No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Tropical Asian pitcher plants, or Nepenthes, grows naturally in the tropical regions of Asia, predominantly Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and New Guinea. They occur in a variety of habitats, from the cool misty rainforests high in the mountains to the warm open grasslands at sea level.
The vast majority of Nepenthes is easy to grow in cultivation and will easily adapt to most homes. Only a small handful of the 150+ species actually require a controlled environment. If you are new to growing Nepenthes, start off with the easier species that grow well as a houseplant.
Below are some of the common species and hybrids you might find in cultivation
While there are certain idiosyncrasies that vary from species to species and hybrid to hybrid, the following guide applies to the vast majority of Nepenthes you might encounter in cultivation.
Where to GrowGrow your Nepenthes on a sunny windowsill. Always protect your plant from draft, extreme heat, and freezing temperatures.
Provide partial sunlight, several hours of direct sun with bright filtered light during the rest of the day. Avoid full shade.
With proper sunlight, Nepenthes will grow well as a regular houseplant, such as this Nepenthes truncata growing in a west window.
Artificial LightsIf a sunny window is not possible, use strong fluorescent lights (a minimum of 40 watts in actual output). Start with the lights approximately 12 inches above the plant. Monitor your plant and adjust the height of the light source if you are not satisfied with its growth. Use an electrical timer to maintain consistent daylight hours (14 hours is sufficient throughout the year).
TemperatureIf you are comfortable, your Nepenthes are comfortable. Daytime temperatures should be about 75°F. Nighttime temperatures may drop into the 60s but not necessary with most Nepenthes.
WaterUnlike other carnivorous plants, Nepenthes will withstand hard water (up to 200 parts per million) with almost no adverse effect. Make sure the water drains through the soil completely. Avoid standing water.
SoilUse a mix of 1 part dried sphagnum moss and 1 part perlite (or pumice). Avoid using potting soil and compost; they will kill your plants.
THE ULTIMATE CARNIVOROUS PLANT GUIDE FOR BEGINNERSIn this concise ebook, Jacob Farin, co-owner of Sarracenia Northwest, will show you how to think like a professional carnivorous plant grower to keep your first carnivorous plant alive and healthy. You will learn specifics about sunlight, water, and soil. You will also learn how to troubleshoot the most common problems that new growers face. When you gain experience growing the most common carnivorous plants in cultivation, you will have the knowledge base to grow other plants with greater confidence.
If you are new to carnivorous plants or have struggled to keep them alive for more than a couple of months, this ebook is for you!