The Nepenthes plant is the only genus in the Nepenthes family to include carnivorous vines. Due to the characteristic shape of the traps, these plants are also known as pitchers. Most of the Nepenthes live in the humid Asian tropics, some species are also found in Australia and the Pacific islands.
The name of the pitcher refers to the myths of the ancient Greeks - the herb of oblivion and the potion obtained from it were called "nepenth" in them. Such plants came to Europe at the end of the 18th century, instantly arousing general interest. But in home floriculture, nepentes are rare. This is due to the impressive size of most species, as well as the difficulty of creating optimal conditions for the flower. But, despite their exactingness, such plants are considered very tenacious.
All types of pitchers are conventionally divided into mountain and plain. Each of these groups assumes compliance with a certain temperature and humidity regime, and also differs in appearance - plain plants have a brighter color and large traps. Most often, greenhouses are used for growing plants, and more compact dwarf hybrids of nepentes are grown at home. Best of all, the pitcher looks like an ampelous plant - in this position, its pitchers effectively hang from the shoots.
Description of nepentes
Nepentes is a liana in the form of a shrub or semi-shrub with creeping or climbing stems. Its shoots climb trees, rising to an impressive height. This structure allows plants to get to more illuminated places: the sun is required for the formation of inflorescences. They are located at the tops of the stems and resemble brushes or panicles. The thickness of the stems usually does not exceed 1 cm.
The large foliage of the nepentes has a xiphoid shape and is adjacent to the jug leaves. The central vein of some leaves transforms into a thin tendril, which is sometimes able to cling to tree branches. A bright jug resembling a flower rests on it. The size of the jugs varies greatly depending on the type of nepentes and can range from 2 to 30 cm, although there are plants with longer jugs. Their colors include shades of red, white and green and can combine several colors. The upper edge of the jug is wrapped inward, with pink or purple grooves on it.
It is the jugs that serve as traps for catching small insects. On their inner edge there are cells that produce bait nectar, and at the bottom of the "vessel" there can be both water and a viscous liquid with special digestive enzymes. In some species, on the surface of the jug, there are wings with teeth that serve as a support for the leaf itself and help insects climb into the jug. Each jug is also protected by a special lid that prevents debris and rainwater from getting inside. The lid does not stop insects attracted by nectar. Climbing under it, flies, as well as small amphibians and other inhabitants of the forest, fall on a slippery rim, fall into a jug and risk dissolving in it in 5-8 hours.
Despite their brightness, the jugs are considered an extension of the leaves, not the flowers of the nepentes. Their size and shape often varies depending on their position on the vine. At the bottom there are larger and heavier jugs lying on the ground, and at the top there are small ones with longer tendrils that provide the plant with additional support. Sometimes traps are designed for different types of prey. The real flowering of nepentes is inconspicuous. They form reddish flowers without petals with several sepals. Pollinated flowers form leathery fruits with medium-sized seeds.
Some animals and birds use trap pitchers as bowls, drinking the water they fill after heavy rain. Because of this, certain types of nepentes are called "monkey glasses". In nature, certain species with large jugs enter into symbiosis with forest mammals. Large and strong traps do not scare small bats and rodents, but they serve as a shelter or even a dry closet for them. The flower deliberately attracts them with nectar on the lid of the jug. Liana converts the resulting dung into nutritious fertilizer, also drawing nitrogen from it. The two-spur nepentes is “friendly” with ants that settle on the liana and help cleanse its jugs from harmful insects and mold. The "solvent" contained in them has almost no effect on such ants.
Nepenthes. Maintenance, care of Nepentes.
Brief rules for growing nepentes
The table shows brief rules for caring for a nepentes at home.
