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I was wondering if someone could help me with my Nepenthes 'Lady Luck' plant.

I ordered it from a dealer off of Amazon a few months ago. I bought it because it was supposed to do well enough inside a house, without a terrarium.

When it arrived, it looked like it was properly packed. It had a peat moss/dirt around its roots and came with a very small pot and some sphagnum moss to pot it with. I had a 4" pot on hand, so I upgraded the pot size. There were traps that looked healthy when I unboxed it, but I expected to lose them from shock and shipping. I did lose all of them. I currently have it planted in straight sphagnum moss, in a 4" pot. I keep it near a window and under a lamp that I leave on from 6.45am-10.30pm. I keep the sphagnum moss damp. It has dried out on me twice, though. I thought it was still damp, but I felt it, and it was dry.

The plant seems to have done okay, and that's really what I expected. I figured it'd just hang and maybe drop some leaves from shock, then recover and start growing again. It's now been a few months and the plant maintained for a long time. I expect it to start growing again, but now it's loosing more leaves.

I'm watering it with well water and letting the sphagnum moss get damp before watering again. It's currently inside, as I said, under the lamp and by the window, so it should be getting enough light. I live in the upper part of SC, USA, so this summer, I plan to move it outside, slowly, where it can enjoy the hot and super humid climate. Can anyone help me prevent this plant from dying?

I read that with venus flytraps, you can take a weak solution of miracle grow on a q-tip and brush the undersides of the leaves to give it a small fertilizer boost without harming it, can you do that with these, as well? Thanks for the help. I will post answers if you have more questions about my setup.

Here are the pictures I promised: enter image description here enter image description here

I've been referring to it as one plant for simplicity, but there were two shipped to me, and I didn't want to split them when they were already stressed. The leaves you see dying have been healthy for a few months.

  • Good question and detailed description (+1). But you know that we love pictures.... – Stephie Jan 29 '16 at 19:12
  • You're right @Stephie. I'll add pics as soon as I get them. I'm at work and I'll have to take some when I get home and upload them. I don't think I have any when it was fresh out of the box, though. Just how it is now. – Dalton Jan 29 '16 at 19:21
  • Can you clarify what you mean by 'lamp'? Is it a grow lamp or a horticultural LED, or just an ordinary light? Does your plant get sunlight where it is? – Bamboo Jan 30 '16 at 12:19
  • @Bamboo Sorry about that, should have clarified. It gets moderate sunlight all day from a window that's ~3' away. There is a standard CFL bulb, probably in the 5000L range ~18" overhead. I do have some bulbs I picked up in the daylight ranges and will be replacing it with one around 6300L. – Dalton Feb 1 '16 at 15:27
  • what pH is the well water, if it is basic, you may need to use rain water or acidify your water somehow – Grady Player Feb 3 '16 at 3:02
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As it's a CFL bulb, it won't be getting baked because of the low heat output. According to my houseplant book, Nepenthes likes to be constantly moist, but not waterlogged, not just slightly damp, and likes to be surrounded by humid air, so maybe using a pebble tray arrangement, half filled with water with pebbles sticking out for the pot to sit on top of would be useful. It also says they should be watered with rainwater - not sure what's in your well. As you say, you're just trying to nurse it along till it can go outdoors, which is a good thing, because they're not longlived as houseplants. My book also suggests dropping tiny bits of meat or dead flies 'occasionally' into the pitchers, though now you've posted pics, I can see you don't have any pitchers to do this with. I can't find anything which says its okay to do the Q tip thing you mention I'm afraid.

  • I did get a response back from the seller last night and they said they wouldn't mess with the fertilizer, but they might put it inside of a humidity chamber. – Dalton Feb 1 '16 at 15:52
  • If you can, yes, more likely to be a humidity/water issue than not having any feed. – Bamboo Feb 1 '16 at 16:18
  • I guess the easiest thing at this point is to cut a 2liter coke bottle in half and just set it inside and push the top back on. That'll jack the humidity up with little effort until I can move it out into the humid summer. – Dalton Feb 1 '16 at 16:19
  • Yea, the equivalent of a belljar, so either a coke or water container that's wide enough so the foliage isn't touching it. – Bamboo Feb 1 '16 at 16:47
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I know this is an old post, but I was searching for information about this variety of Nepenthes and came across it.

I don't know how your plant is doing right now, but I suspect your well water is the problem. Well water tends to be chock full of minerals and high in TDS (total dissolved solids), which Nepenthes can not tolerate. All carnivorous plants need to be watered with either rainwater or distilled/reverse osmosis. If you have a TDS monitor and can test your well water (or any water source), the water should have no more than 50ppm TDS. Some say up to 100, but I wouldn't risk it, personally. If it's 50 or lower, it is safe to use on carnivorous plants, like Nepenthes.

  • Hey, I do have a TDS. My water tests under 100ppm, but not down to 50. I've been trying to collect rainwater, but it's starting to try and grow algae. I don't know how that would be for the plant. Now that the weather is going to get to cold, I've been meaning to put it outside as I suspect the main culprit is low humidity. It's still growing extremely slowly. – Dalton Jul 5 '16 at 12:34
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Carnivorous plants eat insects and from time to time the miscellaneous rodent, or bird, however feeding it raw meat could be detrimental to your plant. I use distilled water on my plants as even sometimes rainwater may contain chemicals etc. This depends upon the area in which you live. I have great success with distilled water and will continue to use that on my nepenthes collection.).

Remember the insects that plant catch is taking the place of any fertilizer use. Insects are a better form for the plant and so I would definitely stay away from fertilizer. Humidity humidity humidity is the answer you can keep them growing well in Winter however; without humidity they will not picther. I live outside of Chicago and my biggest struggle is making sure my humidity is maintained throughout the winter but yes as soon as summer comes they are outside and grow pitchers with an increase in humidity.

Good luck!

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