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While looking up information for the cultivation I have found that there are very few guides to growing N. villosa, so I thought I would write up a basic guide to its cultivation from the information I have found and my limited experience (two months) with the plant.

Nepenthes villosa or the Villose Pitcher-Plant, is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to Mount Kinabalu and neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon in northeastern Borneo. It grows at higher altitudes than any other Bornean Nepenthes species, occurring at elevations of over 3200 m. Nepenthes villosa is characterised by its highly-developed and intricate peristome, which distinguishes it from the closely related N. edwardsiana and N. macrophylla. The specific epithet villosa is Latin for "hairy" and refers to the dense indumentum of this species. [wikipedia]

Lighting: This plant certainly loves high light levels, it comes from very high altitudes where it experience high UV levels.

Humidity: This plant enjoys high levels of humidity but must have good ventilation to prevent rot. This plant can also be grown successfully in low humidity (shown with thez_yo's villosa) since it has fairly thick leaves.

Temperatures: This is one of the most important factors for the successful cultivation of N. villosa. It is an alpine nepenthes found in very high altitudes on Mt. Kinabulu and Tambuyukon (although the population on this mountain might only be x harryana). Nepenthes villosa likes day temps of 65-77 and night temperatures of 38-55, some growers have experienced issues with villosa becoming more picky as it gains size but this is not the case for other plants so the subject is still up in the air. One method that people use to cool the plant at night is stick it in the fridge with a bag over the plant.

Soil: After having talked to several people on this subject it seems like villosa benefits with a mainly LFS substrate but also something that is airy and drains easily.

Watering: It is better to keep villosa a little on the drier side as it is known to be very prone to rot. It is also a very good idea to put it into a net pot.

fertilization: villosa seems to benefit greatly from being fertilized through the roots. Personally, I flush the pots with coffee every once and a while with great effects. Here is a good example: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/s...uccumbing-to-French-Roast-Pressure&highlight=

misc info: Villosa is a slow growing plant that will throw out a leaf every month or so. The main challenge with this plant is giving it the required temperatures at night and preventing the plant from rotting out. It has a interesting feature where it will unfurl its leaf early and keep expanding it unfurled for a while, Nepenthes macrophylla and edwardsiana also share this feature. There are two clones of villosa currently in the market, AW clone and BE clone and of course some sg clones here and there.

Other useful links:

This is just a rough draft and will be adding more later... If you see any errors or would like to add information please post.
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Nice guide! I would also add that villas a becomes harder to care for as it ages and will develop yellow spots if sprayed with water.
lance, the subject of villosa becoming harder to grow as it ages is pretty muddled as some growers agree with this statement and others dont. As for the yellow spots I have never seen this happen after misting my plant.
I disagree with the notion that larger plants are less tolerant to temperature and humidity changes; and that smaller plants will "sulk" for extended periods of time -- far more so than their larger counterparts -- if not given proper care . . .
David, so I should just take out this sentence or change it right? "smaller plants seem to be more tolerant of warmer temperatures but will become less tolerant of warmer temperatures as it gains size."
Also, it would be great if people could post pictures of their plants.
Whoa I get an honorary mention for treating it poorly :lol:. Yeah like all other Nepenthes I've grown, villosa can be grown in lower humidity conditions. While mine hasn't really increased in size too much since I got it (the BE clone) ... two years ago, it is still alive despite neglect including: low light levels in the winter, surviving 85*F +/- 5* by day and 75* F by night for a few weeks at a time, underwatering, overwatering (sitting in a saucer of water for a week), and pest attacks. Same goes for the small AW clone I had for maybe 6-12 months. I used to pour coffee and fertilizer through my plants regularly, but I didn't see any benefit for villosa that I can remember. Sometimes I put some fish food pellets or insect parts in the pitchers. My pitchers are small (the reason for which I theorize is low humidity levels) so feeding them is sort of a nuisance so it doesn't get fed too often though.

I've recently started putting it in my fridge over night, but I don't think it will die if I don't considering I didn't for a couple years. BigBella says they need to be in less than 55*F degree weather overnight to continue growing... so mine just doesn't usually grow over the summer :lol:

In a 4" or 5" pot (I think that's 4" or 5" :lol:) when I first got it in summer 2010:

6" pot today:
I'll add, that after speaking with Dave Evans, I grow mine according to his care instructions.

Daytime temps: 80*F - 85*F
Night temps: 58*F -64*F
humidity: 85%+

My plant is growing non-stop. Which tells me N. villosa is more interested in a larger temp drop between day and night temps, than it is in the actual temps. Basically prefers a 20*+ difference between day and night temps.
As for Dave's success that made me grow my plant outside of the norm.. well, see for yourself:


Thanks again for the tips Dave!
Very nice Travis. Do you know what clone his plant is?
  • #10
Here's what I've heard from an expert on Nepenthes villosa a while back on the CPUK forums. . . His villosa is 17 years old and was grown from seed.

"Hi Lance

My N. villosa is still chugging along, although it is now half the plant it was in the photos. Last year it flowererd for the first time (a female) but I think this was out of desperation rather than healthiness! I grew my plant from seed and it is now 17 years old. After flowering the plant went into decline and the main crown died off, to be replaced by two basal rosettes. Over the last few months, two more basal rosettes have appeared as well. Unfortunately, my attempts to pollinate the flower with N. rajah pollen failed.

I think you will find that the first two years from seed are the slowest, after which it will pick up a bit in growth. The plants are definately easier when they are young, becoming increasingly more difficult as they age. While young, they will not need any special treatment, and the use of a fridge is unnecessary. After about 10 years the plant will be pretty much mature and you might want to consider using a fridge then (temps down to freezing, though not below, are tolerated). The best mix to use is long-fibre sphagnum moss mixed 50/50 with perlite and maybe just a little peat as well. I would use a pond-lily basket for a pot, you know those black plastic mesh pots intended for use in ponds. This will provide easy evaporation from the sides of the pot thus keeping the compost cool. I also found that while young, spraying the foliage sometimes caused unsightly brown spots on the leaves - this was not burning from the sun, as it often happened overnight - I would therefore refrain from spraying the foliage. The fortnightly feeding of hatchling-sized, live crickets (from a reptile shop) did give the plant a boost, otherwise a monthly watering with half-strength Maxicrop fertilizer is also good, but only while the plant is young (5cm across and less) after this size the maxicrop can cause deformities in the forming pitchers.

I think that this is about it, if I think of anything else I will let you know, and please feel free to ask any more questions."
  • #11
David was saying that there are so few large villosa in cultivation that we cant say that to be true just yet. He said that his larger villosas were much more tolerant of humidity and temperature fluctuations than his smaller seedlings.