|Lighting level||Scattered beams are preferred. East or south windows are suitable, with the condition of shading from the scorching sun. On the north side, backlighting will be required in winter. The length of the day should be about 16 hours.|
|Content temperature||Mountain type nepentes prefer warmth (8-20 degrees) during the day and cool (about 12-15 degrees) at night. Plain pitchers love slightly higher temperatures - about 22-26 degrees during the day and 18-20 degrees at night. In winter, the flowers are provided with moderate coolness.|
|Watering mode||The soil is moistened as it dries, it is best to use bottom watering. During the warm season, the soil in the pot should always remain slightly damp; in winter, the top layer of the soil is waiting for the drying out.|
|Air humidity||Many nepentes require a very high (up to 90%) humidity, but others are satisfied with the average (40-50%) indicators. To provide the flowers with the necessary level of moisture in the air, they use pallets with wet pebbles, and also regularly spray them. You can grow nepentes in the florarium.|
|The soil||In nature, pitchers live on poor soil, therefore, at home, they should not be planted in too fertile soil.|
|Top dressing||The pitcher almost does not need the usual feeding, instead of them, occasionally he will have to be fed with insects. About once a month, the plant should "eat" a live mosquito, fly or spider, and it is important to use different traps.|
|Transfer||Transplants are carried out only if necessary, in the spring.|
|Bloom||Flowering begins in spring or summer, lasting 3 to 7 months.|
|Dormant period||The dormant period is poorly expressed, but over the winter, the jugs usually begin to dry out. At the beginning of spring, the shoots are cut by about a third to stimulate growth, and then the irrigation regime is restored and fertilizing is carried out with a mineral composition in a low dosage.|
|Reproduction||Cuttings, less often seeds, dividing the bush.|
|Pests||Occasionally - aphids and mealybugs.|
|Diseases||Decay, loss of appearance due to mistakes in care.|
Caring for nepentes at home
Nepentes need good lighting, but the lack of light in tropical forests has taught pitchers to scattered rays. For them, the east or south side of the house is best suited with shading at noon. For this, translucent curtains or paper screens are used. Too bright light can lead to burns on the foliage or the loss of the bright color of already formed jugs. New traps grow up already adapted to the changed lighting.
Western or northern windows usually require the use of backlighting, providing the colors with up to 16 hours of daylight in winter. Lack of light will also adversely affect the formation of the pitchers and their color. Mountain varieties of pitchers are in great need of ultraviolet radiation, which can be delayed by double-glazed windows, so in the summer such plants are often tried to keep in the air and open light.
Most pitchers are able to adapt to short periods of extreme heat or cold up to 5 degrees, but for the successful cultivation of nepentes, you need to maintain the temperature that is optimal for the flower. The natural habitats of the Nepenthes greatly influence their temperature preferences.
- Mountain pitchers are more numerous. Hot weather badly affects the development of such nepentes, but they better tolerate impressive fluctuations in day and night temperatures. Such plants need night coolness (about 12-15 degrees), and during the daytime they are recommended to be kept in moderate heat (about 18-20 degrees). Such nepentes do not like extreme heat. The moisture level for growing them should be medium.
- Plains (lowland) Nepentes prefer warmer conditions throughout the year and less severe temperature fluctuations. At night they need a temperature of about 18-20 degrees, in the daytime about 22-26 degrees, although they can easily tolerate its rise to 32 degrees. They perceive excessive coolness worse than heat (6-8 degrees are considered a critical drop for them) and do not like strong temperature changes. For such species, high (from 70%) humidity is preferable, therefore they are more often grown in terrariums or greenhouses.
There are also plants of the intermediate category, which have their own priorities - a rather high temperature during the day and about 16-18 degrees at night. At the same time, any nepentes needs an influx of fresh air, which is why they are not recommended to be grown in an enclosed space, but sensitive vines should not be kept in drafts. The pots with them are moved only if necessary, one should not even change their position relative to the light source, holding them to the sun with only one side. If you disturb such a plant, it will stop developing for about a month and will not form jugs.
Caring for nepentes at home involves regular moistening of the soil. For irrigation, distilled, well-settled, filtered or rainwater from an ecologically clean place is used. The less impurities in the water, the better. It is desirable that it be slightly warmer than room temperature, you cannot use ice cold.
In order not to overmoisten a flower that prefers constant moisture, you should use the bottom watering method. The pot is submerged in water until it draws in enough moisture through the drain holes. The excess is allowed to drain. In the summer, they try to constantly keep the soil moist in the pot, and in the winter, after the top layer of the soil has dried, you should wait about 2 days. Plants wintering in the cool are especially closely watched. Such bushes are watered less often and less. But the complete overdrying of the soil affects the pitchers more and worse than overflow.
Most Nepentes love high humidity 70-90%, but there are species that can withstand even lower levels - about 40% during the day and 50% at night. To understand what kind of flower was purchased in the store, you need to watch it - perhaps the bush will develop well even at room humidity. To raise its level by night, in the evenings the plants must be sprayed with lukewarm, settled water. It will also be useful to put it on a pallet filled with wet pebbles or peat.
