pitcher plant problem?

yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)June 9, 2006

hello all. I'm pretty new to the world of carnivorous plants. I had some VFT's growing up, but would rather see the traps close than actually take care of it. Anyway, I was at work (The Lovely Home Depot) and a co-worker and I found a pitcher plant. the card said it was a Sarracenia purpurea "scarlet belle", but while researching this species,it says it's the hardiest of them all. but the card said that it's tropical, having to stay about 65 degrees F. Could it be a Nepenthes? Is the card wrong? Also, the weather's been rainy, damp, and a little chilly. The plant has a few pitchers, 2 of which are turning brown and icky. is that from the weather or something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

~Jay :o)

P.S., I would post a picture, but I don't know how. if anyone can help me with that I will post one for all to see. thanks again!

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it's easier if you took a picture of the plant. you can upload pictures in this website:


after uploading your pictures, each picture will have 3 different bars. copy the bar where it says "tag" then paste the code here in the comment boxes to generate the pictures.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 5:29PM
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I've come to find that the people that ship plants to stores like the Home Depot seem to just throw them in a container and ship them out! I bought a combo terrarium the other day at Lowe's that was packaged as a VFT, Sarracenia purpurea, and Drosera imtermedia. What was actually in there was VFT, Sarracenia rubra, and a Lance Leaf sundew. The VFT and pitcher plant are compatable but the sundew is a tropical. If you can, try to describe your plant to us with as much detail as you can. Nepenthes and Sarracenia look very different!

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard bogs (The Natural Alternative)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 5:34PM
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yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)

Ok. so I had an account with photobucket, so don't pay attention to the other photos (a little amateur photography), but I made an album for the pitcher plant. here's the link


i hope the pictures are good enough!

Here is a link that might be useful: pitcher plant pics

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 6:16PM
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nice plant! that is a nepenthes variety. these plants are a bit simple to grow. however, if it doesn't meet its requirements, it will be a bit complicated.

these type of carnivorous plants love high humidity , bright indirect light.

i grow mine in a bright windowsill. these plants detest full sun, since they are known to get their leaves & pitchers burned. so it is best to grow these types of pitcher plants indoors in a windowsill.

Water your plant with purified water, over head water it every 3 days, these plants also dislike being waterelogged for longs periods of time & prefer moist soil. but not soaking wet.

Also, a tip, if you want your pitcher plants to grow pitchers, since humidity must be met for this plant, spray it with purified water every morning & night before you go to bed. spray its leaves with purified water every day & night.

that's about it, these plants aren't so tricky to grow, this is how mine looked last year, i grew it in that bright windowsill. and i also aquired this plant of mine from home depot, although it was pretty beat up when i bought it, i gave it time to aclimate it into its new surroundings, after a while, it grew nice pitchers.

it's all about time, patience & right conditions. don't repot this plant, leave it in its container.. you do not want to bother its roots. just leave it alone and grow it with the tips i gave you, although many people in this forum have different growing methods. the advice listed above is mine. take care then, see ya. :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:09PM
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by the way, that plant IS indeed a tropical species. dormancy is not required, it does grow all year round.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:13PM
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I also happen to work at Home Depot. Our store doesn't bring in CP's. I took the liberty of pasting the URL you provided into the address bar and following through to see the images. Here is one of your pics:

To my inexpereinced eye, it looks like an N. ventrata, which is a very common garden center find and an easy plant to grow. As suggested earlier, people vary with their preferred soil media and approach to cultivation. For grins and chuckles, I mix sand and peat and add LFS (long fibred sphagnum moss on top. I also add pine needles. I prefer either a hanging basket or planter and keep at a window sill. When winter comes and the photoperiod decreases significantly, you will need artificial lighting to make up for the decreased natural photoperiod or live with the cessation of pitchering for a few months. Here's a couple pictures to illustrate:

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:41PM
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I agree, looks very like a Ventrata. As a little addition, showing the plant an hour or two of sunlight will result in more colourful pitchers. This nep is very hardy and doesn't require anything more than average humidity to pitcher and grow rapidly.

This is what mine looks like eight months on from being the same size as yours. I grow it in a bright windowsill with about 6 hours of afternoon sun. The leaves gain a little colouration but the traps are stunning as you can see.



    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 2:36PM
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N. Ventrata is a hybrid of alta and ventracosa right?
that is how i would picture an alta and ventricosa in one plant.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 3:55PM
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yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)

Thank you all for your help! I've noticed new leaf growth, so i guess it's doing well. I also noticed there's a baby plant hidden underneath the older plant, so I got 2 for the price of 1! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 8:56PM
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yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)

Although the plant seems to be doing well, some of the pitchers are turning brown. Should I deadhead them, or leave them alone? Also, can I repot since there are 2 plants growing right next to each other, or let them be until next spring?
thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 11:07AM
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You may trim the dead pitchers/trendils off and leave the rest of the leaves. Repotting.. that is up to you. i have 2 small nepenthes sanguineas growing the same pot in my bright windowsill. since nepenthes have small root system, repottting can be simple, however, repotting nepenthes can be tricky depending where you are planning to replant them. they like well-drained moist media. they like to have airy roots as well. if you are thinking of repotting it try aquiring some of these materials: perlite ,lava rock, pumice, orchid bark, peat moss & long fiber sphagnum moss.

you can simply mix peat moss with orchid bark for a well drained-airy media for your nepenthes. or long fiber spahgnum moss mixed with peat moss & perlite. the better drainage you have, the better.

I wouldn't repot the plant if it's growing fine. nepenthes can be repotted every 3 years or so. depending on the growing space. i saw your plant's picture it looks fine to me.

you should learn more about Nepenthes before thinking of repotting. keep growing it in a bright window(not full sun) keep misting it twice daily. water it atleast 3 times a week. You will learn so much from this plant. that's for sure.

I only have 2 nepenthes. one that i showed you above in the pic. and this nepenthes.. which had a terrible accident in the past. but it is perking up nicely now.

This is how my Nepenthes sanguinea looked like last year before it got knocked out off my window:

After..it fell off my window, i went to pick it up and checked if it was alright. the plant came out of the media. i got a bit sad becasuse some pitchers were fractured and REALLy beat up from the fall(i live in a 2 story house) so i scooped the plant back, then i repotted it. trimmed the dead leaves/pichers.. when i noticed it had 2 small offshoots on the base of the plant.. this is a TOUGh little plant. it didn't died on me. i watered it, mist it 2 times a day, and it is perking up nicely, i was really patient with this nepenthes.. i never gave up on her. :)It is also pitchering! this is how it looks like in its present health:

that's the growing location for my both nepenthes' a bright window that doesn't give full sun but morning bright light.. ideal!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 11:50AM
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Wow, nice plants! N. 'ventrata' and N. 'Judith Finn' are very popular hybrids. They seem to make great indoor plants.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 10:31PM
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i dont have a ventrata but i got a ventricosa it is just a baby, maby some day mine will look like yours

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 2:00PM
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whoops i made the pics too big so i will use a smaller pic

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 2:15PM
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