Nepenthes Pitchers

dagscenicMarch 17, 2007

I have some VERY large nepenthes plants, unfortunately the plants are large and the pitchers not so much. i was just at home depot and saw some smaller nepenthes about half the size of mine but with pitchers at least three times the size of mine. the plants i own and the ones at home depot were nepenthes alata. how could i make my plants pitchers swell to a larger size?

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Ok, this first thing I have to say really may not matter to you but I thought you may want to know. Most of the time places like home depot label their neps "alata" they're actually ventrata ... that is... (ventricosa x alata) I know that doesn't really matter but I kept calling one of my ventrata an alata till someone showed me the difference. I guess it's shorter for them to call it just alata or something.

Now, about your problem. I have more questions than answers so far. First off, what growing conditions do you have it in? Light, water, how long have you had it, all that stuff... While I'm at it, how big are the pitchers on yours and the size of your plants, and how big were theres?

My theory on "why" is one of two things. Either, you are giving it too much light and it's producing smaller more colorfull pitchers, or it's still comming out of winter, a season when neps don't go dormant but if they grow pitchers during the winter, they sometimes aren't as big. Your humidity level may also be low, but from my experience, ventrata are very forgiving about humidity levels into the 40s.

Well, thats my two cents worth... need more information. I'm sure someone else around here knows already and will put my answer to shame. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:16AM
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I found that as long as they have a good 12 hour photoperiod, the plants will respond by pitchering.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 4:50PM
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Yes, i knew about my plant being ventrata, but i completely forgot about it until you reminded me.

I didn't buy my plant at home depot, but purchased it at a garden center for 25 dollars. The plant currently has 10 stalks growing from the container i have it in, and the stalks vary in length from 8 inches to about 2 feet. The pitchers it produces are about 4 inches tall, compared to the pitchers at home depot which were about 8 to 10 inches tall. While the plants at home depot were only 6 to 8 inches tall.

I have my plant in the corner of my sun room, facing north and east. Since it is currently winter, it is not getting much sunlight. I always water until water comes out of the bottom of the container, and then a little bit more, and water every time the top of the soil starts getting a little dry. I also put distilled water in the pitchers once the pitchers dry out.

And as for producing pitchers, mine really isnt. It still has the pitchers from when i purchased it, which was about six months ago. It is growing slowly, and the leaves are large and have the tendril with the small pitcher on the end, but the pitcher is neither swelling up or dying. I'm guessing its waiting until it gets warmer to start making the pitchers grow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Ok, first off, if you're getting outdoor lighting for it, which it sounds like you are in your sunroom, the nepenthes thinks its winter (which I guess for another day or so it still is) and it probably won't pitcher till the days get a little longer.

Water-wise... I personally water mine every 3 days (I'm not perfect but that's what I shoot for) Just like you, I water mine till water is draining out the bottom.

My guess is it'll start to pitcher once the days get a little longer.

btw, if you have any pics I'd love to see this plant of yours. It sounds like a monster. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 12:51AM
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LOL! My ventrata isn't currently pitchering, but it's acting like a VFT, emerging from dormancy - and Asian pitcher plants do go dormant!

Seriously, can you place a fluorescent light over it to give it a good 12 hours?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 6:38PM
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WOW your place looks a lot colder than mine. And as for a fluorescent light i cannot do that. I do not have any extras and there is no way to hang it in my sun room, the ceiling is some weird design that i do not wish to mess up. My plant has started getting some more light though, we have been getting about 12 hours of light for the past week where i live in Virginia.

As for pictures i will try to get some up soon, probably by at least thursday or friday

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 9:31PM
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I love that first picture with the ice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 9:31PM
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The plant is on the inside, of course! It's 70-ish in there. Anyhoo, the extra lighting should pay off in a few weeks.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I got a chill just LOOKING at that photo! We had 14" of now here last week and now it's 49F. and it's almost all gone now! Hopefully spring is finally here!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Here's an updated picture of the flower:

It's considerable warmer outside, now! Inside is the same, though.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 10:39PM
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I have found if you have tendrals that refuse to grow into full pitchers, spray the tips with water from a spray bottle until there soaking and do it several times a day. This always worked for me :). jack

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 7:48PM
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I have a judith finn that's doing that to me right now. How long do you normally have to do it? (how many days)

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 9:32PM
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Hello dagscenic,

My Nepenthes sanguinaea will not stop pitchering. It has done so all through the winter and has sped up production with the longer photoperiod. During winter I had it under 4 40 watt flourescent tubes about 5-6 inches from the lights for 12 hours a day. With spring coming around, I stepped it up by 1 hour a week until it is at 16 hours. Light is more important than humidity for the more adaptable Nepenthes. Mine is just a young plant that started with only two 3 inch pitchers when I bought it and now has three new 3 1/2 inch pitchers just a couple of months later.

One week after opening new picher. Note the nectar drops under the lid.

New pitcher 3/4 grown. You can just see the drops of fluid secreted along the inner pitcher walls. This pitcher is almost fully grown two weeks after the last pitcher opened.

Newest leaf showing a budding pitcher tip.

In any case, your watering sounds good, just stop putting water inside the pitchers. As you can see from my third photo, new pitchers produce their own fluid for drowning insects, they do not like water poured inside. That is why they have lids to keep the rain out. Old pitchers will readily replace any fluid spilled, so do not worry about them either. Nepenthes fluid has bactericide and fungicidal properties, so putting distilled water inside the leaves merely complicates matters as the plant tries to get rid of the water so it can actually trap and digest insects properly.

So far as pitcher growth size. Your plant might actually be younger than the ones you saw at the hardware store. The store might have had a small cutting of an older plant that initially had larger pitchers.

Don't worry about pitcher size, just try to give your plant good light intensity for a long enough photo period, partial sunlight is optimal, and water it from the top, let the water run through, then place it in a dry tray for a few days. I only mist my plant once a day, it grows indoors in south Texas zone 9, and the apartment has central air. humidiy is rather moderate I would say.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:54PM
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