When spraying, you need to make sure that the liquid does not fall into the working traps, this will reduce the concentration of juices and prevent the flower from assimilating prey. The vines contained in the cool are sprayed less often to prevent the development of diseases.
For growing nepentes, you can use both ordinary pots and hanging containers for orchids, the main requirement is a diameter of 14 cm. The soil can be prepared independently by mixing high-moor peat with perlite and half of the vermiculite. The reaction of the finished mixture should not be acidic. Like other green predators, in nature, pitchers live on poor soil, therefore, at home, they should not be planted in too fertile soil. You can use a ready-made substrate for orchids or a mixture of leafy soil with peat and sand (3: 2: 1). It is also recommended to add charcoal to the soil. The resulting substrate should allow air to pass through well, and a sufficient drainage layer will also be required for the pitchers.
Nepentes does not need regular regular feeding, the main source of nutrients is captured insects. But the plant can combine this method of nutrition with a more familiar one, therefore, from spring to autumn, it can be watered monthly with a nutrient solution of mineral supplements, reducing the recommended concentration by 3 times. Foliar dressing is preferred. Orchid formulations can be used. But in too nutritious soil, the vine will cease to form jugs, having lost the need for an additional source of nitrogen. For mountain species, feeding is carried out even less often.
Extraction is also required for nepentes about once a month. At this time, flies, bloodworms, mosquitoes or spiders can be placed in his jugs - about 2 pieces per medium bush. If insects enter the house unhindered, the vine can hunt on its own. The prey must be live and placed in different jugs. The flower is not fed with ordinary meat. In addition, you should not fill all the "vessels" at once - an excess of nitrogen can significantly harm the vine. Each jug can form a digestive fluid only once, during its formation, so an empty trap will no longer function again. If food gets there, the leaf with such a jug will wither away. The lifespan of one trap is 2-4 months. To prevent empty jugs from fading too quickly, you can fill them one-third with distilled water. Such measures will help fill the lack of air humidity, but they will also be only temporary.
Nepentes should be transplanted only as needed: when the roots of the bush no longer fit in the pot, the plant will get sick or the soil will begin to mold. Exceptions are not made even for purchased plants until they outgrow their capacity - they can be transplanted no earlier than 1.5 months after purchase.
Spring is optimal for transplanting nepentes. Strong and healthy specimens that have outgrown their capacity are simply transferred to a new place, trying to disturb the roots as little as possible. If the nepentes gets sick, they take him out of the pot, clean the roots from the soil and rinse them in distilled water. After that, the bush is planted in fresh soil, and then treated with a fungicide solution, wetting both the soil and the aerial part of the bush. If the transplant was performed correctly and the vine has taken root, after half a month it will be possible to spray it with a solution of Zircon (up to 3 drops per 0.2 l of distilled water) and pour this mixture over the ground.
After such a transplant, carried out in compliance with all conditions, the bush will be able to grow in one pot for about 3 years. Sometimes nepentes are planted not in an ordinary substrate, but in long-decomposing materials - mineral wool or coconut fiber, which also allows you to postpone the transplantation of the bush. But most often exotic pitchers live at home for only a few years. To prolong the life of a flower, you need to provide it with the ideal content.
Nepentes from the store: transplanting into fresh soil, leaving. ...
Nepentes need support, so their shoots will have to be tied up. The installation of the support must be taken care of when the one-year-old plant requires a transplant. For a garter, the shoots of the pitcher should grow to about half a meter.
Blooming nepentes forms erect brushes of inflorescences, on which small brown-red flowers are located, resembling unopened buds. Flowering can last up to six months. It is difficult to call it especially decorative, nevertheless, unusual inflorescences on the liana look quite interesting. Nepentes are dioecious plants. Different types of lianas can easily interbreed, forming hybrid forms, this property is widely used by breeders. But at home, vines do not bloom so often.
In winter, nepentes continues to develop, but due to the difference in climate characteristics in mid-latitudes, such plants will need special maintenance for a period of short daylight hours. Since the end of autumn, the pitchers stop feeding and gradually reduce the number of waterings. Liana can dry out its traps, but this process is not a sign of illness, but a common reaction to a decrease in air humidity. Dead leaves should be removed at this time. The vine itself is recommended to be kept in a cooler place.
