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Recommendations for an easy, large pitchered Nepenthes for a friend with a greenhouse?

  • Thread starter RandyS
  • Start date
A friend with a greenhouse in Northern California is looking for Nepenthes recommendations. His main consideration is size of pitchers. He's familiar with 'Miranda' and is looking for something with pitchers larger than that.

He lives in a hot summer area (the Central Valley). His greenhouse has a swamp cooler. He's highly skilled at growing plants.

I think he's open to either a species such as truncata, as long as the size and price are reasonable, or to a hybrid.

I assume there must be some really good BE hybrids out there, that might be appropriate? Any suggestions?

He just got an order for outside plants from a nursery in the Pacific Northwest that also sells a lot of Nepenthes. I suspect that has encouraged his interest. He's talked about getting N. robcantleyi for a while, but I think would prefer a larger plant or lower price than is ordinarily available.

I just remembered I got N. robcantleyi x veitchii from that same nursery. Perhaps that's one...

If he's interested in large pitchers stuff like sibuyanensis x merriliana and truncata are good choices. However I doubt you'd find them to be large and cheap, especially not cheaper than a Miranda. Most BE plants arrive from wholesale in the 3-6 inch range and aren't usually larger when being sold retail.
I'm pretty sure he's willing to spend a bit more than a Miranda, but not $100+. I would use Miranda as a lower bound on size. There is a pure merrilliana for sale from the same nursery he just bought from. 6 1/2 inch leaf span, an auction starting low, with no bids yet. Were trying to sort out what exactly his conditions are best for right now. They are also selling a pure truncata. I think he wants to avoid a 2 inch plant, or a really expensive one.
He says: "I try to keep my greenhouse between 90 and 55 year round." That includes a temperature drop at night, I believe.
I think in the past he was looking for robcantleyi, and was frustrated that he was finding 2 inch plants for $100.
Yeah, its tough, neps outside of the common stuff at garden center have been growing in price steadily. Any truncata hybrid you come across should have some nice size. This truncata x maxima and truncata x (merriliana x lowii) show off the kind of size truncata adds to a cross
PXL_20230326_202959392.jpg PXL_20230328_231506454.jpg
Carnivero actually has a Truncata Passion Red for sale under $40.
Predatory plants has the cheapest truncata’s out there (don’t mean that in a bad way, great store).

I have Robcantleyi for sale right now actually! Here is the thread link:
For Sale - Robcantleyi for sale!
Thanks for al the suggestions. I forwarded them on to him.
Don't know how big the pitchers get, but N bicalcarata has one of the coolest pitchers around, IMO.
  • #10
90 to 55 covers pretty much the whole range of lowland to highland; if it can't stay closer to one or the other year round there's going to be plants suffering if they're not very adaptable intermediate-type species or hybrids (way too high for anything truly highland at 90, too cold for anything lowland at 55). truncata and its crosses more or less fit...however finding anything that isn't relatively small for cheap is going to be a rather tall order, big plants of any kind outside something as common as "Miranda" are going to be expensive, and expensive to ship. Anything under $100 is either going to be small plants, or plants that won't become giants.
  • #11
I think he realizes he may have to compromise--maybe smaller plants or not the biggest pitchers. I don't know exactly what his budget is.

i do notice that one of the more competent growers refers to N. merrilliana BE-3727 as "Intermediate", instead of the usual lowland. Do you think that's unreasonable?

He does surprise me. For example, he has been able to keep Brugmansia Suncrest vulsa (probably 3/4 B. sanguinea, 1/4 B. vulcanicola) alive in his yard for multiple years, with a couple blooms in the Spring. The parents are from roughly 3000 m, and that should be impossible in his brutal summers.
  • #12
His temperature swing is about what my tropical greenhouse does through the year, which is what I assume you mean. Not that swing daily, that sounds impossible. For summer I see upper 80s to mid 90s and night in the low 80s. Winter is 60s to 70s depending on sun/weather and night is heated to 55. I mainly do intermediate and int/ll - int/hl. Never been successful with full LL, HL or UHL. Some of the plants I have may sulk one way or the other depending on the season, but are happy for 9 or 10 out of the 12 months and I accept that. Something to definitly know and take advantage of is micro climates within the greenhouse (TonyP brought this up to me long ago). For example, near the cooler you'll have your cooler plants and on your main sun wall you keep your warmer plants. Also near the ground vs near the ceiling.
  • #13
Yeah, 90 and 55 are the extremes over the course of a year.