Pitcher Plant Care

Pitcher Plant Care and Feeding Directions

Quick Pitcher Plant Care Tips:

  • Do not overfeed your Pitcher Plant.  Your plant needs to be fed, but only about once every two weeks, or once a week at the most.
  • Only water your plant with distilled or rain water.
  • Do not feed your Pitcher Plant anything besides insects.
  • You don’t need to fill the traps of your Scarlet Belle or Rubra Pitcher Plant with water; it creates it’s own fluid.
  • Your plant will hibernate between November and February, and doesn’t need to be fed during that time.
  • Keep your plant in it’s terrarium to be sure it stays at the right humidity level.

Detailed Pitcher Plant Care Instructions

About Pitcher Plants

The North American Pitcher Plant grows natively in the United States.  Some varieties of Pitcher Plant, such as the Purpurea, grow out, and need to be refilled with water.  Others, like the Rubra, grows tall and slender.  Another type, known as the Scarlet Belle, grows both upwards and outwards (visit the gallery to see!).  Based on availability, the type of Pitcher Plant you receive from My Carnivore will be either the Rubra or the Scarlet Belle.  These plants are easy to care for, but will require basic feeding.


The Pitcher Plant requires a humid environment.  This means that unless the place you live is humid, your Pitcher Plant will need to be kept in its terrarium when you are not feeding it, playing with it, or showing it off.


The soil of your Pitcher Plant should stay moist and dark (though not saturated).  You can tell if the soil is wet enough because it will be soft and dark brown in color.  If the soil is brown and crisp, it is too dry.  However, the soil is too wet if water comes out when pressing on it.  Too wet of soil will cause your plants roots to rot.  Typically, Pitcher Plants need to be watered about twice a week to ensure the soil stays at the proper level of moisture.  You can water your plant by pouring water directly into the pot or water tray, or use the My Carnivore Spray Mister to keep the plant and environment moist.

When watering your plant, take care to only use distilled water, or rain water.  Do not use tap water.  You can even leave a cup outside to collect rain, and use that to water your Pitcher Plant.

Caring for the Traps

Rubra and Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plants do not require you to pour water inside their pitchers; they produce that fluid on their own.  If remnants of bugs are left inside, do not clean out the pitchers.

If any trap begin to turn completely brown, remove them before they rot.  Traps will naturally die on your Pitcher Plant, and don’t worry, new ones will grow in their place!  Even if all of the traps die, new ones will pop up again if the plant is in moist soil in a sunny location.


Your Pitcher Plant does best in indirect sunlight.  In the summer time, keep your plant in a light room with a window, or keep it outside.  If your plant is in direct sunlight in warm place, make sure it is uncovered and kept moist.  Your plant also grows well under fluorescent lights.

Winter Dormancy

Four months out of the year (November—February), your Pitcher Plant will hibernate.  This means that during these months, the plant will not grow, and all of the leaves will turn brown and die.  You can cut these leves off about 1 inch above the soil.  If you order your plant during the winter, it may already be hibernating when it arrives at your home.  In the winter months, make sure the Pitcher Plant gets less light and is placed in a cooler area (such as next to a cool window inside, or inside a garage).  During dormancy, your plant will require less water (the soil should be kept medium-dark in color) and will not need to be fed at all.


The most important (and most unique and exciting aspect of having a carnivorous plant) is feeding it.  Your pitcher plant prefers live food, such as houseflies, grasshoppers, crickets, love-bugs, and other insects.  You can feed your plant by dropping an insect into an open mouth, or simply place the bug near the plant and let it wander in on its own.  A Pitcher Plant will not move when it catches its prey; its traps are designed to keep bugs from being able to climb back out.

The Pitcher Plant only needs to be fed about once every two weeks.  You can, however, feed your plant as often as once a week.

Additional Help

If you have trouble caring for your Pitcher Plant, don’t hesitate to email and ask!  We would love to give you personal Pitcher Plant Care advice on how to keep your plant healthy!