In the spring, the nepentes bush is cut to a developed bud, after which they begin to gradually return to the summer mode of care. Liana is fed a little with a mineral composition, after which it should quickly grow. Young shoots can be pinched at the level of 5-6 leaves.
Reproduction of nepentes
Growing from seeds
In nature, nepentes easily reproduces with its small long seeds, but at home this method has a number of disadvantages. The main ones are the inaccessibility and the risk of acquiring seeds of other plants, as well as the short shelf life of the seed - from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The fresher the seeds are, the greater the chance of their germination, besides, they should sprout faster.
To get seeds at home, you will need two flowering vines at once - male and female (or female and pollen from male). If the plants are kept outdoors, insects can pollinate them, but in other cases, artificial pollination is used. It takes about a month to ripen the pod. Ripe dark brown boxes are dried for a couple of days, and then they are immediately sown.
A plastic container with drainage holes is used for seeding. It is filled with washed and steamed sphagnum and slightly moistened. You can add sand to the sphagnum. Seeds are spread on the surface of the substrate, carefully sprayed and covered with a transparent film or other plastic jar so as to provide greenhouse conditions for the crops.
It is recommended to keep seedlings under a phytolamp at a temperature of about 22-24 degrees, regardless of the type of nepentes. They are ventilated daily, making sure that the air humidity in the tank remains at a level of 90% and above. The first shoots can be formed within 2 months. With the appearance of sprouts, they are gradually accustomed to life outside the greenhouse and at first they are not exposed to the direct sun. An adult seedling pitcher is considered only 2-3 years after sowing.
It is easier and faster to propagate a predatory vine by cuttings. Usually, the parts of the stems remaining after cutting are used for this. Cuttings must have at least 3 leaves. They should be shortened by about 2/3 before rooting to reduce moisture evaporation. A small leaf on the top of the apical cutting need not be cut off.
The lower cut of the cutting is treated with a rooting stimulator, and then sprinkled with coal powder. The planting is carried out in a container pre-treated in bleach and washed with distillate. It is filled with a mixture of sphagnum and coconut fiber with peat (2: 3: 5), where a little vermiculite baking powder is added. The soil is also pre-sterilized by steaming.
The cuttings are placed in a moist substrate about 5 mm deep, then the soil is compacted and watered with distilled water. From above, the seedling is sprayed with Fundazol, diluted according to the instructions, and then placed in an impromptu greenhouse, covered with a transparent jar or bag. The plant is kept warm (about 22-24 degrees) and in the light. After a couple of weeks, you need to water and treat the stalk with a solution of a growth stimulator (for example, Zircon), diluting 2-3 drops of it in 0.2 liters of distillate.
Rooting usually takes 1-1.5 months, but it will be possible to judge the success of the process in 2 weeks. If the cuttings begin to take root, they form fresh shoots, and the darkened seedlings can be thrown away. Young nepentes are transplanted to a permanent place only a year after rooting. Jugs on such plants are formed about six months after planting.
Nepentes Ventrata: cuttings, bush formation, rooting and growth of a young plant.
Reproduction by dividing the bush
Adult nepentes can also be propagated by dividing the bush, but for this you need to be especially careful. The roots of the liana are fragile, so they try not to injure them once again. The division is carried out according to the general principle.
Diseases and pests of nepentes
If brown or red spots appear on the nepentes bushes, a fungal infection has struck the plant. Moist soil and air contribute to its development. Diseased bushes need to be treated with a fungicidal preparation.
Frequent overflows can lead to decay of the pitcher roots. The diseased bush begins to wither, its leaves wrinkle, and the stem turns black. Leaf blades can also rot. At the first signs of such a disease, you need to transplant the bush into fresh disinfected soil, after removing all rotten parts with a sharp and sterile instrument. The sections are sprinkled with charcoal powder. If the damage is too large, and there is a risk that the bush will not take root, you can try to preserve the plant by rooting healthy sections of its stem.
Some problems with the content of nepentes can be signaled by their appearance.
- Yellowing of the leaves indicates a lack of nutrients.
- Redness of foliage, the appearance of brown spots - excessive lighting, a sign of burns.
- Dry leaf tips - too low humidity.
- Pulling out shoots - a lack of lighting, usually coincides with a slowdown in growth and shrinking of leaves.
