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Carnivorous Plants/Nepenthes growth


Nepenthes mutation?
Nepenthes mutation?  

Different angle
Different angle  
I bought a Nepenthes Ventrata about a year ago from a local retailer. Throughout the winter, it dropped all of its old pitchers but continued to vine, and is now making much smaller pitchers as the weather improves. They sit on a windowsill with at least 3-4 hours of sunlight and are damp with distilled water in Sphagnum moss. I noticed that one of the plants had a strange growth coming out the side, like a second vine. Is this normal? Should I expect more healthy pitchers from this plant?
Thanks in advance!

Hello Taewoo,

Nepenthes are tropical plants that can and will continue producing pitchers through winter if you maintain longer photoperiods with florescent lights and keep them warm enough.

No, your Nepenthes is not a mutation, it is simply producing vines. You will really see this behavior when you prune it. Each leaf has a growth node just above its connection point on the main vine. These growth points will naturally begin to swell and vine out periodically. This will cause the plant to fill in and become a bit bushy in appearance.  

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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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