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We bought a Nepenthes pitcher plant 3 months ago. It is growing beautifully but not producing any new pitchers (it has two small ones from when we bought it). The new leaves that come out and grow then turn brown on the ends. We live in Northwest Florida, and it is outside on a covered deck getting morning sun. We keep it wet with distilled or rain water and we have repotted it in a hanging coconut liner with sphagnum moss, clean sand and perlite. Any help to be given here? We are perplexed!

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Your problem could be in giving it distilled water, which has a ph of 7.

The pH of rain varies, especially due to its origin. On America's East Coast, rain that is derived from the Atlantic Ocean typically has a pH of 5.0-5.6; rain that comes across the continental from the west has a pH of 3.8-4.8; and local thunderstorms can have a pH as low as 2.0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain

It seems to me this plant needs an acid soil, which you're diluting with the distilled water. Try only rain water and see if that helps. Fresh rain water would be ideal.

  • Thanks...I guess we need to find out the pH of the rain water here on the gulf coast, but since your comment we have been giving it nothing but rain water...Just have to see how that goes... – Karen Jul 17 '13 at 1:34
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Nepenthes is a rainforest plant. It expects hot, humid conditions. Most people who grow them have to use terrariums. I doubt even in Florida you have the humid rainforest-like conditions outdoors. I suspect direct sunlight will not be good either. Rainforests tend to be very shady places.

You may have more luck growing Sarracenia ("Trumpet" Pitcher Plant) which is native to the Eastern US (E.Texas to the Carolinas, and at least as far north as Illinois). Sarracenia is not a creeper though.

The other pitcher plant in captivity is Darlingtonia. Impressive looking but has the reputation of being difficult to grow. (native to N.California/Oregon)

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