Home > Monkey Cups Care Guide

Monkey Cups Care Guide

Monkey Cups Care Guide

Growing Nepenthes or Monkey Cup Pitcher Plants

Nepenthes

Nepenthes come in two distinct types, the highland and the lowland. These plants are commonly known as pitcher plants or monkey cups as the tips of some leaves form jug like structures which hold a digestive liquid ready for the unsuspecting prey to fall in to. Generally speaking the lowland types of Nepenthes have larger and more colourful 'pitchers' than the highland species but they require more cultivation than their highland cousins. Typically these plants come from place where the temperature is high as is the humidity level - places like Madagascar, Borneo and Thailand where they grow along side orchids such as Angraecum and tropical amphibians such as Mantella.

You can recreate their natural habitat in a variety of ways including greenhouse growing and large terrariums which look magnificent in the home - and are quite a talking point!

BUY ONE

Nepenthes alata - an easy grown Nepenthes

Highland Type Nepenthes

Nepenthes alata - growing in West Yorkshire UK Temperature

The highland types come as you would expect from high up in the hills surrounding perhaps jungles or other similar terrain. Here the temperature is around 12C - 15C most of the year round and there is usually some form of breeze to keep the air moving. Highland nepenthes therefore can tolerate temperatures of 10C - 15C which is cool to intermediate conditions. They won't be harmed by increasing the heat but they won't like it if it's kept too low and growth will eventually stop. 

Humidity

They require a medium humidity of around 50% - 70% as this is what they would normally get in their native environment, remember the highlander's are subject to light breezes where the moisture in the air is constantly being blown away. You can obtain this humidity by wetting the staging or paths if greenhouse grown or keeping a tray of water in the terrarium. Misting is also a good idea, use clean fresh water with no additives.

This is Nepenthes alata (right) a good plant for Nepenthes beginners

Light

Grow these plants in a light position but out of direct sunlight otherwise the leaves and pitchers may scorch. If grown next to a window some shading must be provided such as net curtains or if in the greenhouse apply some whitewash to the glass.

Compost & Watering

They prefer a fairly open mixture of compost which should consist of 40% medium bark chippings, 30% peat, 20% roughly chopped sphagnum moss and 10% charcoal. The charcoal will help keep the compost 'sweet' and the remainder will provide good drainage as well as offering good moisture retention. These plants like plenty of water and should never be allowed to dry our, they also require good drainage and this is provided by the charcoal and bark chippings. They will not tolerate boggy, wet compost.

Feeding

Feed these plants once a month from May till October with 1/8th strength general purpose fertiliser and flush the pots with fresh water every 6 weeks to remove unused food and to avoid a build up of salts.

A Nepenthes alata pitcher still sealed and with the 'lid' ready to pop in a few days time

Nepenthes Alata pitcher

Lowland Type Nepenthes

 

Temperature & Humidity

The lowland types are truly jungle plants and are subject to temperatures of 16C - 28C all year round, this high temperature in the jungle also creates a corresponding high humidity of between 70% - 90% which is fairly constant. As they live in the thickets of jungles often found climbing up through tree branches and clambering over the undergrowth there is little air movement and so that's why the air is so saturated with water - the steam of the jungle! These plants will NOT tolerate low temperatures and they will die pretty quickly (1 - 2 weeks) if the temperature is too low. 

Light

Grow these plants in a light position but out of direct sunlight otherwise the leaves and pitchers may scorch. Again you should protect these plants with some form of shading to prevent the leaves from being scorched.

Compost & Watering

They require an open moisture retentive potting mix which consists of 40% medium bark chippings, 40% roughly chopped sphagnum moss, 10% peat and 10% charcoal. The extra sphagnum moss will help keep the plants in a damp (but warm) condition as in the wild they would be subject to very wet but well drained conditions.  The lowlanders will not tolerate being dry at the roots for more than a day and the plant will show signs very quickly that it's not happy. Water these plants every couple of days during the growing season to keep the roots damp, they will not tolerate soggy, bog like compost so the drainage is helped by the addition of charcoal and bark chippings.

Feeding

Feed these plants once a month from May till October with 1/8th strength general purpose fertiliser and flush the pots with fresh water every 6 weeks to remove unused food and to avoid a build up of salts. Live food such as waxworms (type of catapillar) can also be purchased here

Growing and buying nepenthes carnivorous pitcher plants

 

640 VISITORS
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sadly we have not yet been able to relocate and the greenhouse is completely full of other plants (orchids)

I will update this news area as soon as we are able to move and re stock but until then we are unfortunately still closed



All news   
ORCHID SPECIES - Species from around the world
EASY ORCHIDS
EASY CACTUS
Latest News RSS Feed
Latest Products RSS Feed
Bestselling Products RSS Feed
Featured Products RSS Feed
Specials RSS Feed
This site uses cookies in order to function. To find out what cookies are and why we need them see our Cookie Policy. If you continue using our site we will assume you consent to this use.
Verified by VISA
HSBC GLOBAL PAYMENTS
Mastercard SecureCode
VISA DEBIT
MASTERCARD
SOLO
MAESTRO
PAYPAL