- Pitchers do not form due to changes in the content of the flower - this can be affected by inappropriate temperature or humidity, lack of light or watering, and excessively nutritious soil.
Although nepentes itself feeds on insects, pests that attack the vine outside the jugs can cause significant damage to the plant. More often than others, aphids or mealybugs can settle on nepentes weakened by the wrong content.
Aphids are difficult to detect in the early stages of the lesion due to their small size. It lives on the inside of the leaves, feeding on their juices. Because of this, the foliage turns yellow and becomes covered with honeydew. In addition to its own harm, aphids contribute to the transfer of various diseases, many of which are incurable, so pests must be destroyed as quickly as possible. To cope with aphids, you need to treat with a nepentes soap solution (20 g of green or regular soap per 1 liter of water). The bush is sprayed, after covering the ground in a pot so that the solution does not get into it. Some time after the procedure, the soap is carefully washed off. If the lesions are too large, low-toxic insecticides can be used - the flower does not tolerate potent drugs.
The mealybug also feeds on the juice of the pitcher, inhabiting young growth. Because of this, the growth of the bush slows down. Regular humidification of the air and cleaning of the leaf blades, as well as the removal of dry and wilted leaves, will help prevent the appearance of worms. If the pest does appear, it is removed from the bush with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, soap or beer solution. After that, the bush is treated with a solution of a preparation containing imidacloprid for 6 weeks, spraying every 7-10 days.
How to grow plants carnivores at home. Nepentes. Garden World site
Types and varieties of nepentes with photos and names
7 species belong to the genus Nepentes, although there are more than 200 species with an unspecified status and many hybrid forms with different colors of jugs. It is the hybrids that are most often grown at home - they are considered more adapted to such content. In floriculture, the following species are best known.
Or winged nepentes. Filipino species, considered the most common. Nepenthes alata reaches 4 meters in length, although specimens with shorter shoots exist. Liana has elongated green foliage, pointed towards the top. The jugs are painted in a light green color and covered with reddish specks. The flowers are folded in inflorescences-brushes or panicles. Such a pitcher is considered an intermediate species between the mountain and lowland groups.
Or pitched nepentes. It is considered a record holder not only among relatives: it is the largest carnivorous plant in the world. Nepenthes Rajah is a rare species that can hunt not only insects, but even small animals and mammals. Such a plant lives only in the mountains of the island of Kalimantan and is endangered. The length of its stems is about 3 m, but there are also 6-meter specimens. Traps can be more than 50 cm in length, and their width is about 20 cm. Flowering can occur at any time of the year.
The species reaches 90 cm in length. Nepenthes madagascariensis has lanceolate-elongated leaf blades and crimson jugs up to 25 cm long. This plant needs warmth and moisture.
Plain epiphyte from the island of Sumatra. Nepenthes rafflesiana has oval-lanceolate leaves up to 10 cm wide and up to half a meter long. The jugs are pale green in color and covered with burgundy specks and strokes. They reach 20 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter. The inside of the jug is bluish in color and also spotted.
Endemic to one of the Philippine islands. Nepenthes truncate lives in the mountains, its jugs sometimes reach 50 cm in length. Due to their large size, such plants are usually grown only in greenhouses.
The length of the stems of such a vine reaches 5 m. Nepenthes gracillima has a narrow and long foliage. Its jugs are greenish in color and covered with specks of green and red.
The semi-epiphytic liana Nepenthes Miranda has jugs of a bright green hue with contrasting red spots.
Plant length reaches 3 m. Nepenthes maxima has narrow foliage up to 30 cm long. The jugs-cylinders in the upper part of the bush have the same size. Below are shorter flask-shaped traps. They have a yellow-green color and reddish warts.
Another Filipino endemic. Nepenthes attenboroughii grows up to 1.5 m in height, and its shoots are about 3.5 cm thick. Leathery foliage is almost sessile. The size of the jugs reaches 25 cm in length and 12 cm in diameter with a volume of about 1.5-2 liters. Their color is bright green, with strokes of a purple hue.
One of the most elegant plain species. Nepenthes bicalcarata has leathery leaf blades up to 12 cm wide and up to 80 cm long, which end in small 10 cm traps. The color of the jugs is red, orange or green.
The following nepentes are also grown at home:
- White-bordered - with white-pink or cream traps.
- Hairy - pubescent jugs have a red-green color and a green border near the mouth.
- Pervilla - forms wide red pitchers.
