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When Does the Liquid Form

Posted by WilliamH4 none (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 10, 12 at 21:32

My son just ordered and received his first Nepenthes alata Pitcher Plant a couple of days ago. He was asked me if there's supposed to be liquid in the bottom of the pitchers. I suggested the plant has to grow a little more first, but I don't know for sure. When can we expect to see liquid? The pitchers aren't even an inch long at this point.

Thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: When Does the Liquid Form

When the new pitchers develop they make liquid as they are inflating, you will get more in the new ones. The older, mature pitchers that came on the plant may make a small amount more within the next few weeks, if your culture is good. These tend to sulk for a bit when moved, so the recovery time with shipping or a drastic change in environment when taking them home takes a few weeks to about 2 months. The length of time it takes to settle in and adjust depends on how drastic the change, what species, how old it is, etc.

Thank You, JungleMel

I appreciate the response, JungleMel. I'll let my son know. I may be back for other questions. He's ordered a few different carnivorous plants.


RE: When Does the Liquid Form

Oh good! I love when kids get into growing things. It's such a rewarding hobby, hopefully for you both. Feel free to ask away. I remember being new; googling information can only take you so far, plus there is there a ton of conflicting information out there too. I don't think I'm allowed to post links here, but look up Barry Rice's website, The Carnivorous Plant FAQ, extremely informative and accurate. Or maybe get him Barry's Book on growing carnivorous plants?

RE: When Does the Liquid Form

I purchased a large pitcher plant from Home Depot recently and they included a tag with the plant saying that during shipping most or all of the liquid will drain out and to be sure to add about an inch of rain water, water from a dehumidifier, or distilled water to each pitcher.

I'm totally new to growing these, but so far they seem to be growing and staying alive. Although half of some of the pitcher are now dried up which I am wondering if that is the usual life-cycle. I still have lots to learn.


RE: When Does the Liquid Form

Hi Dave!
The instructions to add water is pretty pointless. It won't make a significant difference in the life of older pitchers after shipping or any change in environment. Most of the time, they will lose the old pitchers while adjusting to their new home. The 1/2 dried pitchers are normal. They won't produce anything anymore, but the rest of the leaf still provides valuable photosynthesis to the plant, so will remain that way for a while until the rest of the leaf dies. If you don't like the look of the 1/2 dead pitchers, feel free to cut them off up to the "leaf" part of the vein. Or don't, doesn't matter really.

RE: When Does the Liquid Form

When watering your nepenthes, it is advisable to water well into the soil media of your pot. Normally they grow these in a hanging basket with an internal reservoir watering system. It is beneficial if this excess water can drain out of the pots and refreshen with fresh clean water. Adding a dilute fertilizer (never Miracle Grow) to this watering every so often will have increased benefits when the plant produces new pitchers.
The fluid only produced when the pitcher is developing but may also make new fluids if the pitcher is still in its developmental stages. Adding water to the root zone will greatly aid in this process.

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