Outdoor growing of Nepenthes

From: Mark Pogany (markp@en.com)
Date: Sun Mar 14 1999 - 13:55:25 PST

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 16:55:25 -0500
From: "Mark Pogany" <markp@en.com>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg829$foo@default>
Subject: Outdoor growing of Nepenthes

Wilson wrote:

My name is Wilson.
I just started growing CP about a year ago. I live in Antioch,
California, and successfully keep some pitcher plants and sundews

I wonder if it's possible for me to grow nepenthes outdoor in my area
without any complicated set up. In my area, the summer is very dry and
hot (above 100F in the hottest summer days). And in winter, it's rainy
and can drop down to 20-30 F. Any suggestion?

First off- welcome to the list. Glad to have you on board!

Nepenthes usually require above average humidity to pitcher. I'm not sure
that your particular climate would be suited to their requirements without
the aid of some kind of structure that protects the plants from dry winds
and low temps. Two species and one hybrid that I grow ( N. khasiana, N.
alata, and N. ventricosa) can take low temperatures temporarily, that is to
say anything above 30f or so, if the plants are well established and
protected from the wind and wild temperature fluctuations. As a general rule
the highlanders are much more hardy and grow best when conditions are humid
and cool ( 55-75f). Lowlanders need warmer conditions year-round, growing
best between 65-90f with humid conditions as well.

Out of all the Nepenthes I grow the three above have turned out to be the
hardiest. Two weeks back my gas heater in the coolhouse went out when
outdoor nighttime temperatures fell to 0f. The max/min thermometer inside
recorded a low of 28f. The three were unaffected.

You might want to try rigging up a coldframe made out of wood and poly
sheeting in a shaded area. These work great for all the temperate CPs most
of the year, though in my climate I have to bring 'em in when temperatures
fall below 20f. Nepenthes may be problematical here. Experiment with only a
plant that you can spare. The trick is to provide adequate ventilation,
ample light, elevated humidity, and protection from drying wind. Remember
that a well established nep that has been properly hardened-off for several
months will fare better than a specimen plucked from a 90% humidity tank
under grow lights.

Mark Pogany
Cleveland, Ohio

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