Re: Amount of light for nepenthes

Eric Schlosser (
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 13:56:21 CET-1CST

Perry Malouf wrote:

> Michael Reeter wrote:
> > Can anyone tell how much light nepenthes should have?
> The healthy amount of light depends on the species.
> > I have my new plants on the back porch where they get
> > direct sun for about 3-4 hours first thing in the morning
> > and then they are shaded by part of the roof the rest of the day.
> > Is this enough sun light?
> This is probably enough. If the plant starts growing
> rather spindly toward the light, then it might benefit
> from more light.
> When I travelled to Borneo, I saw most Nepenthes in the wild
> benefitting from a bit of shade. Rajah, villosa, x kinabaluensis,
> fusca, and reinwardtiana were all growing nicely in full shade.
> Lowii, gracilis, tentaculata, and mirabilis grew in both
> shady and sunny locations, but even in the latter case there
> was some shade from tall grass or young saplings.

NN.ampullaria, bicalcarata, hirsuta, leptochila and maybe a few other
can be considered as true shade loving plants in nature.

Others like NN.rafflesiana and gracilis will take more sun than you
can ever supply, but keep in mind when changing the amount of
irradiation of your plants you have got to adapt them to it. Shade
grown plants will die or at least suffer severely when changed to a
sunny position (sun burn, dehydration).

Highland Nepenthes have to be looked at differently. NN.villosa,
and x kinabaluensis might grow in forests (but rather the open, well
lighted type not higher than 4m) but you have to remember that the
light quality in 2500m to 3000m altitude is definitely different.
They certainly appreciate a lot of light as long as it stays cool.

Not as extreme alpines are N.lowii, fusca, stenophylla, tentaculata,
alata and maybe the majority of the other species. Most Nepenthes
like a lot of sun, but can cope with less and turn into pretty
different phaenotypes. e.g. NN.vieillardii and gymnamphora can be
found in dense mountain forests struggling towards the light as well
as on top of the mountains with little other vegetation roasted into
coarse dwarfs.

For cultivation 3-4 hours of direct morning sun and good
indirect light for the rest of the day sounds perfect for most
Nepenthes to me. For those who have to torture their plants with
artificial light I should think roughly 50W/sqm (two 32W fluorescent
bulbs for 1.5sqm 30-40cm from the plant tips) is the minimum.
Your plants will indicate if they like the amount of light they get
by showing nice growth and colours. If they start elongated,
rather green growth they wish their illumination carefully to be


Fernando Rivadavia wrote:

> Last night I saw another program on the Discovery Channel on the
> Roraima Highlands. That's the 3rd in about a week! This one was on
> Auyan Tepui and was apparently made for German TV. Unfortunately,
> CPs were shown really briefly. Yet they did something most never do.

> They showed traps of U.humboldtii up close. They didn't really show
> the plants as a whole though, only a guy removing a stolon from a
> Vriesia. Then they showed B.reducta and did a cool take where the
> viewer was taken on a dive into the tube down to the dead insect
> mass at the bottom. No Drosera nor Heliamphora were shown, though
> that 'Jorge' who was studying the insects trapped by Heliamphora in
> the Mt.Cuquenam/Mt.Roraima program was there again.
> Unfortunately, I got the program on the go once again, when they
> were in a helicopter apparently just reaching the top, and thus
> don't know how much I missed. Most of the program was devoted to
> their futile search of aquatic "dinosaurs" spotted in a lagoon by
> one of the team's wacky members, who interrupted the other's plant
> researches all of a sudden, screaming that he'd just seen 4 of these
> "dinosaurs".

I've seen this film on TV too, maybe six years ago. It is a two part
production and the part without strange water insects and dinosaurs
is the one that shows more CP's, mostly H.minor (and Brocchinea) as
far as I remember.
This production is very close to a book that was published around the
same time with the same (or similar) title: "Islands in time".
The films as well as the book (by Uwe George) are both GEO
productions and can be highly recommended for their exceptional
beautiful pictures. The CP's are only a part of it but they steal
into many pictures because they seem to appear almost everywhere on
top of the Tepuis. Therefore you can, if you like, regard the book
being written on CP or at least the home of CP's entirely.
In the book you can find shots of some strange Heliamphora too
that might or do represent yet undescribed species.
The book is however out of print already, but you might find it in
one or the other library.

Good luck.

Eric Schlosser