Nepenthes pitcher plant

Hey everyone, so I realized I never shared these but I thought everyone who doesn’t know about these plants would be interested. This plant is a carnivorous plant that eats insects and catches them through their modified leaves referred to as a “pitcher” which is full of liquid that digest the insect that has fallen in. One big reason I wanted to share about this plant is because they can be grown in a bioactive tropical setup and are a awesome way to make a naturalistic setup that really stands out. I have grown these in a setup with dart frogs and they will actually lay eggs within the pitcher and the tadpole develops inside and feeds on the bugs that are inside. In the wild these plants are known as “monkey cups” because it has been documented that some species will drink the fluid out of the pitchers. If anyone is interested I will dissect one of the pitchers to show what it caught and how it looks after they are digested.


This last picture shows a mature pitcher that is fully developed and one next to it that is just starting to grow. Those give you a idea of how much they expand from beginning to end

This is the one of the largest of the over 150 species and has been documented eating rodents and birds. The name “truncata” derives from the truncate manner by which the petiole ends where the tendril exits.

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why dosent the plant eat the frogs eggs? Very interesting thank you for sharing.

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The digestive enzymes take awhile to digest and are fairly weak compared to digestive enzymes in mammals and frogs have a slime coat that protects them. Insects digest fast in these plants because they are fairly fragile and the exoskeleton digest the quickest, but these plants do great as house plants as long as they get enough light and are watered only using rainwater or distilled water. As you can see mine is doing great outside in southern California’s weather.

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Northern California weather or Southern California weather? Or like, middle California weather? California is a big place lol.

Haha thanks for the reminding me to clarify. It’s doing great in southern California’s weather. It’s consistently between 83 and 94 these past few days and does just great in partial shade and a hour or two in direct sun

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I love carnivorous plants! :star_struck: too cool, thanks for sharing!

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Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been looking into getting a nepenthes plant the past few weeks but due to living in the midwest I’m hesitant as some of the places I’ve looked state that they don’t do as well indoors. I am planning however to get a dart frog setup next year and I always figured the pitchers would just digest the frogs, have you ever had a problem with the frogs getting stuck in the pitchers? I’m assuming you just make sure to angle them a bit to make sure they can climb out

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If you want to put nepenthes with darts then I recommend a small species or something with wide tubby pitchers like a ventricosa. They can do awesome indoors with proper lighting like with a full spectrum or LED grow light. Water is also very important! Only water with distilled water or rainwater. Some places have clean water that you can use from tap water but you wont know until you get a water test kit.

I know its cheesy but my first thought was victreebel from pokemon since its based off of these sorta pitcher plants lol. Nice plants though.

Nice ventrata

Monkey cups actually comes from the habit that some monkey species have of cracking the cups open to drink the fluid. Only one species, N. lowii, has the symbiotic relationship and it is with a type of tree shrew:


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The largest species is believed to be N. attenboroughii (though some people still argue N. rajah)
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The name “truncata” derives from the truncate manner by which the petiole ends where the tendril exits. You can see this in the pic, right above the man’s wrist, compared to your ventrata where the petiole gradually merges with the tendril
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Some of them will not do well for you but there are a few species and hybrids that will grow just fine. I would look for N. x ventrata (like Nathan’s) or N. x Mixta. both of which tend to be the mass produced ones that you can pick up from places like garden centers in Home Depot or Lowe’s or vendor tables at expos (not that we will be having those any time soon). To find true species you are more likely going to have to go to a specialty store/website.

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Do you keep any yourself? You seem very knowledgeable as well. I only have a few at the moment but a couple of years back I had alot more. I had several truncata, bicalcarata, ventricosa and others, I’ve always loved these plants.

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Also, isn’t attenboroughii just bigger in terms of girth? I always thought truncata was larger in length. Oh and thanks for the corrections! I’m going to update my info

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Not as much as I used to. When I lived in Atlanta I had an extensive collection, over 600 unique specimens. But a decade ago I moved and pretty much disassembled my entire collection. Most of it went to Atlanta Botanical but a fair number ended up with fellow growers.

Now I pretty much just grow Sarracenia in a bog garden out in the yard. There are some rogue D. intermedia and x hybrida in there too.

I also, until fairly recently, spent 15 years as the US distributor for a very large, well known, CP vendor
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I guess it depends on how we are qualifying. The pitchers on truncata might be taller overall but attenboroughii and rajah are considered to be the largest in terms of sheer volumetric capacity.

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Wow it’s so nice to see that someone else has had these guys, I haven’t found that many people keeping them for some reason. I also used to live in Atlanta before moving to California and kept flytraps in a carnivorous plant garden with some cobra lilies and sundew as well as American pitcher plants. They absolutely thrived when I had them during the summer months and when they were out of hibernation. The main kind of nepenthes I have now are the easy growing ones that can adapt like sanguinia, ventricosa, Ventrata, and a few others.

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CPers tend to be even more weirdly introverted than herpers LOL. I have managed to convert a few keepers over, mostly by sending them scads of plants/seeds out of the blue. It has been an interesting way to make converts.

I was never huge in to Neps even in Atl but I had a monster N. ‘Predator’ and a few other unique species and hybrids. I was more focused on the Iperua/Orchidioides Utrics and the tuberous Aussie and winter-growing S. African Drosera. And of course the Sarrs. I had four giant bogs of those

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You might enjoy this:

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I have noticed @t_h_wyman doesn’t blow his own trumpet maybe as much as he should… So I’m going to do it for him.

@nathan_e I really recommend finding him on Instagram and giving him a follow.
Snakes, plants and cakes… It’s close to heaven.

You’ll notice when I ask a genetics question I always tag Travis, that is because I know I can trust his answers. Sort of going back to a debate on a separate topic about people claiming to be “professionals”, Google his name and you get your evidence.

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Cakes, you say? :kissing::kissing::kissing:

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Thank you my friend, it is much appreciated

Yeah, cakes, cupcakes, scones, pies… I am a bit of an eclectic LOL

I guess I should throw it out for anyone trying to find me, my IG user name is: snakes_n_bakes

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SNAKES AND BAKES :joy: that is gold Trevor.

Those are so varied it’s really like you pulled 2 hobbies from a hat lol.

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