Smaller and slower growing species such as Nepenthes gracilis, N. ampullaria, and N. madagascariensis can be grown in containers as small as Vz gal. (2 1). We have used both sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss as the medium. Under our conditions the plants grew slower in sphagnum peat moss and, therefore, needed less pruning to contain them. Care must be exercised when growing in containers without drainage. The soil should be kept moist, but not water logged. If too much water is supplied, leave the top off the container to allow the excess water to evaporate. When the soil is moist in a covered container, the plants often will go months, in one case 8 months, before another watering is necessary. Once the plant reaches the top of the container, it is cut back by Vz-Vt, of its height and the plant will send up a new stem. The removed portion is used for cuttings to produce additional plants.
Nepenthes are excellent candidates for hanging baskets and side board planting. By side board we mean growing them on boards as Staghorn ferns are often grown. (Fig. 3-11)
Unless you have a very large growing area the plant will eventually outgrow its space. As Nepenthes grow in length, the older pitchers and leaves near the bottom of the stem die off, leaving an empty space which detracts from the beauty of the plant. To control this problem the stem is cut back to within 1-2 in. (2.5-5 cm) of the medium. The plant will then send up a new stem. Often a plant will send up new shoots even though the old stem has not been removed. The removed plant material can be used for cuttings to propagate more plants. The easier species to grow depend upon your local temperatures. The highland species are usually very difficult because they require year-round temperatures of 50-70°F (10-21 °C). A few of the highland species will grow well at temperatures suitable for the lowland species. For most growers the lowland species are best. Some of the easier species are:
Nepenthes alata, N. albo-marginata, N. ampullaria, N. bicalcarata, N. burkei, N. decurrens, N. fusca, N. gracillima, N. gracilis, N. khasiana, N. maxima, N. mirabilis, N. rafflesiana, N. reinwardtiana, N. sanguinea, N. thorelii, N. tobaica, and N. ventricosa.
Was this article helpful?