Help Rooting Pitcher Plant Cuttings

puglvr1(9b central FL)November 13, 2013

Hi, I am very new to these plants and was hoping someone can tell me if the way I'm going to root these pitcher plant cuttings is okay or if there's a better way? I was given 3 nice cuttings and I added some rooting hormone on the cut ends and placed the cuttings in a container filled with Hyrdroton see link below (fired clay pellets) and filled it up with a very diluted kelp/water solution...I placed the pot in an aquarium for added humidity and will add some light for several hours in the evening...I was going to spray the leaves every other day for added humidity as this method okay?

I'm thinking 6-8 weeks for roots to form, unless they rot first :o(

Thanks for any comments, advise and help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydroton

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Cuttings root very easily BUT, do it in a 50/50 mix of peat moss and perlite. NO WATER TRAY. Keep damp, not soggy.

I select cuttings with at least 3-4 leaves and cut off the bottom leaf or 2 and stick in the mix burying at least one leaf node.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 2:49PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

No tap water or fertilizer. Very bad for these plants.

Use only distilled or rain water.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 2:52PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Tommyr and Dellis...I can make a 50/50 potting soil tht has peat moss in it and I can add half perlite. Do I need to put it in a covered and lighted aquarium? The room I'm planning on rooting it in will Or just set it on top of a Plant shelf uncovered without additional light?

Tommy, did you cut half of the stems on your cuttings? I read where some suggested you do this but didn't want to unless I really should? I know to remove the pitchers which I did ...Thanks!

Rain water I I'll make sure and use that...


This post was edited by puglvr1 on Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 16:57

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 4:38PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Nepenthes will grow fine in hydroton, you can leave it in there. Most species don't grow in soil at all, in fact the nutrient levels in most soils, even unfortified soils, would damage the roots of these plants.

Don't ever use potting soil with these either. Aside from hydroton, they grow fine in sphagnum moss (long fibered, alive or dead) or peat moss, alone or mixed with perlite.

In Hydroton and sphagnum moss you can leave it sitting in water all the time, just change the water once a month or so.

Basic guidelines;
* Low or no nutrients in the growing media
* Mineral free water (distilled, RO, rainwater)
* Bright Light, indirect mostly but a little bit of direct sun is ok
* High humidity, as high as you can provide, will lose the pitchers if your house isn't humid enough.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:07PM
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No terrarium needed. Bright, indirect Sun or lights. You COULD cut the leaves in half but I've never done it. Mine root fine. I find humidity not to be a big issue, mine are in 30-60% all year. Lower this time of year, about 30-40%.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:28PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I will try to root it in Hydroton and eventually pot it up in the 50/50 mix that Tommyr suggested "if" and when it roots...I plan on growing it outside under a shaded tree...I don't do well with S/H long term and I don't have any long fiber sphagnum moss or Peat moss right now Hydroton will be the experiment,lol...

How low can these plant take in the winter? After its rooted and established that is...Thanks!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Hey! I have just been thinking about making a post about this myself!!!
I have a Nepenthes plant and my husband knocked it off, one large piece broke! Well I didn't know and I put it in water to root. It took FOREVER! But finally after 2-3 months! I now have roots. I was wondering how most people did this.

I think you will love this plant! I grow mine outside during summer and it grows like a weed! Lol


    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 9:20PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Tommy4, just now saw your post, I see by the time post we were posting about the same time,lol...Okay I'll put it in bright indirect light, without a terrarium.

Thanks Teisa! good to hear they rooted eventually...3 months is a long time to root,lol...I hope it doesn't take that much time for me? I'm looking forward to growing one of you bring yours in before frost or do you do it much sooner when the temps hit around the 50 degree mark?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Well, I brought mine in at the 50 degree with my Hoyas. And it didn't miss a beat. So it seems a pretty easy plant. Now after my larger pitchers started dieing off, it has produced several about 1/2 the size of the ones it came with.
I'm thinking that is because I've not really hit it too hard with fertilizer.
From what Ive read, they do like fertilizer pretty good. Someone suggested orchid fert. Which is what I had and have lightly used. HTH!

I've got a picture ill see if I can find...Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 5:14AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Teisa, that helps a lot. Not that I have to worry about it until next winter,lol..."IF" it roots at all? I'd love to see a picture of yours...

Paul, thanks for that link you sent me as well :o)...appreciate it!

This post was edited by puglvr1 on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 14:51

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:12PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Do you know which type?? There are many species as well as hybrids but they all have around the same growing conditions except for the cool growers.. I grow 3 kinds but all are in pots . trying to get some cuttings to climb a tree in the garden but too early for results lol good luck gary

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 5:03AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good luck, Nancy!
I've never tried these...but my grandpa has lots growing outdoors hanging from trees in Hawaii.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Here is a picture when I bought it about 4 months ago. The leaves have gotten alot longer on the top but Ive lost all but 4 pictures.

Maybe someone here can tell us how they get it to re-picture. I was so excited it finally rooted. I've been wondering how people rooted them. Mine was taking soo long.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 4:44PM
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They slow down to nearly a stop at pitcher making from fall through Winter. You MAY get one now and then IF given enough bright light. I root my cutting in a 50/50 mix of perlite and Peat moss. Keep moist, not soggy.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:09PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Gary, not sure what the exact name is but it looks exactly like Tiesa's plant that she posted.

