Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nepenthes ×ventrata in the dish rack

I'm not that big on Nepenthes. I mean, I can appreciate a beautiful specimen as well as the next guy, but it's just not the genus I'm interested in growing. However, some time back someone was giving away rooted Nepenthes ×ventrata cuttings and well then I had this plant that I a) didn't really know how to care for and b) didn't care to do too much research about.

I planted it in a mix of LFS and perlite and stuck near a window in my kitchen. The vine produced one pitcher, then a basal, and then the basal started producing pitchers. One of the tendrils found its way into my dish rack and set up shop.

Nepenthes ×ventrata.
All set up.
The tendril is actually formed to the rack – there's a little crook that lets it prop itself up on the edge. We haven't had the heart to move it, and now I guess we've just got to be careful when doing dishes for the next couple months.

The plant seems to be fairly happy here at least. There's another pitcher developing from the basal.

Nepenthes ×ventrata.
I like watching the pitchers swell.
As well this guy, which I would call an upper pitcher if I knew enough about Nepenthes to say such things with certainty.

Nepenthes ×ventrata.
It adds a bit of color to the grey and white kitchen area.
The plant is definitely a bit scraggly, but I don't mind. It's not too needy, and it's pitchering, so I'm gonna call it a success.

Nepenthes ×ventrata.
Looking romantic in the dappled sun. Hah.
In other pitcher news, I took a trip to California Carnivores and picked up a couple new plants for my outdoor lagoons – Drosera filiformis and Sarracenia 'Red Bug'.

Drosera filiformis and Sarracenia 'Red Bug'
My first temperate sundew!
By the way, a couple weeks after I set these lagoons up I noticed that they were absolute overrun with mosquito larvae. Since I didn't want my Sarracenia setup to be the source of a West Nile outbreak, I got some Gambusia (mosquito fish) and released them into the ponds. I haven't seen a larva in weeks. And the fish seem happy enough.

Gambusia (mosquito fish) in the Sarracenia lagoons.
Swimming around as happy as you please.
They're hard to see in a photo, but when I'm out looking at the plants they swim around. It's pretty cute!


  1. Very cool update! I too have a N. x ventrata that seems to do well wherever I put it, and tolerates some degree of neglect. I've also had some good luck taking and rooting cuttings. It is awesome to see you take such a natural approach to controlling the mosquito problem. I wonder if the fish wastes will provide the plants with trace amounts of very dilute (but helpful) fertilizer. If you have room in/around the lagoons you might also consider planting non-carnivorous varieties of plants that are known to have mosquito repellent properties. If you put them IN the lagoon they'd have to somehow be placed on top of something so as to not be subjected to such soggy conditions.

  2. I bought one ventrata 5 years ago. I have started 8 new plants from that mother plant! Grows like a weed for me!