- Wall-leaved - mountain view, jugs are painted in green-purple color.
Means for soil improvement should be selected based on the type of soil (marshy, sandy, acidic, compacted, etc.) and the desired effect. The selection of direct means should always be preceded by a thorough diagnostics, which determines not only the acid-base balance of the soil, but also its nutritional value, fertility, the growth conditions necessary for future plantings. It is strongly not recommended to introduce synthetic mineral fertilizers into the soil: the regular use of such mixtures almost completely destroys the soil microflora and forms an environment of false nutrition. Plants growing in such "overfed" soil will gradually lose their resistance to diseases and pests and will not be able to develop normally. The key to healthy, fertile soil is the availability of free access to water, air, organic matter and mineral elements. Any selected means of improving the condition of the soil or their combination should be combined with regular loosening, aeration of the soil, and the nutrient mixtures applied should be of natural origin.
Consider individual soil improvement means, features of their impact and scope of application in more detail. Read more We select means to improve the soil
I bought a sarracenia in the Auchan store, like many of my other predatory plants: Nepentes, Venus flytrap, Dewdrop. It cost about 150 rubles. The plant is very interesting and unusual, caring for it is also very unusual.
- Only the purchased plant needs to be shed with distilled water in order to wash out the salts from the substrate.
- Water further only in the pallet and distilled water only (you can buy in Auchan)! The substrate should not dry out, so in the summer you will most likely have to water every day. Sometimes a white bloom appears on the surface of the earth - mold, I clean it off and throw it away, or you can shed it with special means.
- Cut dry jugs. If healthy jugs have no liquid, you can add some distilled water.
- In winter, Sarracenia should "sleep"! This means that the plant is placed in a cold and dark room for the winter. But first you need to prepare it for this, that is, reduce daylight hours and ensure a smooth decrease in temperature. How I do it: in the fall I put the plant on the loggia, when the temperature there drops to +5, +8 degrees, I put it in the refrigerator! For the whole winter! When in spring the temperature rises to +5, +8 degrees, I put it back on the loggia. Sarracenia needs to winter for at least 3 months! While the plant is in the refrigerator, I water it about once every 3 weeks, while I also put the water in the refrigerator before watering, as it is necessary that the water and the plant are at the same temperature!
In the spring, we take out the sarracenia from the refrigerator, after which we transplant (a good month for transplanting is May) in new substrate, and it is prepared like this: soak the perlite in distilled water for a week, change the water 2 times, then mix it with high-moor sour peat (both ingredients can be found in Auchan or in a flower shop) in a 1: 2 ratio. Never use ready-made mixtures, fertilizers and expanded clay, this will destroy the plant! Choose a small pot, you can also the one in which you bought it.
You can feed the sarracenia with insects that will fit in its jugs, BUT NOT NECESSARY! Most likely, the "fed" jug will wither. The plant itself attracts small (and not only) insects and this is enough for him!
Sarracenia is an amazing carnivorous plant that stands out among common houseplants. Due to the difficult care, I can recommend this plant only to patient people who are ready to stock up on liters of distillation, look for horse sour peat in stores (I was looking for several months!) And free up space in the refrigerator for the whole winter =))
If the above frightens you, then try to start growing nepentes,
Or Venus flytrap, she is probably the most popular carnivorous plant.
I have several predatory plants and different species, they give me and my guests a lot of positive impressions and in the summer they exterminate midges and flies in my room)
I was given a flower "Nepentes" (species-Alata), but I do not know how to properly care for it.
Nepentes is an insectivorous plant of the tropics, its jugs in nature are one third filled with water and serve to catch and digest insects. Therefore, the optimal conditions for nepentes are a humid, warm, very bright, but not sunny place with a temperature of at least 20 degrees.
The most difficult thing in an apartment for caring for nepentes is maintaining high humidity, and this must be done by all available methods: very often spray nepentes with soft water, and not only the plant itself, but also the space around it. The spray should be very fine to simulate dew.
Place large-leaved, moisture-loving plants, an aquarium (if available), or a wide flat pan filled with water next to the nepentes. It is great if you buy an electric humidifier - it will be useful for the whole family, and in winter, when the heating is turned on, it is simply irreplaceable.
Watering nepentes is carried out with soft water at room temperature. The frequency of watering is set to maintain a light moisture content in the substrate. It is not necessary to water the nepentes every day, the ground does not have to be constantly very wet.
