10 Well-Known Pitcher Plants

One of the best plants to grow is the pitcher plant. You’ll be rewarded when you show one to your friends or family who visit your garden. They’ll say, “That is so unusual, I have never seen anything like that!”

The odd shapes that the pitchers take (which are actually modified leaves) continue to fascinate people even after they have gotten over the novelty.

The fact that pitcher plants, like the Venus flytraps, are carnivorous is also fascinating to some. These pitchers are used as insect traps. They are drawn to them by both their color and their scent. The internal walls of the pitcher are covered with stiff hairs pointing downwards, making it difficult for insects to escape. Rainwater can fill the pitchers to a certain extent, and trapped insects may drown. Some pitcher plants release a chemical which kills insects.

There are many types of pitcher plants. You can find one that suits your garden, patio or greenhouse, no matter where you are.

They are not easy to grow, so it’s best to leave them to the green thumbs. These ten pitcher plants are popular among enthusiasts and will dazzle the public.


Purple Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia Purpurea)
The purple pitcher plant Sarracenia has deep red pitchers with vein-marked pitchers.

Purple pitcher plants have deep red flowers with veined pitchers. Due to their hardiness, they are great for water gardens.

It is best to place it as the centerpiece of your water garden. Surrounding it with shorter plants will not obscure its beauty or flowers. Purple pitcher plants can grow up to 20 inches high when they are in bloom. They are native to the eastern and north central parts of North America.

USDA Growing Zones 3 to 6
Color Varieties: Flowers have a purplish red color; pitchers have a greenish-red color with red veining.
Sun exposure: full sun
Acidic, boggy soils are best for a variety of crops.

Yellow Pitcher Plant
Yellow pitcher plant

Grow a yellow pitcher for a larger and more vibrant specimen. This plant is native to the American Southeast and can reach a height of one to three feet. Yellow pitcher plants use the chemical content of their leaves to kill insects trapped in them.

USDA Growing Zones 6 to 8
Color Varieties: Flowers yellow, pitchers medium green to greenish yellow
Sun exposure: full sun
Soil Types: Acidic, acidic-humusy, sandy

California Pitcher Plant
Cobra lilies are hooded like cobras and have a rasing up.

California pitcher plants, or “cobra lily”, are native to northern California and southern Oregon. It can grow up to 39 inches tall. It is difficult to grow and most people only appreciate it when they see it on a hike along bogs or stream banks.

The “cobra” head is a great conversation starter for both gardeners and those who are not.

USDA Growing Zones 6 to 9
Flowers range from yellow to purple-green
Sun exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil needs: Gravel, boggy soil saturated with cold water

Sun Pitcher Plant
Pitcher of Sun pitcher Plant

South America is the native home of “sun” or marsh pitcher plants. The pitchers can range in size from 6 to 16 inches depending on species, but they only grow 4 to 10 inches high. All species have bell-shaped, deep-red flowers.

Sun pitcher plants can be the most challenging pitcher plants to grow for gardeners (even those who have greenhouses). It is important to have the right temperature and humidity.

USDA Plant Growing Zones: Variable depending on species, although most tropical plants are in zones 10 to 11.
Color Varieties: Depending on the species
Sun exposure: full sun to partial shade, depending on the species
Soil Requirements: Grown in sphagnum, usually within a container

White Trumpet Pitcher Plant
White pitcher flower and pitcher.

The white trumpet pitcher, which is native to the American Southeast region, may be the most beautiful of all. It is because of this that they are so popular, as well as the fact that pitcher plants can be grown relatively easily.

The dark veins on their pitchers stand out against the bright white background. The white trumpet pitcher grows between one and three feet high. The pitchers are the main reason to grow them, but they also have red flowers.

USDA Growing Zones 7 to 9
Color Varieties : Pitchers white with dark veins, flowers reddish
Full sun exposure
Soil needs: Acidic, acidic, boggy

Western Australian Pitcher Plant
Western Australian pitcher plant growing in the ground.

Western Australian pitcher plants are among the smallest pitchers. The pitchers and plants are only about 1 to 1.5 inches in length. This Australian native’s pitchers are striped. Eden Black is dark enough to qualify as a truly black plant.

USDA Growing Zones 8-11
Color Varieties : Pitchers range from green to dark purple. Flowers are white and are not aesthetically significant.
Sun exposure: full sun
Soil needs: Sphagnum moss is usually displayed in a pot as the growing medium.

Nepenthes ventrata and Related Plants
Nepenthes in hanging pots, with pitchers hanging downward.

The “tropical pitcher plant” is a woody vine. These pitchers are perfect for hanging baskets because they hang down. The pitchers have an unusual look, which makes them popular among enthusiasts.

Nepenthes is a diverse genus. Three closely related species that are native to the Philippines include:

Nepenthes ventricosa
Nepenthes alata
Nepenthes Ventrata (a hybrid between Nepenthes Alata and Nepenthes ventricosa)
The North is the best place to grow and display these three plants. Their flowers are not very noticeable. The pitchers may grow to be up to 9 inches in length. There is a lot of variation within the same species (such as in vine length).

USDA Growing Zones 10 to 11
Color Varieties. Pitcher colors can range from greenish-yellow to orange, purple or red. Some are heavily speckled.
Sun exposure: Full sun or full shade, depending on the species
Sphagnum moss is the most common growing medium.

Villose Pitcher-Plant (Nepenthes villosa)
Nepenthes villosa pitcher closeup.

Nepenthes vilosa is a tropical species. Borneo, Malaysian is its native land. It is grown for the bright orange pitchers. The pitchers can be up to four inches in length.

USDA Growing Zones 10 to 11
Color Varieties: Orange
Sun exposure: full sun to partial sun
Growing Medium: Sphagnum Moss is the most common growing medium.


Kinabalu Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes Kinabaluensis).
Nepenthes Kinabaluensis pitcher in closeup.

Nepenthes Kinabaluensis is another tropical pitcher plant. This pitcher plant is also native to Malaysian Borneo. It is actually a hybrid whose parent is N. villosa. Its pitchers are larger.

Plants are grown more for their vibrant red pitchers than for their aesthetically unimportant blooms.

USDA Growing Zones 10 to 11
Color Varieties: Red
Sun exposure: full sun to partial sun
Growing Medium: Sphagnum Moss is the most common growing medium.

Veitch’s Pitcher-Plant (Nepenthes veitchii)
Nepenthes veitchii, a pitcher with striped and mottled stripes.

Nepenthes veitchii, another Malaysian Borneo native is also stunning. Its mottled interior wall is no exception. The outside is what’s most striking.

The flowers of this plant may not be enough to justify all the work involved in growing it, except for those with green thumbs. But the pitchers are certainly worth the effort. The latter can grow to be one foot long.

USDA Growing Zones 10 to 11
Colors: orange, red and yellow
Sun exposure: full sun to partial sun
Growing Medium: Sphagnum Moss is a typical soil substitute.