what they're called, growing points maybe...) Now it has like 25 - 30 I think (I may be exaggerating a little) and it's HUGE! That one I will just leave in it's pot though and put it in the cellar over the winter. I guess if the VFT is hardy only to zone 8 I can't plant it outside here. Thanks guys!
Where do you live if you don't mind my asking. There are many Sarracenia species and hybrids that do quite well in cooler zones.

What color is the sphagnum moss growing by your neighbor's house?

Lowes has been selling a southern race of Sarracenia purpurea. Interestingly enough, Home Depot has been selling both races of purps. If your plant came with a VFT, chances are pretty good you've got a southern race. S. purp ssp. gibbosa might not do all that well in your area but the S. purp ssp. purp mentioned by parvi_17 should do just fine.

Also too, the VFT can be grown outside in the conditions you described to a zone 5 providing a heavy layer of white pine needle mulch is added to break freeze/thaw cycles.
I live in Guilford, CT. Near New Haven on the coast. The moss is green and alive. I bought the Sarracenia at a local garden center, but thats the purpurea. The one I have planted in the woods is rubra. It is doing pretty good since I planted it, we'll see if it makes it through the winter or not.
I checked the USDA hardiness map and you are a 7! People who grow Sarracenia would love to be growing where you garden. The world is pretty much open to you as to which Sarracenia you can grow.

They do generally like sun though. If you do a search of areas in which they occur naturally, you will find Sarracenia to be growing in many diverse habitats but the common denominator will be lots of sun, at least 6 hours of full sun. Sarracenia rubra's natural range is the coastal regions of the southeastern states so I'm thinking you have an ideal shot at growing the plant. One thing though, this plant should be kept moist while it is actively growing. Many people are able to grow these plants in pots set in trays of rain water. The water wicks up and keeps the medium constantly moist.

All sphagnums seem to require a lower Ph environment. The sphagnum mosses I have seen supporting purps have all turned red. It's been my experience that sphagnum mosses turn red when the pH is optimal for growing purpurea. There are somewhere around 100 different species of Sphagnum on North America so the sphagnum you have is most probably a different species than what I have so color may not be an indicator but generally has been for me in the past.

I don't know that the area you described could or couldn't support purps for the longhaul. You'd have to maybe contact a local native plant society to see what they have found in the wild to give you an indication of whether or not that mossy area would be optimal or not. That being said, you could create a small bog for little or no money in which to grow any purps of interest to you.

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