How to Grow Nepenthes - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Grassy Category   /   2022

Nepenthes, also known as tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups, are a genus of carnivorous plants in the family Nepenthaceae. The genus comprises about 170 species, and numerous natural and many cultivated hybrids. They are mostly liana-forming plants of the Old World tropics, ranging from South China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, north to India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar, and west to the Seychelles.

How to Grow Nepenthes - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Nepenthes plant? Unless you have a really good green thumb, I would not recommend this plant for a beginner or even an experienced florist. They are very particular about their needs and can be very finicky. They need a lot of humidity and heat to do well and even then they can be difficult to keep alive.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The Nepenthes plant is a carnivorous plant that reaches up to 30-60 cm in height. In nature, it can grow up to 20 m. Nepenthes has atrap that it uses to capture its prey. The plant is native to tropical areas of the world, such as Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The young plant becomes an adult for 1 growing season. It takes about 5 to 6 months for the average Nepenthes to go from seed to adult pitcher plant. Some species, such as Nepenthes rajah, can take up to 2 years to mature. During this time, the plant will produce many small, delicate pitchers that are often white or pale in color.

Nepenthes Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Grassy
Family Nepenthaceae
Origin Tropical Asia, the Seychelles, the Philippine Islands, Madagascar

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? known as tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups, are native to Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. They grow as either epiphytes or terrestrial plants in humid, tropical environments and prefer areas with high humidity and moderate to high temperatures. With proper care, Nepenthes plants can live for several months to 3-5 years.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Eventually, most types of non-penta are thermophilic and withstand a temperature of at least + 60,8-75,2 ° F. This is important to know because if you want to create the perfect environment for your plant, you need to make sure that the temperature is not too cold or too hot.


What about the humidity? When growing Nepenthes, it is necessary to maintain a humidity of 70-90%. To do this, the plant must be sprayed regularly with soft water. The water should be kept in the light in the room where the plant grows.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? The reason for this is because they come from tropical regions where the sun is not as harsh. They require a bright diffused light, so it is necessary to shade them from the bright sun. In winter, the plant is placed next to the window, but it should not be exposed to sunlight.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Nepenthes? The soil for this plant should be light and airy. A good mixture for nepenthic soil can be made from 4 parts of sphagnum or peat, 3 parts of coconut fiber, and 3 parts of spruce bark. Another good recipe for this plant’s soil is 3 parts peat, 3 parts coconut fiber, 3 parts sphagnum, 3 parts perlite, and 1 part bark. The coconut fiber should be cut before using it and rinsed with distilled water. The bark is used as the substrate for orchids. All components of the substrate must be rinsed with distilled water or sterilized in a microwave oven. You cannot grow the plant in pure peat or moss—you must use coal.

Watering Time

How much I must water Nepenthes? Although it is a tropical plant, in the wild it can be found on rocks and trees, which means that the roots do not always have access to a lot of water. Because of this, it has developed the ability to store water in the leaves and stem. For home cultivation, this means that you do not have to water your Nepenthes as often as other plants. In summer, water every 2 days, you need to drain the water from the pan. Demineralized water of room temperature should be used. In winter, water 1-2 times a week, especially if the temperature drops below +60,8 ° F.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Eventually, you will need to fertilize your Nepenthes plant. The general rule of thumb is to fertilize weakly, but frequently. It is better not to feed Nepenthes under the root. You can use foliar dressing on the leaf (spraying the plant with a fine spray) fertilizer for orchids, diluted 3-5 times. It is desirable to use fertilizers with chelates of iron, copper and boron. In this form, trace elements are better absorbed by the plant.


How to reproduce Nepenthes? Since the plant does not have a stem, it grows by attaching its leaves to trees or other objects. The leaves are long, up to 3 m, and have a very characteristic shape: at the bottom they are transformed into a long "cup" or "trap", in which the plant catches insects. Due to the fact that the plant does not have a root system, all its "organs" are located on the leaves. The upper part of the leaf forms a kind of funnel, inside of which is a cavity filled with a sweet liquid. This liquid secreted by the plant attracts insects, which then fall into the "trap" and drown.


Why Nepenthes won't bloom? The flowers of a Nepenthes plant are small and lack petals. Sepals, which are the leaf-like structures that surround and protect a flower in its bud stage, take on the role of petals in Nepenthes flowers. The flowers are typically borne in clusters on a stalk called an inflorescence.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Nepenthes? known more commonly as pitcher plants, nepenthes are a tropical plant that should be transferred every spring. Be careful not to damage the root system as the lateral roots are fragile. It is best to not destroy the earthen lump and to transfer the plant to a larger pot. If the plant was purchased from a store, then only transfer if the roots are visible from the drainage hole. It is advisable to use deep clay pots. Before transfering, the pot should be held in water so it absorbs moisture.

Caring The Nepenthes

How to care the plant? Although the Nepenthes plant is insectivorous, it can go without insects. If you do choose to feed your plant insects, the best option is live bloodworms. Place only one third of the jugs on one worm to avoid overfeeding. Always keep water in the jugs, but only pour more in if it has accidentally been poured out. The plant itself produces enough moisture for the pitcher under normal conditions. When transplanting, carry out a very strong pruning. This will result in new shoots. After 1.5 months, young shoots will appear. Remove these because they will not form jugs.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Nepenthes plant? Unless , of course, we are talking about the fact that it is a carnivorous plant. Then the information is quite a bit. So, this plant is a member of the genus Nepenthes, pitcher plants, which comprises about 130 species. They are found in the tropical parts of the Old World, in Madagascar, on the Comoros, in southern China, in the Indian subcontinent, in Malesia as far as Australia and the Solomon Islands.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Nepenthes poisonous? The Nepenthes plant is a carnivorous plant that is native to tropical areas. The plant produces a toxin that is used to kill prey. The toxin is produced in the leaves of the plant and is transferred to the prey when it is ingested. The toxin is then absorbed by the prey and kills it. The Nepenthes plant is not known to be harmful to humans.