Sarracenia and the tale of two pots

I am in an artistic doldrums having just gotten two watertight pots and realizing that they would be dynamite homes for the carnivorous plants I have been collecting and or still wish to buy. Hopefully I will have some answers. Can copper or zinc planters injure your plants?


I was thinking about Sarracenia flava var Cuprea (Copper Top Trumpet) for the 10×10 sq. copper container I have, but Sarracenia hybrid Excellens x Readii  might be a more affordable alternative. The former species is quite tall growing between 2 to three feet and has a coppery red coloration with red veins throughout. Its height and price do weigh on me and the question remains ‘how copper is ‘Coppertop?’

S. coppertop

S. coppertop

The height of the pot is about 10 inches and I might have to put in a round water retaining plastic pot to keep the plants away from the copper which might have a toxic affect on the plants. Or so I think. Anyhow this would limit me to a nine inch pot into which i could put THREE plants (4″x4.5″ containers on supports) Or I could plant directly into the inserted container. Checking the water level would however be difficult.  I foresee two plants being  copper colored and the last should be a ground cover or decumbent form. This smaller plant would be needed for my other pot as well.

S.Hyb Flava x Purpurea Venosa

Want S. lady bug
Sarracenia sub.

Sarracenia sub.

S. excellens cross

S. excellens cross

Sarracenia hybrid Excellens x Readii is an unknown plant to me and until I hear from the grower about its height i will be in a quandry. The price is more affordable which does make a difference. Both need full sun to retain their coloration

Much easier to deal with will be my beautiful 10.5 inch rusty iron bowl with handles mounted on a black bonsai stand. It simply cries out for reds or rust colored plants.The same metallic  issue arises, but I doubt it would be as critical as the copper one. The shape of the pot will allow a nice 10.5 plastic pot with tray beneath. A few choices include the following.

S. Dana's Delight

S. Dana’s Delight

S. x judithhindle

S. x judithhindle

S. Rubra x Oreophila) x Rosea

S. Rubra x Oreophila) x Rosea

Others might include:
1. S.(Gulfensis x Jonesii) x Purpurea Venosa Reddish. Height unknown
2. S. Hybrid Excellens x Readii Reddish Height unknown
4. S. minor x rubra x rehderi potted guessing it to be a red Height unknown

Pictures came with the courtesy of Cooks Carnivorous Plants and damonnorman999 on  eBay.

The iron pot was gifted to me by a fellow friend in the bonsai society.
Upon reflection I must note that botany would be far more interesting to children if the subject flower were a Venus Fly trap rather than a daylilly or illustration on a blackboard. Perhaps, some of those teachers would allow nurserymen to teach propagation and the rudiments of plant science.
For some it might mean the beginning of a mind boggling adventure into the life of plants.

I have always strayed away from the ‘normal’ and so the Sarracenia are now housed with my cactus and Stapelia collection. I love plants that can fight back either with spines, digestive juices, entrapment by movement (sundews) or by *smell* (Stapelias)..

(C) Herb Senft 2015

My other sites begin with the discussion: ‘Sarracenia – carnivorous plants and copper containers?’ This continues the overview of metal toxicity in containers and even in water. I go into my own watering suggestions and the contentious point of fertilizing.

My first incursion resulted in ‘Sarracenia plants! They work for their upkeep!’ I so love houseplants that provide for organic pest control. Mind you, most are in my small greenhouses which are home to Heurnia and Stapelia. The rotting smell of their flowers make S. ‘Fat Chance’ happy indeed.

Lastly, I recommend “The Savage Garden” by Peter D’Amato – a most enjoyable read.

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Sarracenia and the tale of two pots — 1 Comment

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