Carnivorous Plants/Nepenthes


Sick Nepenthes "Gothica"
Sick Nepenthes "Gothic  
close up of leaves
close up of leaves  
QUESTION: Dear Sarracinia Northwest,

I have a Nepenthes Gothica sapling that I have been taking care of for a few years and they have grown! I reside in San Francisco. Recently I had some issues with the leaves curling and it has me very worried. The leaves are quite brittle and I see some yellow/brown spots on the leaves. It has never happened before. I realized that my plant hasn't been producing pitchers for a year. My plant grows in a west/south-west bathroom with filtered light. The plant plastic label says to keep in a humid place with filtered light which I think I have been doing. There is also some sticky residue on the unfurled leaves. Is my plant doomed? What can I do to help them out?



Tell me about how you are watering this plant.  Also, get a hand lens and inspect the stem carefully.  Tell me if you see any odd little brown or white bumps or raised spots.  Also look for any tiny long insects on the leaves.  Tell me what you find and about the watering.  

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jeff,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. On further inspection I did not see any odd little brown or white bumps or raised spots. The stem is still very thin. I am using regular tap water because the people who sold me the plant told me that the water in San Francisco is very clean and is fine for carnivorous plants. Should I switch to deionized water? Is it common to have this problem where the leaves wrinkle and pitchers stop being produced when exposed to tap water?


Hi JP,

From the photo and your set-up I was wondering if you had the pot sitting in water the way you might for Sarracenia or Sundews.  The symptoms your plant is displaying looks like root rot caused by excessively wet soil.  Nepenthes don't like to sit in water.  As far as water quality, Nepenthes are the least sensitive of all carnivorous plants to hard water, so I wasn't too concerned about that.  I know that SF has very good water that's low in minerals.

All you can do at this point is just make sure the plant is never sitting in water, and only top-water the soil.  It may bounce back, but by the time they show this kind of wilt, the prognosis isn't good. :(  Often the roots are too far gone.

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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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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