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nepenthes questions

Posted by carolinakate NC 7b (My Page) on
Mon, May 21, 12 at 0:10

I have a nepenthes which I couldn't resist buying last fall. Normally I am not good at keeping house plants -- most of my gardening is outdoors -- but I put it with another tropical over my kitchen sink. There I see it every day and remember to mist it several times a week and water it only once a week. It has a lot of new leaves with the beginnings of pitchers, but I lost one due to neglect when things got very busy for me. It got to be about an inch, but now the top is brown and dry like the large ones that have finished. However, there are lots more coming, and today I found a 1-1/2 inch one under all the leaves in the soil of the plant.

So, if I can just keep up with the watering, I think it's pretty happy so far. The first question I have is: when should I repot it? The other tropical I have there likes to be crowded in the pot. The nepenthes is getting very tall for the little pot it came in. Also, shouldn't I feed it something? There aren't very many bugs in my house, so I don't expect it's getting much nutrition on its own.

Third question: Can I move the nepenthes to the porch for the summer? I'm in NC zone 7b. We have been having a fairly humid spring, but often have droughty summers (though the humidity can be heavy).

Finally, can anyone suggest a website where I can look at the different kinds of nepenthes to figure out what mine is? It has bright green leaves with reddish pitcher "stalks" and the pitchers are green with streaks of burgundy, darker at the top. The length of the grown pitchers is about five inches. Maybe someone can tell from the description.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: nepenthes questions

If you can post a pic showing the pot as well it would be of a little help.

Give it bright filtered Sunlight. Keep the soil MOIST at all times. You CAN give it a little fertilizer, one quarter strength the recommended strength on the label. I use orchid food. I do it basically in the spring to initiate pitchering. Then maybe once a month until fall then I stop.

You CAN move it outdoors after all danger of frost is past. Put it in a bright indirect Sun spot. Check more often for watering due to the hotter temperatures outside.

RE: nepenthes questions

Thanks, Tommy. I have taken some pictures, but I can't remember how to post them. The "test forum" doesn't give much help.

Do you know how?

RE: nepenthes questions

Upload the photos to a site like photobucket, then copy and paste the 'HTML' URL in your post.

RE: nepenthes questions

Thanks. I'm trying now.

First is the plant with one pitcher left from the fall.

Nepenthes 1, plant with last of original pitchers from when I bought it

Here you can see the baby pitcher that started and dried up.

Nepenthes 2, new pitcher that dried up

Here (out of focus) is a new pitcher forming under all the leaves.

P1060213, new pitcher forming

Sorry about the huge size of these. I used the recommended size in setting it up and then couldn't get back to that page to change it. When I tried resizing, it didn't transfer in the links.


Here is a link that might be useful: un-named Nepenthes

RE: nepenthes questions

That is almost certainly N. Ventrata (a hybrid between N. ventricosa and N. alata), a plant commonly sold as "a house plant". Yours isn't pitchering properly because it is likely not getting sufficient sunlight. The low relative humidity of the typical household is likely also playing a role: Nepenthes like high humidity.

RE: nepenthes questions

I would recommend growing them outdoors in an area with filtered sun. Give this plant good light to keep their pitchers red. Feeding the soil with a dilute liquid orchid fertilizer (do not use MiracleGrow) at least once a month will help add size and good growth to your pitchers. Instead of repotting this, just recut the stems off and start fresh. These plants will bear its best lower pitchers on newest growth. As the plant stretches and grows lanky, their pitchers may get smaller and definitely less colorful. Prevent this clone from flowering as it will reduce the size and amount of pitchers produced.
If the soil level sinks down and it will because that is a property of peatmoss. Add some orchid potting mix or fine orchid bark to the media, just a small amount and never to drown the stem or shoot of the plant.

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