Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Unusual Pitcher Plant

Some plants just seem almost unimaginable or like something out of science fiction. I came across this great and showy specimen of a Pitcher Plant at the wonderful florist that I visit frequently. These oddities need very specific care to survive indoors and one should carefully consider, whether or not, they are able to provide that before buying the carnivorous pitcher plant.

These curious plants are botanically known as Nepenthes,  and natives to the Malay Peninsula and other tropical rainforest areas in the Eastern hemisphere. There are several species of Nepenthes and some of the hybrids are hardier than other.

These unusual plants actually capture small insects in their pitcher by attracting them with the honey glands in its pitcher where they drown in pepsin liquid and are digested. Indoors, you can occasionally put a pinch of raw hamburger in one and they will appreciate that.

They will do best indoors as a hanging basket. The most important factors for success with them are providing ample humidity and warm temperatures. They prefer temperatures above 72° F or 22°C during the day. A greenhouse would be its very best location. A bathroom where more than one shower is taken per day, could work, or a humidifier in the room it lives in would also be helpful. If it could live outdoors in a shady area during the summer months, that would be a great advantage to its success and it can capture some insects.    

To send plants and flowers almost anywhere in the world go to this florist:

Care Instructions for the Pitcher Plant---
  • Bright indirect light or some morning sun. Full afternoon sun is too strong. 
  • Water when the soil is dry about an inch (2-1/2 cm) below the soil line. They should stay on the moist side but not sit wet. It is best to set the pot in a sink, water thoroughly and let drain. 
  • It's prefers as soil media, a mixture of orchid bark, osmunda or fern fiber and spaghnum peat moss. 
  • More humidity than is normal for a home must be provided some way. Misting, humidifiers and bathroom steam all help
  • Prefers warm temperatures
  • Fertilize with fish emulsion or half the recommendation of a liquid fertilizer, four times a year

**To see more indoor plants on this blog, click here: The Indoor Garden blog

***To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below:


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