My first pitcher plant

dpolson37(7a VA)May 9, 2012

Hello all, this is my first time posting to this forum. I've been reading posts and learning lots. One thing I have yet to read much about or even find on Google searches is propogation. It seems like I might be able to propogate my pitcher plant from a cutting. Is this true? My plant is not old enough probably to do so, but when the time comes I'd like to try. How long does it need to grow before trimming off a cutting? I'll keep searching, but wanted to throw it out there is case someone can point me to a good source. These plants are becoming one of my favorites.

Dave From Garden 2012

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Hi Dave!

Yes you can easily propagate these by cuttings. You can take one of the vines and cut it off, I would at least cut a length 3 nodes or more, (about 3-4 leaves length.) I'll give you the way I do it, there are many different methods, but I can say I've has a 100% success rate doing the following:

Once you have your piece of vine cut off, cut the leaves in half horizontally across. This reduces moisture loss and a short length of vine doesn't need or want to support the leaves that were on it. It does still need some leaf for photosynthesis though.

Next cut a few lines about 1/4 inch upwards vertically into the outermost layer of the vine on what you want the base of the new plant to be. This isn't necessary, but will help roots grow faster as they won't need to break through the tough outer surface.

Then dip the cut up end of the vine into some rooting hormone. (again, not necessary, but it helps the plant root faster and better than without.)And lightly wrap that end in long fibered sphagnum moss. From here I pot it up in a way too small for it pot with more sphagnum moss and perlite to keep it from compacting and suffocating the new roots. Get a pot that drains well. I underpot it so it doesn't stay wet too long, and I don't have to worry about it rotting. I do have to water it once a day though as you want it to stay moist, but not sopping wet.

Then place the cutting into bright indirect sun, I give them late afternoon or early morning light. Then you wait, keep it moist, check it in about a month, and you should see the cutting growing out some nice wirey black roots from where you made the cuts.

Once you see the top of the cutting making new leaves feel free to pot it up normally. If you make a series of cuttings from a long vine, where you have cut off the growth point, it will sprout new leaves from any of the nodes along the cutting. Same method applies. Just remember to always sterilize your cutting tool before you use it. Introducing pathogens is a great way to kill possibly both the plant and the cutting. I use alcohol, but you can flame sterilize it too.

There are many other methods I've seen people use, but I'll let someone else jump in as this is the only way I've done it. It's simple, and works!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Sorry, forgot to add that your plant is fine to take cuttings from now. It has multiple growth points, so feel free. It doesn't really matter how old a plant is, more important is the length of the cutting you take, and how much of the plant you leave!

Also, have you re-potted this plant since you've gotten it? It looks like one of the Nepenthes 'Miranda' clones. I ask because they like to sell plants of these size as two plants growing together, to give it a bushy full look, rather than vine-y. You may be able to just un-pot it, separate the plants and re-pot them separately. But then you'll lose that full look.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:03PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

Wow JungleMel, Thanks for all the great info.
I have not re-potted it yet. I had thought there might be two plants, but didn't want to mess it up. I'll have to take a closer look this weekend.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:07AM
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JungleMel has supplied you with some detailed rooting instructions except that he failed to mention that you should strip the lower leaves, about three or more nodes and then recut the leaves in half. Remove the tip if it is very soft and fleshy.It is best to start the rooting process in a small three inch pot that can dry out between watering.
In areas of low humidity, place potted cuttings under a clear plastic bag with ventilation holes in indirect sunlight and keep moist.
While Long Fiber Sphagnum is ideal, any well draining water retentive mdeia will work. Do not disturb the root ball until growth develops when you see tiny pitchers developing. Using a dilute liquid fertilizer (like Peter's orchid or growMore Liquid Seaweed Extract) works wonders.
I also recommend using a very dilute amount of Superthrive when watering, fertilizing your cuttings and plants.This helps boost the plants and gets those roots going on its way.

Note that only the lower pitchers will produce the spotted wide mouthed pitchers and the uppers will produce a mostly green with a red peristome upper pitcher.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 8:59PM
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