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Nepenthes care differs based on whether your plant is classified as highland (originating from higher altitudes) or lowland (originating from lower altitudes). This chart provides a handy reference for determining what group your plant falls into. If you bought your plant from a hardware store or general flower show, it is likely either the hybrids Nepenthes x ventrata (often misidentified as N. ventricosa or N. alata) or Nepenthes x miranda. Both of these plants are easy growers and not very particular about temperature, although both plants may ideally prefer conditions intermediate to those of lowlanders and highlanders. 

Where to Grow: Indoors.

Light: Nepenthes should generally be grown indoors, either in a bright windowsill or under artificial lighting. Avoid using incandescent lights, which can produce too much heat. While it is generally difficult to give them too much light from an indoor setup, leaves that turn a bronze or red color is an indication that the plants should be moved farther away from light or that wattage should be reduced. 

Water: Use distilled/rainwater/reverse osmosis water ONLY. That means NO TAP WATER. Unlike other carnivorous plants, avoid setting your plants in trays of water. Water plants from the top and let the water drain through. 

Soil: A wide variety of soil recipes is possible, as long as the soil allows for aeration and good drainage. A good recipe is 1 part long fibered sphagnum moss, 1 part perlite or pumice, and 1 part orchid bark. Make sure all soil ingredients are free of fertilizer. 

Containers: Plastic pots are best. Avoid unglazed terra cotta plants, because they can wick water away from the plants and also leach minerals into the soil.

Feeding: Insects, any size that can fit comfortably into the pitchers, can be placed in the pitchers to feed them. The plants will catch any insects that are living in the house, and feeding is generally not necessary. 

Fertilizing: Beginners should avoid fertilizing Nepenthes, as it is very easy to overfertilize. With experience, orchid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength can be sprayed on the plants every other week. 

Humidity: Nepenthes generally require higher levels of humidity (roughly >50%, with some plants requiring over 80%). With lower humidity, they may survive but the leaves will not produce pitchers. This higher humidity can be achieved using terrariums or some other kind of enclosure. Nepenthes are quite variable in terms of their humidity requirements, so finding out more information about your particular species is recommended. 

Temperature: All Nepenthes appreciate a drop in temperature at night, with some species requiring this temperature drop. Lowland species thrive in daytime temperatures in the 80s-low 90s, with nighttime temperatures in 70s. Highland species appreciate daytime temperatures in the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the high 40s-50s. It can be very difficult to achieve this temperature drop in the mid-Atlantic region, as plants must be grown indoors. Some growers have built their own systems using Peltier elements, or adapted refrigerators and chest freezers to cycle between two temperatures.

Tropical Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes)

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