Carnivorous Plants/Lots of leaves

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Question
Hi, My Nepenthe Miranda looks pretty healthy , it puts out many leaves  but no pitchers. I sends out pitcher like shoots but I it has never produced a pitcher! I have replanted in sphagnum mixture as explained in your video, a plastic pot, use rainwater or distilled water but No pitchers! Looks nice & full but...,

Answer
Hi AJ,

Ah, but what's the one thing in your description you didn't say anything about?  Light.  All carnivorous plants are high light plants.  The ones that are true low-light plants can be counted on one hand.  Sometimes Nepenthes are thought of as low light plants, but their not.

With your plant you probably have a couple things going on, especially if you have lots of nice leaf growth, but no pitchers.  First is the season.  Most Nepenthes will stop pitchering in winter from the short days even if you're getting a fair amount of sun if the plant is only getting natural light.  The other issue is intensity.  When Nepenthes are in windows they need full sun.  The glass blocks 80% or more of UV light, so too much sun is almost unheard of unless you're someplace like Phoenix, and even then I would always err on the side of too much versus too little.

Here's what you can do.  First make sure the plant is in a window facing South or West.  South is best in winter, and West best in summer.  That takes advantage of the sun's direction.  Make sure it is unobstructed.  This should make the plant pitcher nicely starting spring and summer.  To get it to pitcher in winter you would need to supplement the light with artificial light and bring the day length up to 12 or 13 hours.  A T-5 HO fluorescent fixture would do this, or a LED fixture big enought to totally illuminate the whole plant.  (Mirandas are big.)  CFL's probably won't do it unless you use multiples or one of the bigger units.  A 250 watt Metal Halide would work well too.

You'll know with Miranda that the light levels are high enough when the leaves turn reddish.  Also, the temperature for the plant shouldn't fall much below 60F.  If it's too cool they will stop pitchering too.  Lastly avoid moving the plant around too much or misting.  Disturbance often causes pitchers not to form.  Consistency is key to good pitcher development in Nepenthes.  They like things nice and boring.

Let us know how it goes.  Also, send me a photo if you get a chance.  That will help if any other problems might be at play here.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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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.

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