Whether your pitcher plant is from the temperate swamps of North America or a tropical rainforest, exotic pitcher plants aren’t much different than houseplants because pitcher plants also need re-potting on occasion. They’re all relatively easy to keep and will thrive for years. How to repot a pitcher plant ?
Why do i need to repot my Nepenthes
Nepenthes usually have relatively small/shallow root systems, so they only tend to get root bound in smaller pots. That said, soil does compact, get old, and start to decompose. This can result in too much moisture retention, and a lack of soil aeration encourages unhealthy bacteria and can stunt or rot roots. A fresh batch of soil is like a new pair of running shoes – comfortable, odorless, and encouraging of healthy behaviors.
It’s wobbly, pale and has stopped growing
Roots have started to grow out of the drainage holes in the bottom
It’s nose-heavy and easily falls down
Water runs straight through the pot when watering it – without really making the soil wet
Also, once weeds grab hold in a growing area, it can be near-impossible to get rid of them all. Sometimes a soil reset is the easiest way to weed.
If you have weeds, your soil has compacted, or the signs of decomposition are apparent (dark soil that turns to mush when you press it between your fingers), it’s time to re-pot that Nepenthes!
When should I repot my carnivorous plants?
Over time, the potting medium can become compacted which makes it difficult for the plant to grow new roots. While Venus flytraps don’t mind being repotted during most times of the year, it is best to repot them during the spring or early summer as this is when they come out of their winter dormancy.
What type of soil does a pitcher plant need?
Potted pitcher plants need to be in well-drained soils. Nepenthes potting mix use any type of pot for indoor plants and provide a low fertility mixture in which the plants will grow. For instance, the potted pitcher plant thrives in a mixture of peat moss, bark and vermiculite.
The pot size is important
When picking out a new pot, think about using one that’s only slightly bigger than the last one. About 1”-2” larger is a good rule of thumb. If you pick a pot that’s too large, there’s a risk that the new compost won’t be able to dry up quickly enough between waterings, which might cause your plant to suffocate in the wet compost.
How to Pot and Repot a Pitcher Plant
Pitcher plants can stay in the same pot for many months or even years without trouble, however, repotting provides many benefits.
Follow the steps below to pot or repot your Pitcher plant:
Repot your Nepenthes when you plant outgrows the container, the soil looks compressed and mushy, or when it has been 1-2 years since the last repot. Fresh potting media encourages growth and prevents health issues such as rotting and mold.
- Gather carnivorous plant soil, a pot, and pure water.
- Moisten the soil in your Pitcher plant by watering it.
- Use your hands to loosen up the media in the edges of the pot.
- Gently, pull the plant and the soil out of the container.
- Employ some pure water to remove as much of the potting media as possible. For best results, try to remove most of the old media.
- Trim any dead leaves, roots, or foliage. Bare root plants are easy to trim.
- Prepare the new soil by moistening it ahead of time with pure water.
- If you employ peat moss, place the humid moss in the pot, make a hole in the soil and insert the plant. If you use sphagnum moss, grab a chunk of moss and surround the roots with it, then insert it all into the pot.
- Water the pot from the top to set the soil.
- Palpate the soil and look for any air gaps. If necessary, add more potting media. The ground must be set in place but should not be compacted.
- Pay extra attention to your plant in the next 1-3 weeks as it might be down due to the shock of the repotting.
After Re-potting hanging pitcher plant care
There are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye on after you re-pot your pitcher plant. We’ll break down what they are for you below.
Top Heaviness: Once you’ve finished re-potting your pitcher plant, you’ll want to keep an eye out for parts of the plant that are top-heavy. That’s especially important if those top-heavy parts of the plant don’t have that many roots. Your plant might not recover well from the re-potting if it’s top-heavy. So, you might need to cut off some flower buds to make sure the plant continues to thrive.
The root system on a pitcher plant is pretty simple. Pitcher plants use a root system only to support themselves while they are in the soil, and to take in the water they need to survive. Pitcher plants get their nutrition in different ways.
Fungal Infections: You’ll also need to keep an eye out for fungal infections after you’ve finished re-potting your pitcher plants. If you notice any of your pitcher plants suddenly die out of nowhere, then you probably have a problem.
Rot Issues: On occasion, you can sometimes save a pitcher plant that has rot. If that happens, remove the plant from its pot and slowly cut away the decay.
Remember, the weather can create rot problems as well. If you experience a spring that’s cold and wet; you might run into problems. If you want to avoid any fungal infection problems, you can use a fungicide when you re-pot. However, fungicide is not always necessary.
Lighting Requirement: Nepenthes thrive in sunny locations. Provide more than 10 hours of light exposure through natural or artificial light every day. You can grow your plant outdoors and rely on natural lights or grow them under grow lights.
Watering Requirements: Never water pitcher plants with tap water or bottled water, as these often contain too many minerals for most carnivorous plants. Only employ distilled water, rainwater, or reverse osmosis water.
Water often, so the soil remains humid at all times. High humidity is beneficial for most Pitcher plants. Humidity levels over 50% are recommended.
Feeding: Pitcher plants capture bugs on their own. In most cases, there is no need to feed the plant manually. However, if you grow pitcher plants indoors, they might not have access to nutrients.
Feeding pitcher plants is straightforward. Just drop a bug inside a pitcher once or twice a month. A single bug can provide nutrients for the whole plant.
It takes some time for a plant to recover after you’ve re-potted it. Expect your plant to need up to a year for a full recovery. You might also notice that the growth and color of your pitcher plants are lessened after you’ve re-potted. That’s quite common, but you’ll need to monitor them closely after you’ve re-potted them.