Q/A #109 - Nepenthes with Misshapen Leaves

June 16, 2023

Q/A #109 - Nepenthes with Misshapen Leaves

I received my Nepenthes Deroose Alata six months ago. It was very healthy and had pitchers on it. It did very well till a few weeks ago. The growth slowed way down and the new leaves, though nice and green, are misshapen. There are little pitcher growths that have never matured. I keep the plant in a SW window, keep the soil/peat mix moist, and have only fed it a few stink bugs. I checked it for signs of thrips and spider mites but didn't see any.
(Submitted in June 2021.)


Even though you may not be seeing any, this looks very much like thrip damage. These critters are sometimes very tiny and could be seen only with a magnifying glass. They tend to thrive in warm, dry conditions. I would treat it even if you don't see the thrips. The damage to the leaves is a classic sign of thrips. 

Start with a Neem product which should be pretty easy to find at most garden centers. Follow label directions, and you will need to re-apply several times. As you go through treatment, you should see new growth coming out normal again. After this damage you may find that the plant produces side shoots from dormant nodes, and this would be normal. 

On a side note, see if you can get your Nepenthes closer to the window where it would get some direct sunlight. The leaves should have a slight yellow tinge. Instead, they look bright green, which means they could use more sun. This will also help the plant produce pitchers.

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