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How to divide a Sarracenia the right way

Dividing Sarracenia plants is the fastest and easiest way to grow more plants and maintain vigorous growth. Divisions will give you a decent sized plant in one season.

Information below applies to both short and tall Sarracenia plants.

Step 1

Select a mature plant in winter dormancy.

Sarracenia during dormancy.

Plants should have multiple growth points. You’ll be able to see  growth points through the brown mature pitchers. Growth points will be swollen and have multiple small spikes protruding out of the base.

Sarracenia growth points. Old pitchers removed. Roots cleaned of media.

Step 2

Expose the roots and remove as much media as you can from around the root zone with your hands. Once excess media is gone, wash the plant in a bucket of water to remove the last of the old media from around the roots.

Step 3 (optional)

Cut off the old pitchers about 5-10cm up from the base of the plant’s rhizome. Use secateurs to make clean cuts.

Some growers skip this step. The argument for removing old pitchers is that it prevents dead pitchers from contacting media and growing mold. It also helps spring sun get into the new growth points, promoting faster spring growth. The argument for keeping old pitchers is it acts as an insulator to help keep new growth points protected from the harsh winter conditions.

Step 4

Cut the rhizome into clean sections, respecting growth points. Don’t cut through or damage growth points.

Use secateurs to do this job. If you try to use your hands to pull the rhizome apart without first cutting the rhizome, you will more than likely rip the rhizome and damage the plant.

Each plant division should have a complete growth point and a decent amount of roots. It may also have old pitchers too. Individually wash each division in a bucket of water. You’ll find more old media comes off once the division has been separated.

Sarracenia cut into divisions based on growth points.

As you divide your plants you might come across smaller divisions too, plants which are a 6-12cm tall, and appear more seedling like in appearance. You can certainly pot these up if you wish. They’ll take a longer time to produce mature plants (5+ years). They will also likely need extra protection over their first winter.

Step 5

Pot each division into a clean plastic pot no smaller than 120mm. Use a standard carnivorous plant mix of 1:1 Sphagnum Peat moss and perlite (or washed propagating sand).

Make sure all of the division’s roots are beneath the media and the growth point is centered in the pot. The growth point itself should be slightly above the media.

New division potted up.

Step 6

water your division into the pot with safe water for carnivorous plants. Keep gently watering the plant until two or three times the volume of the pot has been washed through.

Sarracenia divisions potted up.

Six months down the track your divisions will be established large plants. In a few years you divisions will be fully established plants with multiple growth points of their own. And so the division process starts again!

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