Fat plants


Question: how to treat young nepenthes plants?

Thanks to the care you indicated on the site, my nepenthes (sphagnum peat, bark and perlite with demineralized water) is beautiful. I discovered that another plant has just come up about 1cm from the trunk. Do I detach it and let it grow independently in another vase? What do you suggest me? Thanks Diego

Reply: nepenthes accestite

Dear Diego,
It is quite common to see nepenthes accented, or, as with some succulents, nepenthes that rather than a single plant, are made up of several plants that grow close together; in your case, you can try to detach the young plant, and repot it alone, so as to avoid its development going to the detriment of the “mother plant”.
Before removing it, wait for it to be of such dimensions that it can be handled without major problems, to avoid ruining the foliage.
The new plant will have the exact same requirements as the mother plant. Place it in a small pot, as these plants do not produce a root system that requires large containers, and it also seems that too large vessels are not appreciated by all nepenthes.
These plants are native to the tropical areas of Asia and Australia, and I must congratulate you because they are not very simple cultivation; in fact, the climate in the house is always excessively dry, and outdoors the climate is excessively cold.
So they are grown at home in the cold months and outdoors in the warm months, in a very bright position.
To be successful in the cultivation of carnivorous plants there are three basic rules:
1 No fertilizer: carnivorous plants procure the nitrogen they need directly from the prey they capture, digesting them over the course of days. Despite the name, and despite the bad reputation they have made, in fact the carnivorous plants do not feed on large amounts of insects; generally a gnat gives weekly enough nitrogen for about one week of life of a small plant.
If fertilized, these plants perish rapidly, because the excess of Salts in the soil is very harmful.
2 acid soil; Sphagnum peat is used. We avoid universal soil or pre-formed soils, because very often they are fertilized, and therefore ruin the plant, and can even bring it to death.
3 high humidity; all carnivorous plants live in very humid areas; the exotic ones come from the undergrowth of the rainforests, like most orchids; carnivores of European origin, on the other hand, originate from ponds, marshes and wet ponds. So the soil should always be kept fairly wet and cool, and the species that overwinter in the home require frequent spraying, to keep the air humidity high.
Many enthusiasts cultivate these plants in special closed terrariums, so that it is easy to control environmental humidity, amount of light, presence of insects, as is often done also for orchids.