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Carnivorous Plants/pitcher plant yellow


I live in california. I brought my hanging plant into a bathroom under a stained glass ceiling, lots of light and moisture from many showers a day,air movement with open slider several hours a day. Older large pitchers , top 1/3 turn black.  a few little guys.  Lots of leaves with little ones on ends, they turn black and do not open.  I do not have it in a standing saucer with water, however it is kept moist.  Do I spray do I not spray.  Help, I really want to enjoy a healthy plant.

Hello Portia,

I am assuming that what you have is a Nepenthes (Asian Pitcher Plant) from your description as there are five genera of very different pitcher plants from around the world.

There are several factors that affect Nepenthes pitchering.

Light is one of the main aspects that people often underestimate. Nepenthes need very bright, just short of, full sunlight. They live under trees in their natural habitat and usually receive several hours of morning and evening sunlight with some partial shading from tree limbs during the noontime. Insufficient light can cause Nepenthes to fail to pitcher.

Nepenthes react very drastically to changes in humidity. If humidity drops quickly and drastically one or more times a day, it can harm the plant and force it to fail to pitcher as the pitchers dry out before they form. Plants tend to require stable humdity over the course of a day to maintain their water retention.

Nepenthes do prefer only moist soil, so a saucer under the pot is not required.

Spraying is not required, just a stable environment that maintains humdity and temperature over time. You may also need to find out what exact species your Nepenthes is as some are more demanding than others. If your species is an easy to grow one, all it needs is a well lit, stable environment and time to adjust.


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Christopher Littrell


I am capable of answering questions about the most common carnivorous plants found in cultivation. I have no personal experience with Byblis, Drosophyllum, Aldrovanda, and Heliamphora. I have not cultivated gemmae forming pygmy sundews nor tuberous sundews. For information regarding those aforementioned species, I would suggest contacting other experts. I can answer questions regarding most species of Nepenthes, tropical and temperate Drosera, Mexican Pinguicula, Sarracenias, and Dionaea. I have some limited experience with growing Utricularia, Cephalotus, and Darlingtonia.


I have grown carnivorous plants off and on for about 27 years. I have made the same mistakes and suffered the same mishaps that many growers make as they attempt to separate the myths from the realities of growing these plants. Currently, I am successfully growing a variety of tropical sundews, a Nepenthes, several Venus Flytraps of varying ages, and Sarracenias. I have been successful in stratifying Sarracenia seeds and providing artificial dormancy requirements for my temperate plants when needed.

I hold a Master's degree in Educational Psychology. Over my lifetime, I have constantly read books involving the growing conditions of carnivorous plants. I hope to incorporate the educational aspects involved in psychology with teaching other people how to cultivate carnivorous plants.

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