At Triffid Park we grow all of our Nepenthes, regardless of natural elevation, in our growing rooms with an overnight temperature of 10-12 degrees celcius and a daytime temperature of between 20-25 degrees celcius.
Nepenthes maxima = lowland to ultra highland 40 - 2600m
LOWLANDS require temperatures between 15-25 degrees at night and 24-35 degrees during the day depending on their altitude. These plants naturally grow between 0-1000 metres above sea level.
INTERMEDIATES sit somewhere between the Lowland and Highland. 12-21 degrees at night and 21-30 degrees during the day depending on their altitude. These plants naturally grow above 1000-1500 metres above sea level.
HIGHLANDS require temperature drops at night. 8-18 degrees at night and 18-27 during the day depending on their altitude. These plants naturally grow above 1500- 2500 metres above sea level.
ULTRA HIGHLANDS require temperatures between 8-15 degrees at night and 16-24 degrees during the day depending on their altitude. These plants grow 2500m + above sea level.
Nepenthes maxima $45
REPOTTING: When re-potting your Nepenthes we use a mixture of 75% 5-10mm size orchid bark, and the other 25% made up of Sphagnum peat moss, sphagnum moss and perlite. Or they can be grown in straight Sphagnum moss. We do sell a ready made Nepenthes mix as used by us here at Triffid Park. Please see our Sundries page. Wet your mix thoroughly through first before potting your Nepenthes into it. The best time to re-pot is in the spring when the plants are doing most of their growing. Use a pot or hanging basket to suit the size of the plant, giving it enough room to grow for the following year, but not too big that it dwarfs the plant.
WATERING: Nepenthes do not like to be water logged, but do not like to dry out. Water and let the water run through the pot. During summer you will need to do this once or twice a day. Make sure the mix always looks moist. If your water is good enough to drink straight from the tap, then this is alright to use on your plant. If not you should use either rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water.
FERTILIZING: Do not fertilize with flies or insects. We feed with a mixture of Seasol and Powerfeed (Powerfeed is made by the same company as Seasol). To one litre of water, we use 4 ml of Seasol and 3ml of Powerfeed. We use this mix every 6-8 weeks from Spring to Autumn either watered onto the growing medium, or poured into the water tray beneath the pot. DO NOT use any other fertilisers. You might like to catch the fertilised water running out the bottom of the pot to reuse again once the next day to make sure the plant gets a good feed.
LIGHT: Nepenthes require a high level of light to help produce their pitchers. They need at least a couple of hours of natural light a day. A window sill inside the house that gets morning sun in summer and afternoon sun in winter is an excellent position. Otherwise you can grow them in a terrarium, greenhouse, glasshouse or porch. Don't put the Nepenthes outside in the full weather because they require more protection from the wind, hot afternoon sun and frost.
HUMIDITY: The number one reason for Nepenthes not growing pitchers/traps is lack of humidity. The easiest way to create humidity is to place a tray of water under the pot filled with pebbles. The tray underneath Nepenthes should be twice the area of the pot, and the pebbles should be porous i.e. scoria, so that they absorb the water and create humidity. Change the water in the tray every month. A terrarium or glasshouse will provide warmth and humidity. But a warm sunny window sill will give you enough heat for the plant to survive.
DORMANCY: During winter your Nepenthes may not produce pitchers (traps). They will slow down in growth. Cut off any dead leaves/pitchers at the stem of the plant. In spring the plants will send up their new leaves/pitchers. You can put a clear plastic bag over the plant in winter to keep it warmer and more humid. When a Nepenthes goes through its transition stage and starts to grow its vine, it will have a time gap before it starts to grow upper pitchers. In the wild, they won't grow upper pitchers until the vine reaches the top of the tree where it gets more light.
FLOWERING: Nepenthes will only flower in a high light situation. They will only flower once they start to produce upper pitchers. Nepenthes plants are either male or female, so cannot be self-pollinated. You need one of each to pollinate.