Nepenthes humidity

dranomaxOctober 1, 2007

I was wondering how some of you grow your nepenthes. How do you maintain humidity at all? Do you use a humidifier? Do you use misters? Any info would be great, thanks. From what I understand nepenthes will not grow in low humdity, is this true?

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Also, what are some of the ways that the temperature is decreased each night for the highland variety?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 12:17PM
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Hi dranomax,
I grow my nepenthes as windowsill plants and they seem to enjoy that.
I only mist it about once a week and sometimes if I skip a few times, they don't seem to notice.The average temperature drop for easy to grow nepenthes is about 8 degrees.Cool nights are helpful, but not neccesary.So humidty is not a neccecity for most.Your nepenthes might grow differently, but that's how I grow mine.

- Adrian

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:35PM
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Mine go outside in the spring once it's warm enough, plenty humid outside. In fall-winter they are in south and west windows and I run a humidifier late afternoon and evenings once the heat needs to be turned on in the hosue.

They do just fine.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 5:41PM
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I sit my pots inside a 10 gallon aquarium that has a layer of distilled water in the bottom. I partly cover the aquarium with plastic wrap (Saran wrap) to increase the humidity and prevent the water from evaporating too fast, and keep the whole set up under fluorescent lights (4-40W tubes). The pots that hold the Nepenthes themselves do not have drainage holes, since I like to let the pots cycle from quite wet to just moist, as I read the roots will rot if constantly saturated (as they would be from the standing water in the aquarium if the pots had drainage holes).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 6:20PM
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Hmm these are good ideas thanks!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 9:10PM
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I grow mine as a potted houseplant, no terrarium, no cover, just misted once a day in the morning. Many Nepenthes can adapt to low humidity just fine. The common easy growers would be N. sanguinea, N. ventrata, N. alata, N. ventricosa, and others. Only a few are very difficult to grow in low humidity and without temperature variations.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 12:45AM
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Would pure water in the bottom of the terrarium with the pots set in create more humidity than soaked peat moss with the pots sitting in/on that? Just wondering because maybe the moss would capture the heat of the lamps better and promote more evaporation.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 7:42PM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

I have a miranda in a hanging basket that is in a west facing window. Humidity usually stays above 50 in the summer, and in the winter when it dips I do run a humidifier in that room, but only when it's below 50. It gets supplemental lighting all day since in the summer we close those blinds a lot. It gets HOT in that room if we don't! I do have two smaller plants, a ventricosa and a maxima that are in my 75 gallon terrarium until they get a little bigger, then they'll come out.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I have a friend (elgecko) who has an N. hamata and ventrata in hanging baskets in his kitche, near his porch windows. He also has a humidity gauge in the room. It was reading 35% when I was visiting and his Neps are incredibly healthy.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:51AM
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Hey Scott, what's up?

I no longer have the N. ventrata in the kitchen.
I grow all the following neps as houseplants in a south facing sliding glass door:

Nepenthes ampullaria
Nepenthes aristolochioides
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Nepenthes x dyeriana (northiana x maxima) x (veitchii x rafflesiana)
Nepenthes hamata
Nepenthes Marbled Dragon (N. maxima - dark x N. truncata) Exotica hybrid
Nepenthes rafflesiana
Nepenthes rajah
Nepenthes x Rokko clone A x Nepenthes hamata

So far with my experience Nepenthes are a lot tougher then they are given credit for.
When I was first reading about them and the high humidity requirements they need, I thought I would never be able to keep one outside a humid terrarium.
Since Nepenthes can get large, I could not confine the plant into a terrarium. So I started to experiment with growing them as windowsill plants and have had great success with several neps this way. One's that I no longer grow because of limited space included: N. 'Emmarene' (khasiana x ventricosa), N. ventrata, and N. sanguinea.
It seems that they take around 3 months for the plants to really settle in and start to pitcher...... The plant that took the longest to settle in has been N. rajah. It took around a year to start growing and pitcher for me. I believe the main reason it took so long was because I had it growing in too small of a pot. The plant was root bound and was not growing at all. Once I replanted it into a larger pot was when it started to grow and pitcher.

