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Carnivorous Plants/spotting on leaves (nepenthes)


Spotting on Pitcher Plant
Spotting on Pitcher Pl  
hi, I'm not sure what type of nepenthes I have. I got him about 8 - 10 weeks ago from Canadian Tire in Ottawa, Canada. he had a few pitchers at that time which have since dried up, but he has had about 3 new shoots emerge, plus two tiny ones coming from the base.
he is near an east widow, sometimes in a dome (if I have the ac on) sometimes not. I water him with distilled water and mist him often when he's not in the dome.
there seems to be mixed messages online about fertilizing. I decided to try since my plant has no pitchers to eat from right now and figured since it's still summer, it would be the best time.
I bought an orchid mist that I still diluted 50% with distilled water and sprayed him tons. then I put him outdoors in the sun for the afternoon. now the leaves have a yellowish spot. I assume this is from the fertilizer, but also wondered if putting him in direct sun is too much? (the light he gets from his window provides about 1 hour of direct sunlight, the rest of the day, the room is just bright). or, I read over misting can cause the spots. I've also read about fertilizing with coffee (mixing with water and pouring into soil). your thoughts? if he has no pichers and I never fertilize him, will he still live? thanks! Wendy

Hi Wendy,

That spot does look like some sunburn.  Nepenthes when they are outside like some dappling such as from a tree.  The do well in partial sun, but not full sun like Sarracenia.  So, that's what the spot is from, now lets talk care.

Nepenthes are happiest when things are nice and boring.  They should be put into a window with a sunny exposure such as a West or South window (inside is different than outside; glass blocks 80% or more of UV light), watered consistently, but otherwise left alone.  If you don't have a sunny window, fluorescent lights work well.  Anything that causes some disturbance to the plant can cause them to not produce pitchers.  Examples include:

-Moving the plant around
-Putting a humidity dome on them, then taking it off
-Excessive Drafts from heat or AC
-Over fertilizing

Here's our directions on caring for Nepenthes:

Fertilizing only helps them when the conditions are stable.  Weakly and weekly is always a good saying just like orchids.  Use no more than 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water, or the metric equivalent.  The orchid mist you have is fine, but use it once every two weeks.  We've found no advantage to coffee fertilizing.  The best fertilizers are those that are urea-free such as this one:

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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