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Carnivorous Plants/Nepenthes Tendrils

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Hello again,

I have a simple question for you, but it is something I have puzzled over for quite a while. I have a small-ish N. Sanguinea, which appears to do very well in a West Window. It is producing a new leaf, and when it unravels it looks as if it will be quite large, and now we are past the spring equinox there will hopefully be a nice pitcher to go with it too. This made me think a little....

I live in England, so not having the benefit of a tropical climate conducive to year round pitcher production, leaves say produced in the early spring or late autumn will have the tendril extending from the tip, but no actual pitcher, from insufficient light. Examining my plant, leaves which were produced throughout winter have obviously no pitchers, but could the tip of the tendril on that leaf potentially swell to produce a pitcher now that daylight/sun hours are increasing, even though the leaf was produced months back and newer leaves have taken it's place?

Or, would an older leaf be considered 'expired'? If a pitcher didn't form at the time that leaf unraveled, does this mean it never will? I have a feeling it is this case.

I hope you understand what I mean. Thank you again, Chris.

Answer
It entirely depends.   Sometimes they tendrils produced in winter will development into pitchers, but this is often infrequent and not reliable.  Generally the new growth that you see in late winter and early spring will produce pitchers much more reliably.  I've noticed that if a leaf is more than 3 months old without having developed a pitcher, it is unlikely the tendril will develop into a pitcher, even when conditions are optimal.  This is true for fast growing Nepenthes, such as alata.  With slower growing Nepenthes, such as truncata, you have a better chance to see pitchers develop on older leaves.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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