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Carnivorous Plants/Nepenthes Ventricosa pitchers turning black

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planty mcplantface
planty mcplantface  
Hi i recently wote in about a plant i had put in the garage that turned out to be dead......
i have bought a new one, this one came with 2 pitchers but they have turned black.
there are new ones growing, but they are tiny, maybe a few millimeters across and they are black as well.
i am in kentucky and it is nice and hot and humid here now so i was expecting this to explode with growth but im worried this one is dead as well!!
it 'lives' outside, near the bugs :-) has direct and indirect sun light, is kept moist but not in standing water.
any ideas or advise please?

Answer
Hi Jonathan,

When looking at Nepenthes I always look to what is happening with the new growth since any kind of disturbance can cause them to drop pitchers.  In your case, the plant has moved from a nursery, to a garden center of some sort, then to your house; lots of disturbance.

The new growth on this plant looks pretty good, and the color is as it should be.  Just give it time.  Nepenthes are not plants for the impatient gardener.  Be sure you're using either rainwater, distilled water, or purified water from reverse osmosis or a ZeroWater filter.  Almost all tap water in Kentucky is very hard and would be detrimental long-term. (I can see the hard water scum on the pot and saucer.)

Once the plant opens up a new pitcher, see if it starts to catch anything.  If it doesn't, drop a bug or two in the pitcher and you should be on your way to a bigger plant.

Good Growing!

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

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