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Crooked Nepenthes Yikes!

May 13, 2021
I want to show pictures of my crooked Nepenthes and gain some insight. It's my first Nep. I am not sure if it is a lowland x highland or one or the other. It's a great plant, and I can see why you folks go crazy over these guys. Anyways, I've had this plant since late Summer of 2020 (so coming up on 10 months or so). I re-potted it from a 2" or so plastic container to a 4" soon after purchase. It is in chopped sphagnum and perlite with some moss topping it to retain moisture. I ground water it every 3 days or so for about 30 minutes with our spring water. I live in inland Northern Cali so we have hot dry summers and wet, cool winters. The Nep is indoors on a windowsill. I did embarrassingly suck up one of its pitchers in the vacuum. Yes. I did that. The poor pitcher was torn at the base and quickly started to brown so I clipped it off. The Nep went pretty dormant (granted this was in the winter) and as spring came around it quickly started to make new leaves and ditch some of the older ones (they turned yellow, then black, then brown very quickly), i either clipped them off or let them just fall off. Thankfully it went leaf crazy and made two new gorgeous pictures, one on either side. The Nep is kept in a room that is minimum 75 degrees but can get up to around 87 degrees F after a hot day and stays at around 50% humidity.

The way the new pitchers came in has bent the Nep's stem over at almost a 90 degree angle. I rotated the pot hoping that the plant would grow back over and straighten out towards the window light and it looks like it already has tried to do so. I wonder is this stressful for it to be rotated basically 180 degrees? This is really the only concern I have with this plant. It seems to do quite well in the window as it is in a south facing, well lit room. The pitchers are looking great. I guess my questions are:

1. Can I/Should I re-pot this Nep into a larger pot or possibly a hanging basket so that it sits straighter? I feel like this may offset the pitchers so that they aren't hanging properly.
2. Am I a fool for rotating it, will this just make the problems worse or stress the plant?
3. Is this even a problem or am I just fussing over this poor Nep who is probably doing just fine in spite of me and my evil vacuum cleaner? I mean the stem looks pretty solid, it will definitely wobble when moved but I do not think it is going to snap.

Any insights you guys have would be awesome. I hope to stand on the shoulders of giants here. And now for some photos:
I rotated the pot 180 degrees to the left. The canopy used to point to the right and probably received more light. I'm hoping it will straighten out some? It already looks a little bent back towards the window. It used to be almost completely at a 90 degree angle.

Closeup of the stem which doesn't look brittle too me but it's still alarming to see it so bent. The dark spots on the stem are from dead leaves falling off or being clipped off.

Thank you!


Jan 28, 2021
Yes, plants turn towards light. They expend energy and redirect hormones to position leaves in a way that will capture the most light. They will grow towards this direction.

If you bait-and-switch the plant, it will be investing its whole life in "losing bets" on where the energy should come from. Ultimately, it will struggle to survive and never reach its potential; It may even die.

Best advice is to let it look a little heavy on one side as it leans towards the sun and supplement with a grow light to help shape it if its posture is important to you.

Otherwise it's looking fine. 🙂 happy growing👍
Apr 19, 2012
Greeley, CO, USA
Nepenthes are vines; they grow toward light sources, but are not going to grow straight or easily upward unaided as they use surrounding plants or structures to support themselves. If there is no support, they will bend over, and eventually the drooping growth point will trigger a basal shoot to replace it. If you want upward growth, you need to provide something for the plant to climb.