I saw on one Youtube Video that recommended growers to spray the tendrils of Nepenthes with distilled water to prevent the tendrils from drying out and to produce more traps. Is this true? I have been trying it for just under a week and so far so good. If not, what should I do aside from providing more light?
(Submitted in June 2021.)
RESPONSE BY JEFF DALLAS:
I would be curious to see that video if you could send me the link. I actually highly discourage misting Nepenthes. Often misting is perceived by the plant as disturbance, and any kind of disturbance for Nepenthes (misting, being repotted, moving them around too much, strong drafts, etc...) will cause them to stop making pitchers. What happens is when you mist the humidity goes up for the plant for a short time, but then drops back down. It's different than actually taking steps to increase the ambient humidity.
I've gotten dozens of questions over the years from folks growing Nepenthes that seem to have everything going well, but the plants won't pitcher. Then I find out they are misting. Even many houseplant experts discourage misting since it is of little benefit. It just makes the plant owner feel good.
If tendrils are drying up, it can be from lack of sunlight, irregular watering, or too harsh of sunlight. With some varieties of Nepenthes, pitchers develop when tendrils are shaded from the sun. This is true for N. sibuyanensis.
I've had plenty of Nepenthes pitcher well in dry air conditions. There's always exceptions, but there are many Nepenthes that grow fine as regular houseplants. The best thing you can do for your Nepenthes is to make sure they are in a location with enough sun, water as needed, and then leave them alone.
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