what to feed nepenthes, drosera, and butterwort

tropichrisNovember 23, 2008

O.k.... I just got a nepenthes ventricosa, a drosera aldeae(spelling?) and a butterwort. I fed my nepenthes a pillbug/rolliepollie and the pitcher died. The butterwort and sundew are not making "dew". so..how can I fix my dew problem and what should I feed them?

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This sounds like a Lowes purchase to me....
Nepenthes Ventricosa, like all Nepenthes, will take time to adjust to its new enviroment, so the pitcher browning is probably independent of the feeding.
The lack of dew, again, is probably an adjustment issue. I wouldnt feed either until they start making dew again.
As far as what to feed them:
I feed my Nepenthes (Ventrata, Sanguinae, and 'Miranda') Beta Fist Pellets during the winter when bugs are rare, and i feed my Droserae (Capensis, Spathulata, Capensis x Spathulata, Nitidula x Pulchella) fish flakes during the winter. The same goes for my Pinguicula (Primuflora)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:05PM
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Definitely sounds like the plants from a Lowes Deathcube. Did you take them out of the little acryllic boxes/domes?

CP in nature often only eat bugs once a month or so, so I wouldn't worry about feeding them until they're a little healthier. No dew is a warning sign for Sundews, they only make it when they're happy. In fact, I don't think a dewless sundew can even eat, so...

How are you taking care of them? Are they in a nice bright windowsill? Are you using distilled water? Did you take them out of the lowes domes? Have you repotted them?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:15PM
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yes, I took them out of those dang cubes...It was a Lowes purchase, and the nepenthes had outgrown it's pot so I repotted it immediatley. I have all three in a tropical terrarium with about 60-70% humidity, the light is bright as they are 2-3 feet from a 150 watt heat lamp. however...I just got them YESTERDAY, I might of repotted the nepenthes WAY too soon. oh, the sundew is also apperantly making VERY small dew drops, as I fed it a pillbug, which was having a hard time getting off, but escaped a half hour later. However, the butterwort I got before the other plants, like 3 weeks ago. It has never captured anything, so how can I help this poor butterwort??? About the water... I just use water from a spray bottle, but let it sit overnight so some of the chemicals evaporate.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Um, ok. A few big warning signs:

1. You repotted the Nepenthes, which is fine, but... What soil did you use to pot it in? If you did not use the right soil (Sphagnum Peat Moss + Perlite, for example) your plants will need re-repotted, ASAP.

2. I am not sure about how much light you have. I don't suppose you have a camera? More light is better.

3. The water you are using, are you getting it from the tap? If so, your plants are probably in trouble. Tap water has stuff like minerals from the pipes, Flouride for kids' teeth, and all kinds of pesticides, medicines, etc. It's very rare that tap water will be clean enough for carnivorous plants, and the letting it sit overnight trick will NOT work.

Your best bet is to hit a grocery store and buy a gallon of distilled water (every store in my area carries it, I usually get mine at Target or Winco). It's usually about $0.75 a gallon. I go through anywhere from 1 gallon a week to 6 gallons a week depending on the temperatures.

So, what to do? Well, if you used regular potting soil for the Monkey Cup, it's probably not too late, but you should definitely re-repot it immediately. If you just dropped the old soil into the new soil, then just take the ball of plant+moss out and wash that off. If you took it out of it's soil, wash the roots off (again, with distilled water). I have mine growing in a great big 11" pot all by itself, in a mix of Peat Moss and Perlite stones -- this isn't actually ideal, to be honest, they prefer the long stringy Sphagnum Peat Moss type stuff, but mine grows just fine, if a little slow.

If you are using the wrong water, your best bet right now is to stop, obviously. You can flush out the bad water by pouring a LOT of good water through the soil. It all depends, however, on how long they've been in the water, you may need to consider repotting them using the right soil.

If you wanted to be really safe, you could buy a gallon of distilled water for each plant, put them over the sink, and just pour the water through the soil and let it all drain away. That might be overkill, my plants got dusted with the neighbor's sprinklers a while back and the only one I did that to was my Cape Sundew (as it's my first CP), and it turned out just fine.

