The Q&A Archives: NEPENTHES (Asian Picher Plant)

Question: I purshased an Asian Pitcher Plant, also known as Nepenthes. I am in need of further information on this magnificent plant and instruction on how best to care for it.

Some of it's "pitchers" have started to wilt as well as some of its leaves. Can you help?

Answer: Nepenthes is a carnivorous plant. Some plants live in situations where their roots cannot obtain sufficient nutrients, so they have evolved mechanisms to trap insects and then digest the contents of thier bodies. Your Nepenthes is one such plant. These plants are very difficult to grow indoors. Keep them at average household temperatures, keep the potting soil constantly moist and the surrounding air humid, and feed only occasonally with tiny bits of meat or dead flies. Under ideal conditions each pale green pitcher can grow to 2' or more, making it one of the strangest-looking plants around!

I suspect that your plant needs more water and humidity than you're giving it. Keep the soil moist and mist daily. For more information about insectivores, the book Carnivorous Plants of the World, by James and Patricia Pietropaolo, contains incredible detail. Published by Timberpress, the ISBN# is 0-88192-356-7.

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