Q/A #19 - No Pitchers on a Large Nepenthes

January 17, 2023

Q/A #19 - No Pitchers on a Large Nepenthes

At a previous home, I had gorgeous Nepenthes in a greenhouse. I moved and now have it in a south-facing bay window, 65°F (18°C) with a humidifier. They have curling tendrils but no pitchers. The media is 50/50 perlite and  sphagnum. I also have two Sarracenia. One is struggling with brown pitchers. The other one has gone into dormancy. My Venus flytrap isn't doing well. Zone 4 (Montana), so I can't keep them outside. Help!
(Submitted in January 2022.)

Nepenthes Deroose Alata grown in a greenhouse before moving.

Same plant in my new home.

Sarracenia that is dormant.

Nepenthes Gaya (top), Sarracenia (top right), Flytrap (bottom right), Pinguicula (bottom left).

It's hard for most homes to compete with the growing conditions of a greenhouse, so you have to accept whatever limitations you have. Most likely the reason your Nepenthes is pitcherless is not enough sunlight,  It could be from being in a home with less windows or from the natural decrease in daylight hours in winter. 

In the last photo, I see a Nepenthes Gaya. Maybe that's a recent addition. The color on it looks good, so it seems to like the amount of sun it's getting. You could try moving your Nepenthes directly in front of the window where it would get more direct sunlight. Right now, it's partly shaded and not liking it.

I also recommend pruning your Nepenthes. In a greenhouse, you have light coming in from all different directions, so it can grow lush. In a home, your light is coming in from one direction, and parts of the plant will naturally get shaded. Pruning it will make the plant more compact so that it can fit more easily in front of a window.

Sarracenia and Venus Flytraps will go dormant in winter, so brown pitchers and leaves are typical for this time of the year. Don't worry about their appearance for now. In spring, when you're past the frost season (late May?), move your Sarracenia and flytrap outside where it can get full sun. Make sure to trim off all of the older pitchers first. March would be a good time to do that. You can move them back inside in early November.

Submitted in January 2022. The original question and response have been edited for publication.
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