The plant I am highlighting today is my pitcher plant. I was able to purchase this a couple years ago from a gentleman who owns an enormous pitcher plant and had decided to root a few cuttings. My plant is hanging in an east-facing window so it gets bright indirect light throughout the year, occasionally some direct sun. Trees, neighboring houses, time of year, all affect how much sun comes in our east windows. I have not identified which Nepenthes is it, though I am leaning towards Nepenthes x Ventrata. It is my very first pitcher plant and I adore it! We generally do not see such plants in our garden centers here – the only carnivorous plants I recall seeing are tiny sad looking venus fly traps.
Anyhow! Since I have had this plant, it has added several new leaves on each stem, and even set a couple of pitchers. I learned early on that my house is not humid enough – so the solution that worked for me is to ensure there is plenty of water in its pot at all times. I use only distilled water, to avoid any issues with minerals it doesn’t like, and the one time I fertilized it, it rewarded me by getting sickly. So I don’t ever fertilize it either. I ended up flushing the pot thoroughly with distilled water several times to remove as much fertilizer as possible and then hoped for the best. Fortunately for me, and the plant, it survived!
My watering routine is simple – I put about 2 inches of distilled water in the outer pot, and when that water is all used up, I wait a day or two and then water it again. Normally we are advised to never leave plants standing in water – and if you lived somewhere more humid you might have to water a pitcher plant less. They do come from an extremely humid part of the world, however, so it makes sense they want more moisture than average. If I had a good way to diffuse some water nearby it, I think it would love the humidity.
If you acquire a pitcher plant of your own, I would recommend watering cautiously – that is to say, water just enough so the soil is moist, but not standing in water. You can always add a bit more water more frequently if need be, but it is harder to save a plant from root rot.
We’re moving into longer day lengths now, so I am hoping my plant puts on some great growth and new pitchers. I would like to eventually take a cutting, but am waiting until this plant looks like it is taking over its window.
Categories: Plant of the Week