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Nepenthes Care Guide


 Upon arrival, pull the bag out of the box and cut the nepenthes out of the bag to prevent damage to pitchers. Carefully remove paper that is tucked in between the leaves of the plants, and untangle the pitchers by following the stem on the bottom of the  pitcher to the leaf to figure out the best way to untangle them without tearing the pitchers off. Replace any moss that has fallen out of the pot. Water ONLY with distilled water (but NO other types of bottled water), reverse osmosis water or clean, collected rain water. NO TAP WATER! Tap water contains dissolved minerals that will slowly kill your plant. Neps can tolerate tap much better than other carnivorous plants, so if you are in a pinch and that is your only option, flush well with appropriate water once you have some to get any dissolved solids that have built up in the growing medium out. After cutting out of the bag and removing paper, water thoroughly until water runs out of the holes in the bottom. When not flushing, you can also catch the water that runs out and use it again the next time you water, but don’t let the plant just sit in a tray of water so the roots don’t rot.


Your nepenthes has never been given tap water. There is no need to flush or repot on arrival. It is growing in the correct medium and can remain in this pot until you feel that it is ready to be moved to a larger pot. When this time comes, gently wrap the roots in pure long fiber sphagnum moss or a 50/50 mixture of long fiber sphagnum moss and plain perlite. No terracotta pots. Just fire glazed ceramics or plastics with drainage.

Keep the moss in the plant pot moist and  damp at all times. Do not allow your plant to dry out and  always water with the appropriate type of water (see above). Do not allow your plants to sit in a dish of water or on a saucer with water in it. Allow your plant to drain free so that the roots do not sit in water and  rot. 

These Nepenthes are tropical plants and love humidity. In low humidity, mist your plant twice a day with the appropriate water, especially keeping pitchers moist, as allowing them to dry out will speed their death. But never fear! Every new leaf has the potential to produce a new pitcher. Misting pitchers as they are developing will help them to grow bigger. 

Your nepenthes will produce its own liquid for the pitchers. This liquid is slightly acidic and helps dissolve bugs so the plant can absorb them. If your pitchers are dry you can add the appropriate water to the pitcher, but don’t fill pitchers more than a third full. Filling more than this will not only dilute the solution that the plant makes, but it will also make it possible for bugs to climb back out. Pitchers have lids to keep rain out, but if temps are high and the pitchers cannot keep up with evaporation, it is better to add the appropriate water, as dry pitchers will speed the death of the pitchers. Also, if your plant is not keeping up with evaporation, increase watering. 

From time to time (including during transit) pitchers will die. They typically start with the lid drying up and then dry from the top to the bottom. We suggest leaving the pitchers on the plant until they are completely dry, so that the plant can absorb as much nutrients as possible. Once the pitcher has dried, you can remove the pitcher (at the tip of the leaf), or leave them hanging there. The choice is entirely yours & has no impact on the plant itself. Merely cosmetic at that point. Pitchers will typically last between 2 - 6 months. When leaves dry up and die, simply trim them off when they have completely died all the way to the vine. Any live leaf that is left is still photosynthesizing and the plant uses the nutrients in the leaf until it is all dried up. Then simply snip off the tendril at the end of the leaf. 

Nepenthes 'Gaya' being fed a black soldier fly larvae

Finally, do not feed these plants with human food. If left outside, they will catch everything they need on their own, but while inside if your plant does not have access to any bugs, simply place a fresh bug in a pitcher or two every month or so. If the bug is still alive, make sure that it is in the liquid to help prevent it from climbing back out. We have black soldier fly larvae available in our shop. The rim of the pitchers is sticky, because it produces a sweet liquid that will draw bugs closer. They stop to eat the substance & fall into the slippery pitchers and  can’t get back out once they hit the liquid inside and their wings get wet. During the Winter time, if there are no bugs in your house, you can drop a couple betta pellets (yes, fish food) into two or three pitchers once a month, but be careful not to over feed. Overly fed pitcher plants will drop their pitchers so that they don’t get anymore to eat. They grow in areas with little to no nutrients, and evolved over hundreds of years to be able to get their nutrients from bugs and they don’t need much food to survive. Do not fertilize without using a carnivorous safe fertilizer. We have safe fertilizers available in our shop, but we cannot guarantee anything purchased at your local stores will be safe. We also carry black soldier fly larvae.

If you have any questions or we can be of any help when you get the plant or in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask. Don't forget to like/follow our Facebook page to see what new plants are available as they get ready throughout the year!

Remember: No care guide is going to be perfect for every situation. Plants in rainy Seattle will have different needs than plants in hot and dry New Mexico. We recommend that all customers read their care guide thoroughly, follow the instructions, listen to what your plant is telling you about what it needs and adjust accordingly.