As for the Butterwort, it will depend on what one you have. If it's a Lowes Butterwort, it's probably a Pinguicula primuliflora, that is what they typically sell. For a bigger list shamelessly stolen from another forum:

Nepenthes ventricosa (Monkey Cup)
Pinguicula primuliflora (Betterwort)
Drosera adelae (A Sundew with grass-like leaves)
Darlingtonia californica (Cobra Lily)
Dionaea muscipula (Venus Flytrap)
Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa (Purple Pitcher Plant)
Sarracenia rubra (Sweet Pitcher Plant)

Anyway. I've had little luck with getting Butterworts to make ... dew? My most recent Butterwort, a Pinguicula moranensis, is growing much better than my previous ones ever since I started watering it with frequent small waterings rather than big flushed out waterings. Not 100% sure if that was the trick or what, but it's something to think about.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 3:17PM
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Feed them nothing. It is not needed. They will catch things naturally. Bugs are not really needed, they are like desert to these plants.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:50PM
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didnt you read my first message? Bassically, my plants are sick or dieseased, no offense to you. I repotted the nepenthes in the same mixture it was in- sphagnum and peat. however, the peat moss was a little dense so I poked a couple of holes in it to airate it, because I was worried the nepenthes was going to rot. Oh, and the light is very bright,and I do have a camera but am not clear of Gardenweb's insrutctions to post pix, so I cant post pix for now...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Good, good, sounds like you have the right potting soil. Airating it was an ok idea, not sure if it was needed but it won't hurt.

I would worry about the water at this point. Definitely get some distilled water and go with that.

For the most part, the rules on pics seem pretty typical. Don't go overboard. If you just upload them to a normal webhost and put in a link to the files it should be fine.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:34AM
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I always put a cup or glass out when it rains or snows, and will let the snow melt and warm up. I then water my cps with the resulting water. I will also occasionaly water with pure, bottled water. But, I usually water with water from a Brita filter. Oh, and another reason I airated it was to get the roots away from poop- as I have a green anole in the same terrarium as it(sounds crazy huh? but my green anole is pretty strong, so it could get out of the fairly small pitchers of N. Ventricosa) so I have to feed it crickets. Crickets dig, however, so I had to make sure they wouldnt poop on the roots, giving the plant bad fertilizer. (the poop would normally be flushed out in nature)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 5:51PM
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o.k...I finnally have pix...
The nepenthes is in the lower right corner, and the sundew is in the lower left, with the butterwort. It looks dark in the right, but I have cleared out dead leaves and changed the heat lamp bulb to 150 watt. Plus, I have another lamp on top now, its an aqaurium lamp, not very bright, but it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: cage picture

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 6:05PM
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It says there is a password required...

Melted Snow water sounds like a good plan, but the Brita won't work. Please, please, please read this link:

Ways that do not work
1)Letting water stand overnight in a pan or 2)Boil the water for a while
3)Use coffee or "Brita" style pour-through filters

Ways that may work
1)Getting water right out of the tap (READ THE FAQ FIRST)
2)Collect rain water
3)Collect water from cooling units
4)Make and operate a solar still

Ways that do work
1)Get and maintain distiller or reverse osmosis unit
2)Buy purified water

This FAQ has instructions on how to save your plants, but please, please read the above bit on pure water:


Basically, Carnivorous plants grow in bogs that don't have the proper minerals in the soil to grow plants. That is the entire reason why they eat bugs, to get nitrogen. But as a HUGE caveat, that also means 99% of them can't survive seeing Nitrogen and other minerals near their roots, it gums up their workings and they (in a very plantlike fashion) choke to death.

I was not intentionally being a snobby, elitist, "true CP growers use Distilled water" type -- tap water and Brita-water *will* kill your plants.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 9:01PM
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To post a picture on the forum from photobucket. Simply place cursor on the pic you want to post, a small scroll will pop-up below the selected pic, the pop-up scroll will have the following selections: "Email & IM", "Direct Link", "HTML Code", and "IMG Code".

Select "HTML Code" field and copy the string inside. The string starts with "a href="http://s55.photobucket.com..."; and ends with "...alt="Photobucket">".

Then simply paste the string in the message box. There you go.

Sample below when you get it right:

Good luck and happy growing.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 10:02PM
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A little over a year ago I bought several types of carnivorous plant form lidl most of which have since died but my Nepenthes ventricosa is still growing! at this point its about a metre tall, but for some reason it has stopped growing pitchers, Can anybody tell me wat I'm doning wrong?..


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:08AM
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I completely forgot about my own thread LOL...

I have the sundew problem fixed up now. It is making dew, so much dew that today I saw it dripping off the leaves...looked cool but disgusting. I repotted the nepenthes (which appears to be a sanguinea) in a mixture of orchid bark, peat moss and sphagnum moss. The light I am giving them is fairly high (one EXO TERRA light running the length of the cage, and one Zoo Med 50 Watt heat lamp, and the cage is by an east facing window. I keep the humidity in the cage at about 80 % now. I switched from tap water to filtered water, as I cant find a lot of distilled water at my grocery store. I water with rain water whenever possible. Thank you HunterKiller03 for telling me how to post pictures. Im also sorry, Tommyr for 'snapping' at you.

Heres a picture of the cage:

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:06PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Distilled water will be in the laundry isle. At least it is in all the stores in my area.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 4:25PM
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