Teisa, thanks for posting your picture, yours looks great! Is yours growing in the mix like Tommyr 50/50 peat moss and perlite or pure Sphagnum moss (long fiber type)?

Gosh, thanks! I have no doubt these plant grow like crazy in Hawaii :o)

Tommyr, thanks for the info, it will be a long wait to see if these root unless of course they rot then I'll know right away lol

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:10AM
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Tommy, thanks for you info on them.

Nancy, mine is still in the original potting mix. i believe it is Sphagnum moss. I took a recent photo to show you how fast they grow. I bought mine end of July and it has just doubled in size. Im sure I will need to pot it up in Spring. I too thought that your cuttings looked same as mine.:)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 4:47PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Teisa, looking really good!!

So, here's an update. Unfortunately 2 months later I checked to see there are any roots and the stems on both cuttings are I cut off all that black stuff and I've started to root them again...its SO disappointing to have to start all over. What I cannot believe is the fact that the cuttings looks SO healthy!!

This picture I took a little while would never have guessed it had black stems a few days ago and not a single root,lol...It looks very healthy though!

Its rooting in Clay (Hydroton) pellets...I still don't have any potting mix without any fertilizer or sphagnum moss :o( I think the root tone I added may have caused the black rot? I'm not adding any rooting hormone this time around

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Rooting hormone is NOT needed to root these. They're very easy to root.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:00AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Tommy, apparently, its easy to root for every body but me,lol...

One website said to use rooting hormone that's why I used it :o(

Hopefully, this time around it will take?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Well you said you were using Clay (Hydroton) pellets. The cuttings aren't staying moist enough it sounds like to me. You need to maybe mix in a nice hanful of at least long fibered Sphag moss until you can get good perlite and peat moss.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 2:20PM
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Hey Nancy!

It's beautiful!
It's a funny thing...I am just finding out that certain plants don't like humid conditions in my greenhouse, which probably holds true for that one too..At least to root any ways...
I hope it does well for you..It's lucky to have you:-)


    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 6:15PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Mike!! I've switched it over to peat/ we wait :o)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:45AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I've used rooting hormone with no issue, Tommy. When using rooting hormone with most plant cuttings, it seems to be best to just have a light dusting on the cutting.

Nancy, I would agree with Tommy that the problem may be that the hydroton might not be staying moist enough. You might try taking one of the cuttings out of the pot, repotting it in the same type of set up BUT then bag it -- pot and all -- in a clear plastic bag. The bag will keep the humidity high. Open the bag once every week or two to check on water and to refresh the air. Keep the bagged potted cutting in a warm (temps in the 70s) brightly lit (but no direct sun) location.

It can make a difference whether your Nep is a highland, intermediate, or lowland plant. This pertains both to rooting and general growing culture.

Many Neps look very similar if not identical -- especially if only looking at their foliage. The pitchers are where differences -- sometimes very distinct, sometime extremely subtle -- are seen. Those differences are what is often used to get a rough ID of NoID neps. Unfortunately this ID process is made even more challenging by the fact that pitcher form on a particular plant often changes substantially from the pitchers of a young/juvenile plant and those of an older plant (typically referred to by hobbyists as lower and upper pitchers). Best bet would be to contact the seller and see if they know what they sold you.

Mike, neps do very well with humid conditions -- dry conditions do them in. Temperature can play a huge role with neps, though, as highlanders verse lowlanders have very different temperature needs. That is why if you are buying a nep, you should inquire whether it is a highland, intermediate, or lowland nep. If the seller does not know, don't by from them. (Unless it is so super cheap that you won't mind it dying if it turns out to need different conditions than you can provide.)

Nepenthes can also be grown in orchid bark mix or coconut husk chunk mix. HOWEVER, as you'll be growing it in Florida, I can't vouch for any mix suggestions like mine or Tommy's. Your conditions, Nancy, are simply so radically different than ours.

And don't feel too bad, Nancy, I found that even from the same plant in the same media, some cuttings would root easily, others refused.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:15PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hello everyone!! Just wanted to update this thread...almost 11 months later apparently its finally rooted and growing...and for the first time it has pitchers!! I'm very excited and just wanted to share...Thanks for all your great advise :o)

Oh quick should I repot now or wait till spring? Its in a 5" pot and that pot is placed into a 6" hanging basket right now...also what temps do I need to bring this inside...its been living outside since April...thanks!!

This post was edited by puglvr1 on Mon, Oct 6, 14 at 11:45

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Congrabulations! I'd bring it in when temps get down to mid to low 50's.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 12:58PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Looking awesome there, Nancy!

I'm not too adept at IDing neps, but I wonder if that is perhaps a ventricosa hybrid? Any idea, Tommy?

Nancy, in all likelihood, you will be fine just leaving it in that pot for a while. Neps don't seem to develop a very substantial root system even on large plants. If it gets too large for you, you can always send a chunk my way. heh

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 2:38PM
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No Kidding Paul!

I'm guessing you'd put it in your big terrarium?

A cutting would look great in there,wouldn't you agree? =)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 3:05PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks for all your help and advise Tommy and Paul...

Paul, sent you an email through GW...hope you got it...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2014 at 7:23AM
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