My conditions for growing my neps as windowsill plants are like this:
Winter humidity: 30 - 50% (I have the humidifier on my furnace set to around 45%. I see lower humidity during the day because the furnace does not run much with the sun shinning into the room and warming it up.)
Winter / Fall temps: I keep the house cool. Heat set to 64 degrees. (Humidified air feels warmer then dry air) During the day it can hit mid 70's with the sun shinning in the room where I grow the neps. Nights can drop to low 60's.
Spring / Summer / Fall humidity: 30 - high 80%. (Windows open and such)
Spring / Summer temps: During the day it can hit mid 80's. Night to the low 70's. (I usually have the A/C set around 74)

Since I grow my Nepenthes inside as windowsill plants, what I do for feeding is when a new pitchers opens up, I will place a mealworm in it. I just drop the mealworm in the pitcher and give the pitcher a little shake. Something else that I have tried is to use fish food pellets. I was first worried about mold and fungus, but that has not been a problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Nepenthes page

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 9:05PM
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Hi elgecko,
I would like to see a pic of your N. rajah, I always wanted one.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 9:51PM
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Yeah, Nepenthes produce benzoic acid as part of the pitcher fluid.. that acid inhibits mold and bacteria growth. If you see a large prey item fall in the pitcher, like an Oriental cockroach, the part that is submerged will remain mold free while the part that is not submerged will grow mold. When that happens, just shake the pitcher and tip it to wet the rest of insect with pitcher fluid and it will kill the mold in the short term for a couple of days. Pretty neat huh?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 2:31AM
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Nice web site elgecko!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 10:15AM
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What was entertaining was watching him water the plants and attempting to catch the water before it went through, making a mess! Can't beat live entertainment!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 4:40PM
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Here's a few pics.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 4:32PM
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I grow my Amppurilla (not sure if it's spelled right) under or rather near a 600 watt hps light in a decently big room with the temp at a steady 84 and the humidity at a not so good 55 all the time. I got it shipped from and arrived on time and had no damage. i immediatly potted it and has been fine ever since. is it ok to grow in Spagnum peat moss alone? i keep it watered well.
waitin for a reply,,,,,

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:12AM
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mooseling(Z5 CO)

I got a Nepenthes at Lowe's in the fall and it's living in a terrarium for now. I plan on moving it outside in the summer. It's growing very well, with humidity usually around 50%, although it drops down to 35% or so sometimes. Which is still really humid as far as I'm concerned (I get whiny at 25%). It's giving me tons of new leaves and has probably more than doubled in size since I got it, but it's not making any pitchers. I read that high humidity helps them pitcher, but now that I've read this post, I guess not. I'm thinking my plant just doesn't like me. But at least I can joke about my plant being anorexic because it's not eating anything.

There's a layer of water on the bottom of the tank, with peat moss and live sphagnum on top. I put a tray of water by Nepenthes to try to get it more humid, but it hasn't helped too much. I give it a little sprinkling of water (I like to pretend it's raining) every day, which seems to keep the humidity higher.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 3:15AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I think your hygrometer is broken. I get 75-95% inside my terrariums and plants pitcher like crazy. 35-50% can be achieved without an enclosure but plants don't pitcher as well. Some won't pitcher at all without the right combo of light and humidity. Light is most important for most to pitcher well.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 1:04PM
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mooseling(Z5 CO)

It is a fairly cheap hygrometer, but I did some "tests" with it. I stuck it in a plastic container with water and then let it sit in the sun and it showed near 100% when I did that. And when it just sat in the house, it dropped to 10% or so. But maybe the light isn't intense enough. Towards the end of May, I'll have him outside, so maybe that will help, although it's not going to be very humid out there.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 2:47AM
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