Nepenthes-Tropical Pitcher Plants, Monkey Cups

Nepenthes are native primarily to the Malaysian region, India and Australia. They form wonderful hanging pitchers that are sure to attract attention. Some are vines while others form rosettes. Most make two or more types of pitchers:lower pitchers are often more rotund and arise from stems closer to the ground, upper pitchers are often more slender, small and arise from climbing stems which are farther from the roots. Upper pitchers usually have a tendril that wraps around branches, etc. before forming the pitcher; this is one way Nepenthes can climb into/above surrounding vegetation.They can be grown in a greenhouse, sun room, partly sunny window, or under lights. Our care sheet explains different methods of providing the high humidity that Nepenthes need.


N.alata, Large pitchered form - Native to the Phillipines, this clone's pitchers can reach 7 inches, possibly more on a mature plant. The lower pitchers are the largest and can get quite red in bright light (photo). This is an easy to grow species that can be pruned as desired or left to form long vines. Tolerant of warm or cool conditions.

N. burbidgeae - also known as the painted pitcher for its beautifully splashed pitchers with an often striped peristome (photo). Needs cool nights (55-67°F) to pitcher well and seems to be one of the more tolerant of the highland species. Eventually gets very large with pitchers the size of grapefruit. Quite rare in cultivation. We have established large populations of seedlings in the nursery.

N. edwardsiana - Considered by many the "Holy Grail" of Nepenthes. Stunning, red, burnt orange, elongated pitchers are decorated with large peristome "teeth" (photo). Unlike tissue culture, our "eddies" are painstakingly grown from seed. No two are identical. Right now, we are auctioning off one of our larger seedlings. The auction ends Oct. 23, 2022.

N. eymae - Also known as N. eymai or N. infundibuliformis. An outstanding species which makes very different looking upper and lower pitchers. Our clone makes large lower, basal pitchers to 9 inches tall with a coppery, wide peristome and coppery red spots (photo). These are generally produced as the plant gets older. The upper pitchers are about 3-4 inches tall, light green and shaped like a funnel. The vine can easily get several yards long if let to run rampant, but responds well to pruning.

N. fusca - A fine terrarium grower with long cylindrical pitchers in a variety of colors. The lid on mature plants is small and triangular (photo). Prefers cool nights but is quite tolerant.

N. gracilis - Dusky This color form makes very dark, brown-red lower pitchers with a pale green interior, very attractive. The upper pitchers are light green, usually with much less red (photo). A large number of varieties occur with this species.

N. khasiana - Perhaps the hardiest species and a good beginner's choice with variable, red-spotted pitchers reaching seven inches or more (photo). This is one of the easier Nepenthes to grow and tolerates temperatures from 38°-105°F. This species is on the CITES list of endangered plants. It is native to India. Ours are 100% nursery propagated from seeds and cuttings. The vines can get huge, if allowed to. We prefer to keep the vines pruned back to 24 inches or less, encouraging more branching and basal growth.

N. rafflesiana - This widespread species is from Borneo, parts of Malaysia and Sumatra. It appreciates warm conditions and often makes its best growth during summer. The pitchers are characterized by having a "neck" where the lip (peristome) rises to the lid, giving the pitchers a very open look. Typically, the lower pitchers are fat and bulbous. In most forms, these are about 5 inches tall (giant forms can be nearly a foot tall.) Rosettes with lower pitchers eventually form vines with slender upper pitchers. Colors vary wildly (photo).

N. sanguinea - Genting Highlands Form - makes cylindrical pitchers reaching 6+ inches tall. Many color forms exist. This clone produces pitchers that are green to red with purplish interior spots and stripes on the peristome. Young plants are greener; older plants make the best red color in cool bright weather, such as late winter–early spring (photo). These can live happily in a terrarium for years but will outgrow a small terrarium unless pruned or trained horizontally. This species will tolerate cool (55°F) nights. Larger plants look good trained up a stick so the long pitchers can dangle elegantly.

N. stenophylla - For years, we’ve been pampering this colorful species from slow-growing seed. Though reasonably tolerant of temperatures (50°–98°F), it grows best with cooler days (75°–85°F). Pitchers reach about 6 inches tall, are mostly cylindrical and beautifully marked with red stripes on the peristome and red speckling on the pitcher.

N. ventricosa -is another good species for terrariums that is tolerant of household temperatures.This is a compact grower, producing less vining growth. Native to the Philippines. The leaves are smooth and light green with fat, pitchers colored by pink to red spots and zones (photo). The mouth of the pitcher is large and rather open, and showy.

Hybrid Nepenthes

N. 'Ile de France'- a very beautiful hybrid with purple-red stripes on a wide peristome (lip). The pitchers are green with variable red dusting on the upper half; these are mostly squat-cylindrical and average about 5-6 inches tall on established plants (photo). Originally from France, this dazzling hybrid is a medium sized grower that prefers warmer temperatures.

N. 'Williamsii'- produces lovely, dark red pitchers that are about 3-4 inches tall. The lid is often tilted upward, displaying dark spots on a pale green background. The peristome is fattened and can be green with red stripes or nearly all red (photo). Less vine growth than many Nepenthes and a great hanging-basket subject in greenhouses or other humid environments. A fairly hardy plant, preferring warm temperatures, but is quite tolerant of cool periods. An old and well-loved hybrid.

Return to Home, Go to: Sarracenia, Sundews, Heliamphora, Venus's Flytrap, Botanical Gems