Nepenthes Kat Lester

I find this is much like a Mirabilis, that’s almost certainly in its parentage. Keep it warm, not too much light, and slowly adapt it to the windowsill. They seem to need high humidity while they are young. Pitchers vary from green to red on the same plant. It sends up lots of basil shoots and prefers hanging to climbing. There are often a dozen pitchers on the plant.

Lee’s Botanicals cultivated this plant, I think they may be the only source. I’ve not been able to find any other mention of it.

Nepenthes Truncata

Test tube babies

Nepenthes Truncata at PetFlyTrap.com

Nepenthes truncata gets its name from the square ending of the leaf before the pitcher. It is native to all of the Philippines where it grows in the hilly areas close to sea level. Pitchers can reach 16″ long. A botanical garden in France recorded it eating a mouse. I’m told it loves to eat wasps.

I had been growing it under a fluorescent light and on a windowsill. It’s now in a very bright south western window and it appears to love the sun much more than my other Nepenthes. A grower in Italy reports it can handle highland temps, I’m not sure I’d risk trying it.

The first reference to it I could find was in the 1911 Pennsylvania Botanical Society meeting notes.

I found mine from a seller of test tube plants on eBay.

Nepenthes Mirabilis var Globosa aka Nepenthes Viking

I slaughtered several of these before I figured them out. I find they need a lot of humidity to start. It’s best to keep them in a terrarium while they are small and ever so slowly adapt them to life on a windowsill.

I find they like less light than my other Nepenthes. They grow in a window that gets filtered morning light with a fluorescent lamp making up for the small amount of sunlight.

Pitchers are green to red, on the same plant, round with wings and grow on very long tendrils. Often there are a dozen or more pitchers. I’m not sure how large they will get, I’ve not seen photos of any more than 3″ or so in size.

The plants tend to be busy, sending up many basil shoots. They are hanging rather than climbing Nepenthes.

Mirabilis is a lowland plant, common to south east Asia. It has the widest know distribution of any of the Nepenthes. Mirabilis Var Globosa is only native to one island and the Thai mainland. There are dozens of natural hybrids. The habitat was wiped out in the 2004 tsunami. Plants are being cloned in labs in an attempt to re-establish the population.

Nepenthes Bloody Mary aka Lady Luck

Bloody Mary is a horticultural cross between Red Nep. Ampullaria and Red N.Ventricosa. It is more commonly sold now in Bio-Domes as Lady Luck, but I prefer the old name.

I find it stays bushier than most Nepenthes, both of mine have several basil shoots. It’s the only one I have the flat out refuses to put out pitchers all winter. It does make up for it in the summer.

Nepenthes want distilled or at least very soft water, no fertilizers. These are swamp plants so I keep 1/2″ – 1″ of water in the bottom. They seem happiest in sphagnum moss. I find they like the orchid baskets best. I think the air helps keep them from getting too soggy.

I have it in a south west window, it seems to like more light than my other Nepenthes.

Nepenthes Hookeriana

~ 5 yrs

~ 4 years
~ 3 years

These started in test tubes I ordered on eBay. They have been extremely easy to grow.

They are named after Joseph Dalton Hooker who discovered them. The first mention of them seems to be around 1848

Originally thought to be a species they are a natural hybrid between N. ampullaria and N. rafflesiana. They are found deeper in the jungles climbing up the trees. Early descriptions disagree on everything from the leaves to the pitchers to the growth habit. The wings and roundness of the pitcher seem to be all anyone agreed about.

I haven’t seen upper pitchers on mine yet, but read that they are longer and without wings.

Common to lowlands of Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra where they grow in bogs.

High humidity, 60’F-90’F, easier to pitcher than some other Neps. I find they do best in open orchid baskets filled with sphagnum which are placed in a dish in which I maintain 1/2″-1″ of distilled water.

Nepenthes Alata or Ventricosa

I purchased this as a Nepenthes Alata, yet everyone tells me it’s a ventricosa. Which is it? Most likely it’s a cross between them, ventricosa x alata x alata is very commonly found in shops

Nepenthes Vetricosa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepenthes_ventricosa

Ventricosa:
– distinct line between colors on pitchers
– lip at top of pitchers has distinct ridges
– no ridges running up pitcher

Nepenthes Alata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepenthes_alata

Alata:
– ridges run up pitcher with hairs (aka fringed wings)

…. And does it matter?
Both plants grow in mountain forests and grow well as windowsill intermediate plants.

I have found my Nepenthes are happiest in open orchid baskets filled with sphagnum moss, which is still in dish containing about 1″ of water. Use distilled water, no fertilizer. A bright window that doesn’t receive direct afternoon sun is best.

This has been the easiest of my Nepenthes to grow from cuttings.
– cut a 6″-8″ stem
– remove bottom leaves leaving only one at the top
– plant in sphagnum and keep in a closed terrarium
– slightly shade it
When new leaves appear
– slowly increase light
– slowly adapt it to grow outside terrarium

Nepenthes Aristolochioides

This is an intermediate Nepenthes from Sumatra, most note worthy for its unusually shaped pitchers. Willem Meijer first found them in 1956, on a mountain about 6000′ above sea level where they grown in sphagnum moss along ridges in the forest, occasionally found in pockets of moss on trees.

It’s a climber, stems may branch.

Upper and lower pitchers are similar, reaching ~ 2.5″ in length when full size. Lower pitchers grow in the moss leaving only the opening visible.

It is unusual among Nepenthes in that it uses light through the back top like many US pitcher plants. Inner walls of the pitcher are sticky, acting like fly paper to trap insects.

This is a critically endangered plant due to poaching. You can find clones at reputable plant sellers. Getting endangered plants into the hands of as many gardeners as possible may be our best hope for saving them.

I’ve found it prefers bright fluorescent light to sunlight and high humidity.

It prefers cooler temperatures (50’F-75F’).

I grow it in an orchid basket filled with sphagnum in a dish with about an inch of distilled water I refill when dry.