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The Mystery of the Toppled Pitchers


Sarracenia Collector



Does anyone know what could be causing this? What happens is the pitcher gets cut open the side and then the top dehydrates... I doubt it's the Sarracenia moth (I forget it's name) as I do not live in NC.
I would like to know also, some of my flavas newer pitchers look like the first pic
Hmm... This keeps happening with my purp... And only my purp.
Check closely for aphids, they are a frequent cause of deformed pitchers. If not, then it may just be weather damage or other mechanical damage that will be corrected in the new growth as the season progresses. Have you guys been through the weird alternating hot/cold spring that we had out here on the west coast?
Also watch to see if birds, wasps, or some other pest are messing with your pitchers, the dried grass in the middle photo looks like something may be trying to make a nest.
Insufficient water plus hot weather can cause that.

Just because you are not in North Carolina doesn't mean you might not have gotten plants infested with the exra moth larva. And there are other moths like the light brown apple moth that get inside of Sarracenia tubes.

Some wasps plug the tubes up and put prey in there to feed their larvae. Is that grass or something coming out of the tube on the second picture?

I think your best bet is to perform some exploratory surgery.
yea love this strange spring this year, last year was not much better, it might be slug damage
wasps and caterpillars can eat their way out also.

Ive aso had a grey squirrel digging through my pots before breaking leaves and branches
This is damage from a species of wasp (at least the middle picture). I forget what they are called, but the grass sticking out of the pitcher is a sure sign. They like to nest in sarracenia and in the mean time desroy the pitcher. As for effective means to deal with them, I don't know. You'll have to ask someone else. But that's what it is.

It's always possible you have more than one pest as well, obviously, so don't rule out other insects as culprits of deformed pitchers while trying to deal with the wasp.