During the period of growth of nepentes, fertilizer of low concentration is applied once a month.
Nepentes is usually grown in a hanging basket (or a regular pot that allows water to pass through).
The nepentes is transplanted in the spring, very carefully, into the orchid substrate. Pruning nepentes is carried out if the shoots are very long.
Reproduction of nepentes can be done by cuttings, but this requires professional skills and conditions.
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Growing nepentes in the house
Usually, nepentes is grown as an ampelous plant, which allows you to admire its freely hanging decorative jugs.
Like all tropical plants, thermophilic nepentes are quite demanding on keeping conditions. Therefore, caring for nepentes at home, which is very different from natural conditions, is fraught with certain difficulties.
Nepentes loves bright light (but not direct sunlight), this plant needs diffused light.
Normal room temperature is suitable for keeping nepentes (22-24 degrees in summer, about 20 degrees in winter) without sharp fluctuations.
Nepentes prefers very humid air, like in his homeland. Therefore, this plant needs regular spraying and watering with soft warm water. This helps to maintain sufficient moisture in the air and soil (so that the earthen ball is constantly slightly moist).
However, when spraying nepentes, the water should not be allowed to enter the jugs. Otherwise, the digestive fluid in them will be insufficiently concentrated, and the plant will no longer be able to digest insects.
For transplanting overgrown nepentes, an orchid substrate or a loose substrate for epiphytes, composed of peat soil, sphagnum and sand (in a ratio of 2: 1: 0.5), is suitable.
The roots of the pitcher during transplantation must be protected from injury.
After transplanting nepentes, its long shoots are cut to a well-developed bud. The growing young shoots are pinched over the 5-6th leaves.
Very weak feeding of nepentes should be carried out monthly during the growth period, from March to October. For this purpose, the universal fertilizer for indoor plants of normal concentration is diluted three times weaker than indicated in the instructions.
When a demanding nepentes falls into the hands of a caring plant collector, he usually places the pitcher in a special humid-warm greenhouse with an imitation of a tropical climate. But there's also a natural, nutritious insect meal for this carnivorous plant to be taken care of!
In the warm and humid climate of Italy, nepentes feels good all year round even without a greenhouse, which greatly simplifies the care of this exotic for flower growers.
Well, the message from the seller in the store that this insectivorous plant eats mosquitoes with pleasure has also become a playful advertisement for beautiful nepentes ...
These amazing phyto-predators of different species and varieties, having a varied configuration and color of jugs, are very popular with Italian plant lovers.
The following types of nepentes are most common as greenhouse and indoor plants:
- Nepentes madagascar (Nepenthes madagascariensis) 30-90 cm high.Large red-brown or crimson winged jugs, up to 20 cm long.
- Nepentes mixed (Nepenthes x mixta) has large to 30 cm long uvshinchiki, swollen, cylindrical. They are yellow-green, covered with red spots inside.
- Nepentes aristolochiform (Nepenthes aristolochioides) has exquisite jugs, very similar to aristolochia flowers.
- Nepentes white-bordered (Nepenthes albomarginata) has very ornate pink and white jugs.
- Nepentes Rafflesa (Nepenthes rafflesiana) is a typical e piphyte. Large leaves 20-30 cm long (sometimes up to half a meter) and up to 10 cm wide. Jugs 10-20 cm long and 7-10 cm wide, light green, The jug is covered with red spots on the outside and stripes inside it is bluish, with red spots.
Nepentes reproduce vegetatively and by seeds.
Cuttings of nepentes are carried out in greenhouses in winter and early spring. Planted in a warm and light substrate (equal shares: leafy earth, sphagnum, charcoal), the apical cuttings of nepentes take root for about 1.5 months.
Nepentes vines also reproduce using cuttings.
Full-fledged nepentes seeds germinate for about 2 months in a mixture of sphagnum and sand.
Elena Kulishenko (Guidonia, Italy)
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Nepentes - insectivorous plants, predatory plants. The life form is different - nepentes can be shrubs and semi-shrubs, lianas with a stem length of 20-30 meters, partial epiphytes. Distributed in the tropics of Asia, on the island of Madagascar, in the Seychelles and the Philippines, in the tropics of Australia and in the Malay Archipelago. Family Nepenthos (Nepenthos) (Nepenthaceae) is monotypic, that is, it consists of 1 genus Nepentes (Nepenthes), which numbers, according to various sources, from 70 to 120 species.
