The main stronghold of Nepenthes or monkey cups as they are commonly
known is South East Asia, particularly the Islands of Borneo, Sumatra and the Philipines. The habitat of these species includes tropical lowland swamp to mountainous cloud forests. Nepenthes are grown mainly for their unusual pitchers (cups) which are modified leaves and come in all shapes and sizes, their flowers are quite insignificant. Monkey cups grow well in a variety of compost mixes also available on this site. For more info and images of plants we have available now or to order with our next shipment please see: http://www.borneoexotics.com/files/availability.pdf
For cultivation purposes, Nepenthes are divided into two groups, highland and lowland varieties. Highland require a nighttime min temp of around 10-12oC and day around 21oC. Lowland species need a minimum night-time temperature of around 14oC with a daytime temp of 22-25oC. All, however, require humidity at around 60% to 80% for the best results, making a greenhouse or terrarium ideal for these plants. Never stand these plants in deep trays of water, they are best grown in pots or hanging baskets watering from above and only keep the compost wet so water once every couple of days which is very similar to some orchid species and they will benefit from the light foliar feed with SB plant invigorator available on the website.
Nepenthes do well in a bright position or in light shade try to avoid the direct full sun as this can scorch the leaves. If kept in a greenhouse 50% shade cloth will be required throughout the summer months.
We give our nepenthes a foliar feed by way of a light spray with foliage pro or SB plant invigorator once every two weeks year-round with good results, best not to exceed this as too much feed can make the plants lazy and produce fewer pitchers, always best to underfeed!
If you are planning on growing a large collection of these unusual plants in a heated greenhouse it may be worth investing in a humidifier to give the plants optimum growing conditions we stock both the HR15 and HR50 hydro foggers on our website.
If you would like to try nepenthes in the home the ideal position would be a kitchen or bathroom windowsill, also a heated conservatory would be ideal. Plants which seem to do well in the home are usually the hybrids of which there are many. N. x Ventrata and N. Sanguinea both seem to do very well indoors.
Our COM4 or COM7 is ideal for re-potting these plants, the best time of the year being March to May. When re-potting be very careful teasing away the old compost from the roots of the plant as they are extremely brittle and damage easily, also when adding the new compost never pack too tightly around the plant and roots, just be gentle with them. A mixture of medium grade pine bark, perlite and long fibre sphagnum moss has been found to be a good growing medium all available on our website.
Propagation from stem cuttings in early spring or from seed which must be fresh and sown on to a mixture of peat and sharp sand. When large enough to handle the transfer to the above-recommended medium, a heated propagator is essential for striking cuttings and for good seed germination.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Always use rainwater and make sure it's not ice cold in the winter
Keep the compost just damp not soaking wet
A bright humid position is best for these plants, very hot and dry conditions are really not suitable
Light foliar spray with feed once every two weeks can help produce strong healthy plants
Cut climbing stems back once every two years if required