Q/A #52 - Nepenthes Is Growing Sideways, Not Up!

March 16, 2023

Q/A #52 - Nepenthes Is Growing Sideways, Not Up!

Hello, I have a repotting question for you. I've had this Nepenthes Fancy Fish for about 6 years. It's happy & I haven't had any problems with it, but this year it's started growing out of its pot literally! I'm going to repot it & was hoping you had some tips for me. It's growing in peat & perlite but I plan on using New Zealand sphagnum moss & perlite when repotting. I always use distilled or rain water & it sits in a huge south facing window with all our other carnivorous plants. 

As you can see in the pictures it's growing out the side of its pot instead of up & out. It has two growths, I assume one is the main plant & the other is its vine? The main plant & vine are growing in opposite directions! I never repotted a Nepenthes this size before & I want it growing IN the pot & NOT OFF THE SIDE like it is now. How should I proceed? 
(Submitted in March 2019.)

Your plant is very healthy and looks great. Nepenthes are woody vines and grow like this. In nature, the tendrils (the part of the leaf that develops a pitcher) will wrap around other plants. As the plant grows, it "climbs" upward. If there aren't any supporting structure nearby, the vine will grow along the ground. In the home, the plant will drape over the side of the pot, like what you're seeing. It just comes with the territory. 

If you want the plant more upright, you have to trellis it, or stake it up and train it to grow upward. Otherwise these bigger varieties will just hang like this. It doesn't hurt them at all. The lower stem of the vine is very woody and becomes denser to support the weight of the vine. 

I see that you already have a stake in the pot. You will likely need another one when you repot your plant. You can watch our tutorial on repotting on our website. Look for the Grow Carnivorous Plants, Volume 3 playlist, and use the button on the right side of the video screen to navigate to the repotting video. 

After repotting, you will need to find a way to move the vine closer to the stake. You will then need to use wires, string, or clips to keep the stem next to the stake. This is how you train the plant to grow upwards. 

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