The plant got its name - "nepentes" - in honor of the herb of oblivion nepenthus, mentioned in ancient Greek mythology. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the jugs accumulate fresh, drinkable, so prized in the tropics, rainwater. After drinking water from a jug of nepentes, you certainly won't lose your memory, but you can quench your thirst, especially since one plant can have a lot of jugs, up to 10-30 pieces. Of course, there are many remains from undigested insects at the bottom, but above the water is clean, transparent, it will be enough for 1-2 sips. Hence another name - "hunting cup".
Nepentes leaves of two types - ordinary, alternately located, lanceolate or oblong in shape, and
modified, pitcher... The upper part of these leaves, the upper part in the process of growth, lengthens and transforms into a thin long tendril, with the help of which the nepentes wraps around the branch of the host tree. Then the end of the antennae expands, forming a jug with an umbrella lid. The inside of the jug is covered with bristles - they do not allow an insect to get out, and the edges of the neck are slippery due to the wax coating, which also prevents the insect from escaping. The lid protects the jug from rainwater falling inside, diluting the concentration of the digestive juice. At the bottom of the jug stands out digestive enzyme nyentesin and various acids - the digestive juice of nepentes, which digests the insect in 5-8 hours. Only the chitinous cover remains from the insect, and even then not always, since the nepentes are able to produce an enzyme that breaks down even chitin. To attract insects, nepentes have special nectar glands on the back of the lid and along its edges, and the jugs themselves have a variety of colors. The sizes of jugs, depending on the type of nepentes, are different, they can be tiny, no more than 3 cm long, and gigantic, up to 40 cm or more (some jugs fit the head of an adult freely.
Nepentes is beautiful not only for its jug leaves, but also during flowering. Although it is almost impossible to admire blooming nepentes in indoor conditions, in a warm winter garden or a warm greenhouse it is quite possible. Nepentes has small, petal flowers (the calyx consists of 4 leaves), collected in paniculate inflorescences or brushes.
The following species are widely used as decorative deciduous indoor and greenhouse plants:
Nepentes madagascar (Nepenthes madagascariensis) - a perennial plant 60-90 cm high, has oblong lanceolate leaves, large jugs, 20-25 cm long, winged, crimson in color. There are rather large glands on the lid. Distributed on the island of Madagascar (hence the name), suitable for keeping in warm and humid greenhouses.
Nepentes Raflesi (Nepenthes rafflesiana) - life form - epiphyte. Leaves are oval, lanceolate, 20-50 cm long and up to 10 cm wide.The jug is shaped like a urnchka on a long tendril, the color is light green in red spots and stripes on the outside, the inner surface of the jug is bluish, there are also red spots, the size of the jug is 10 -20 cm long and 7-10 cm in diameter. This type of nepentes is more suitable for keeping in a warm winter garden than in an apartment. Distributed on the islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra, on the Malacca Peninsula.
Nepentes mixed (Nepenthes maxima x Nepenthes northiana) - hybrid, jug large, swollen, cylindrical, up to 30 cm long, the outer color is yellow-green, there are red spots on the inner side.
Winged nepentes (Nepenthes alata Blanco) - the maximum length of its stem can reach 4 meters. The jugs are rather large, 5-8 cm in diameter, similar in shape to a flask, the color is light green with reddish spots. Homeland - Philippines. It is one of the most common Nepentes species in indoor culture.
Nepentes truncated (Nepenthes truncata Macfarl) is an endemic species that grows only on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is found on open mountain slopes at an altitude of 230 to 600 m above sea level, and its varieties are found in the highlands of the island. It features very large jugs, the length of which reaches 50 cm.
Less commonly grown Bottle nepentes (Nepenthes ampullaria Jack), Nepentes double spur (Nepenthes bicalcarata), Nepentes big (Nepenthes maxima) and other types and hybrid decorative forms of nepentes.
In indoor floriculture, green predators, as in natural conditions, need additional nutrition. Predators are fed, as it should be, with protein food. For this, horseflies, flies, cockroaches, spiders, small slugs are suitable.
Active predators (Venus flytrap) are fed using tweezers: carefully bring the insect to the open trap and release it into the trap. As soon as sensitive hairs feel the touch of prey, the trap will instantly slam shut.