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Carnivorous Plants/Nepenthes ampullaria x rafflesiana


A year ago I purchased an ampullaria x rafflesiana from you guys. I've been growing it under lights with a fourteen hour photoperiod and in a mix of sphagnum moss, orchid bark, charcoal, and perlite watered until moist. Unfortunately, since I got it, it's leaves have been getting smaller and smaller, but aren't very pink so they can't be too close to the lights.  What am I doing wrong with the plant? Thanks for your help.

Smaller leaves can often be from too strong lights or too low humidity.  However, since you've had the plant for a while and only lately the leaves are getting smaller, I suspect your plant is nutritionally deficient.  If your plant doesn't have any pitchers, it can't capture insects for it's fertilizer.  If this is the case, you will need to fertilize your plant.  

Go to any garden center and purchase orchid fertilizer that is urea-free.  You can also find this type of fertilizer online.  The actual type of fertilizer doesn't matter at this point.  Just make sure it's urea-free.

Start with 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water.  Pour the solution over the plant and soil.  Do this 2-3 times weekly for a month or until you see larger new growth on your plant.  Once you see larger new growth, you can cut back with the fertilizer to once weekly.  When you see new pitchers, you can stop altogether and feed you plant insects instead.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

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