pitcher plant

Why Does My Pitcher Plant have no Pitchers? (And How To Fix It!)

Pitcher plants are fascinating. They have developed pitchers that are modified leaves. These work to trap insects. These plants meet their nitrogenous requirement from the trapped insects.

Pitcher plants are kept indoors for their pitchers. They make your living room elegant. But, what if your pitcher plant doesn’t grow any pitchers?

Pitcher formation in these plants is influenced by various factors. Humidity, Light, Potting mix, and Water are the main factors that influence the health of a plant.

How long does it take a pitcher plant to grow pitchers?

Pitcher plants take time to grow and develop pitchers. They develop once they get well established and it may take from 5 to 10 years.

Is your pitcher plant growing tendrils but no pitchers? This may worry you and rightly so. The plant should develop pitchers once it has grown tendrils.

Failure to do so is usually because of a lack of enough light or humidity.

Humidity

When someone asks me why their plant has no pitchers, the first thing I ask them is “How’s the humidity?”.

This is the most important factor influencing the production of pitchers. Higher humidity helps in the increased pitcher production.

You can increase humidity by regularly misting the plants. This helps the plant to inflate the leaves.

You can also increase the humidity by using a humidifier in the room. There’s another more economical way to increase humidity.

Pebble tray

Take some pebbles in a tray, so they form a single layer. Place your pitcher plant’s pot on the pebbles.

Add water to the tray so that only pebbles are drowned in water. The water shouldn’t touch the pot. If the water could reach the draining hole, it’d lead to Root rot.

You can keep your indoor plants in a circle/semi-circle, then place a bowl of water in the center. This increases humidity and benefits all the plants around the tray.

Note: Make sure your pitcher plant’s leaves get some water. Shower the leaves with water when watering the plant. The pitchers can hold 50% of the water in their pitchers.

Light

Abundant light is required for the health of a pitcher plant. This is one of the main factors influencing the production of foliage in pitcher plants.

Pitcher plants need at least 3-4 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. Place it near a windowsill where it gets indirect but not too bright sunlight.

If the plant gets bright sunlight, it gets sun stressed. This causes the yellowing of leaves. That’s why it is best to test what suits your plant and act accordingly.

Water and Potting mix

We all can agree that water is the lifeline of plants. It is the most important ingredient of a healthy garden/indoor plants.

Carnivorous plants like Pitcher plants don’t like tap water. Tap water has unnecessary minerals.

If possible, use distilled water or filtered water for watering your pitcher plants. It’s even better to use rainwater to quench your plants’ thirst.

Keep the soil moist

Water the plant whenever the potting mix feels dry. The potting mix should never be left dry or completely soggy.

Just water the plant enough and keep it merely moist. Check for the moisture up to 2 inches of the soil before watering again.

Use a potting mix that is well-drained but low in nutrients. You can mix half sphagnum peat with half portion of perlite, lava rock, or vermiculite.

Feeding

Feeding a pitcher plant may not be necessary. It meets most of its nitrogenous requirement by ingesting insects.

They require little feeding if any. You can feed it some acidic fertilizer lightly.

Mix 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 mL.) of acid fertilizer in a liter of water. You can also use a fertilizer that is labeled to use for orchids.

Do not overfeed your pitcher plants. If you do, it will result in lush foliage but no pitchers will be formed.

Is it winter?

If it’s the cold season, then it’s completely natural. Pitcher plants go dormant in the winter.

In such phases, growth is slowed down. No new pitchers are formed although new foliage may develop.

So, just be patient, the plant is just resting.

How to prevent such situations?

You can make sure your pitcher plant is in the best health by taking good care of it. Here are some important things to focus on.

How often should I water my pitcher plant?

Pitcher plants thrive in wet soils. You may want to keep the soil wet almost always.

You can achieve this by keeping a tray below the plant’s pot. Add water to the tray so it has 1/4th of an inch. Replenish it once all the water is used up.

Water the plant from below, do not add it directly to the pot. This way the plant can drink water when needed.

Other factors

  • Maintain adequate humidity.
  • Give it enough light every day.
  • Do not overfeed the plant with fertilizer. Add only a little liquid fertilizer to boost growth.

Happy Gardening 🙂