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Carnivorous Plants/New to nepenthes


QUESTION: I got this Red Leppard Nepenthes from you in May/early June.  It has put out a couple of new leaves but so far no pitcher's.  All the leaves have little hooks on them.  The picture shows a little hook from an old leaf that the plant came with.  Is this looking like it will become a pitcher?

ANSWER: Hi Patricia,

Your plant looks pretty normal and healthy, except it has no pitchers.  It most likely needs more sun.  I can see from your photo that you have a plant hanger for your window.  Due to the angle of the sun when it comes in I'm guessing that the plant gets very little direct sun.  This would be the reason for no pitchers.  Use an extension hook or chain to get the plant hanging much lower.  This should help.  Ideally the plant should be getting around 4 hours of direct sun in a window.

If the plant starts to grow a pitcher it will start with the ones lower most on the plant and the little "hooks" your seeing will begin to grow and swell.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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

QUESTION: Thanks for your prompt response. I have rigged a way for the plant to be a couple of feet lower and that does increase the amount of direct sun light it gets.  I have noticed that a couple of "hooks" that were present but could only be seen up close and with my glasses on can be seen now from across the room ( this actually started before moving the plant lower) I hope that that means that a pitcher will soon develop.  My question actually is about a statement that I read from you that this is a vineing plant.  Can it be trained like a Philodendron can?  Mine seems to want to venture out into space but if I can I would like to train it to go up the hanger and stay in a bit closer. Do you have experience with training them or is it best to just let it go where it wants to go?

Hi Patricia,

Nepenthes are definitely vines, and they can be trained.  It's ironic that you mention Philodendron, because years ago my housemate had a large Philodendron and I had placed a Nepenthes x curtisii next to it.  Over a year, I propped the Nepenthes stems next to it, and just like in the wild, the pitcher tendrils began to wrap around the Philodendron and climb.  It looked pretty amazing.  Since they are not like ivy, it doesn't harm the support plant.

You can easily trellis them, or let them dangle; it's personal preference.  You can also keep them clipped back, and the plants will send out side shoots from dormant nodes at the base of leaves.  What happens is that as they grow a new pitcher the tendril will make contact with something solid, then will put a loop around it before finishing the growth on the pitcher.  They do it all the time in our greenhouse around each other. (Very annoying! LOL)

Good Growing!

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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