Nepenthes Alata \ Pitcher Plant
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About Nepenthes Alata
- Nepenthes "Alata" are a vining plant - they grow till you trim them.
- Nepenthes "Alata" is a hybrid plant developed to be easy to care for. It’s genetics come from South East Asia.
- Our Nepenthes "Alata" are grown in a high quality, nutrient free, custom blended potting mix (Bergers).
- Our Nepenthes "Alata" ship in plastic, 6” hanging pots. Pot and hanger strap is included. Pots are either white or green.
- Size of our Nepenthes "Alata" ranges 10” - 24” (ten to twenty four inch) vines. Nepenthes "Alata" can reach lengths of 8’ (eight feet) or more, with 14” (fourteen inch) leafs and 8” (eight inch) traps.
- Nepenthes "Alata" are somewhat mineral sensitive. Most water is fine. If you use tap water and your plant starts to yellow noticeably, switch to rain or distilled water.
- Nepenthes "Alata" require lots of filtered light.
- If your Nepenthes "Alata" breaks loose from its soil during shipping, while unfortunate, it will not effect the plant.
- To the best of our knowledge, Nepenthes "Alata" are non toxic.
Nepenthes "Alata" are hands down my favorite plants. You get an easy to grow, beautiful foliage plant, that flowers AND EATS INSECTS! I find the traps (pitchers) extraordinarily beautiful and the plant as a whole super easy to care for. No need to worry about over watering - you can water these babies twice a day and they would thank you for it! I usually water mine every day to every other day minimum.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ORDERED?
When received, remove any paper, plastic and tape as gently as possible. Cutting the plastic sleeve is usually the easiest way. Once free of the packaging, water your nepenthes THOROUGHLY. This means water the potting mix until water comes from the drain hole - and then water it some more. You also need to fill each trap (pitcher) half full of water. Hang, or place the plant on a pedestal so the traps change free, in an area with plenty of filtered light.
Water your Nepenthes thoroughly when you receive it and every day to every other day afterwards. Check each trap for water once a week. Each trap should be half full - or they may fail prematurely.
If grown indoors - water the plant in your shower, let it drip dry, then put it back wherever you grow it.
WATER SOFTENER NOTICE
Never water plants with softened water. Water softeners use salt, and this can kill many plants very quickly - others over time.
IN general, nepenthes potting mixes should NEVER be fertilized. If you fertilize the potting mix of a nepenthes (or repot it in a mix that contains fertilizer - most pre-made mixes do), the nepenthes will stop producing traps and will drop those that it had until it has used up the fertilizer in the potting mix.
Fertilizer Exception. If your plant just doesn't seem vibrant, you can try adding a teaspoon of blood meal to the substrate. Loosen up the top two inches of potting mix, then sprinkle the blood meal into the mix. Water thoroughly. I suggest blood meal because it contains only nitrogen (for this conversation). Nitrogen seems to encourage growth - with minimal trap loss. BE VERY SPARING if you try this. A little goes a long way.
If grown indoors - you may feed the plant by placing fresh insects in each pitcher (one per pitcher is plenty) OR you may use Osmocote.
Osmocote is a pelletized fertilizer. Drop one pellet in each pitcher per month. Check first before adding more. If you can still see the old pellet - don’t add another until its dissolved completely.
Nepenthes "Alata" prefer filtered light - and lots of it. Too much direct sun and the leafs will yellow then redden. Not enough light and the leafs will turn dark green and the plant will drop it’s traps (pitchers).
TRAPS OR PITCHERS
Your Nepenthes "Alata" will come with several mature traps and several new ones on their way. These plants do loose traps as they age. Traps generally brown from the lid back. Once a trap browns, you may cut it off or leave it be - it’s an aesthetic choice only. Once a trap fails, it’s parent leaf will never make a new one.
Environment and care does have a hand in this, but pitchers (traps) also simply expire over time. Natural die back of a pitcher always begins at the lid and works it's way down. This is so the plant can get all the nutrients it can from the trap before it is gone completely.
All new leafs CAN produce new pitchers. It doesn't mean the pitcher will survive to maturity. Once a pitcher dies, it's host leaf will not make another.
Your plant will have a period of adjustment. Give it a few months to settle and get used to it's new home.
It is fine to both trim your Nepenthes "Alata" or to leave it grow. It’s an aesthetic choice only. We keep our plants for sale trimmed, so they fit nicely in the package. The plants we keep for ourselves, we let grow wild. I have some that are longer than 6’!
Long answer; if you want to repot, use a blend of high quality ground peat, horticultural charcoal, medium perlite. and a sprinkle of blood meal. If I was mixing up a batch for an 8" pot, I'd fill the pot with the ground peat, then empty that into a bucket. Add a hand full of charcoal and half a hand full of perlite. To that add 2 tsp. of blood meal. Mix with your hands thoroughly.
Repot in one to one and a half years from plant receipt.
1. Trim the nepenthese as you see fit. This makes it easier to handle. You can also tie the vines together if that helps.
2. Squeeze the plastic pot to loosen the root ball, then gently Pull the entire root ball out of the plastic pot.
3. If substrate falls off easily - go ahead and remove it. Otherwise, leave the ball intact.
4. Add a few inches of the new potting mix to the bottom of the new pot and then set the root ball in the middle of teh pot on top of the potting mix you just added.
5. Adjust the height of the plant by removing or adding potting mix under the root ball.
6. When you have the proper height (we use 1/2 to 1" below the pot lip) then GENTLY fill in around the root ball with the new mix. Don't pack it in with force. JUST enough to keep the plant in place.
7. Add the pot hanger by clipping the connectors onto the pot lip. Use the holes in the pot lip for placement. If the plant is long and doesn't want to stay put after step 6, you can use zip ties to attach the plant to the pot hanger - keeping it in place.
8. Water thoroughly - then every day for several weeks. Roots begin to grow in a month or two. You will notice the plant feels more secure in the pot. When that happens, you can either continue every day watering - or cut back to every other day.