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tips for intermediate nepenthes care

I have a few intermediates in my possession and while I do not anticipate them hanging around long there is always a chance 1 of them might not find a home in the short run...

From what I have gathered they generally like:

-lots of light

-lower humidity

-damp soil

-mild temps

I have setup a temporary terrarium for them but need some more specific cultivation info in case i decide to try to turn it into a houseplant.


guessing easterly facing windows ?


guessing 30-50% ?


damp ?
will lfs work ?

60-70's ?

thx in advance.
Some more experienced people will surely have more to offer you, but I'll try my best!
Light, most intermediates can handle a sunny window in my experience, although having it shaded won't hurt.
Humidity, 30-50% should be fine for most, although they won't mind higher humidity. But 30-50% will work!
Soil, damp but not soggy. LFS is fine when mixed with something else to make it drain faster. 1:1 LFS to perlite will work fine, but some heavier mixes with charcoal, orchaid bark thrown in can definitely help.
Temps, household temps will be fine on the window. The slight drop at nighttiem they ge will aslo be helpful.
can they handle direct sunlight and or outside/80-85 degree temps?
To say they "like" lower humidity isn't quite right, but they can certainly TAKE lower humidity. They won't complain if you give them higher humidity. I personally like to keep most of my plants hardened off, so that they are acclimated to lower humidity. That way i don't need to fuss about keeping their humidity high.

They can take dirrect sun outside, but they will need time (a few weeks minimum) to acclimate to the UV light if they have previously been grown inside or in lower light. They'll do better with dappled light, or with just a couple hours of dirrect light with filtered light the rest of the day. Many can take more sun given more time to acclimate. I wouldn't recomend puting them outside now though, as fall is coming on! Put them outside in the spring when temps are warm enough so they have time to acclimate and grow well durring the growing season.

Don't worry about temps into the 80's, but let them cool down into 60s or 70s at night (depending on what you're growing).

...and there's my 300th post :) Bazanga!
I grow my intermediates on my plant rack so I can't talk about sunlight, but they do ok in 30 - 50% humidity (no misting) with temps ranging from daytime 89 to night 71 summer, and quite a bit cooler in winter.
My hardened-off intermediates live on my deck in a corner that the sun never directly hits. Even after being there for months they still burn pretty badly if I try to put them in direct sun. In the spring and fall it's the perfect spot for them. In the summer when it's in the 90s they just stop pitchering. I also water them often, both to keep the soil moist and to keep the local humidity up. In my experience when humidity is below 40% they'll pitcher, but the pitchers will only last a couple weeks before drying up.
I grow mine in a West facing window and they do amazingly. Humidity stays around 60%, they get watered at least once a day, are potted in a mix of bark, charcoal, perlite, and Sphagnum, and experience temps in the high 70s during the day and high 60s at night.
My conditions are just like yours Wire Man in the late Spring to Fall but late Fall to Winter daytime temps are in the low to upper 60's and at night anywhere in the upper 40's to 50's. I grow my plants in a very airy mixture of bark, charcoal, perlite, dried Sphagnum and a small handfull of peat (sometimes) for "good luck". This is in a south exposure windowsill that because of my roof over hang gets much more direct sunlight in the Winter than in the Summer. This really works out very well for me and I feel I am lucky because of this but I simply cannot grow intermediates without them suffering during the winter too much that they carry on into the summer still very weak because of it. My Highlanders grow very well however. I had to give all my intermediates away which was kind of a bummer.

Basically, I never turn on my heater during the Winter. :-))
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so far my conditions are as follows:

inside terrarium with water base but no lid in front of east facing window for morning sun and 65 or so percent humidity and 72F. If I am around; they go outside for about 4 hours of direct sun on a railing. humidity is about 40 or so percent with temps around 80F. Evening they go back into the terrarium with the lid on for about 75 or so percent humidity and about 68F.....if they don't get put outside for midday then I will give em about 5k lumens from a compact florescent for about 4-5 hours.

probably not ideal I am sure but hopefully enough to keep them going until they get placed.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. like just leave them in the terrarium for morning sun and not put them out midday for more constant conditions...they were previously sunlight grown so no degradation from UV exposure.
  • #10
I guess now I would like to know what intermediates do you have because that might make the difference but generally speaking...I would be happy with those conditions, although I would be a little worried what might the conditions be like in Fall/Winter and if I can keep them warm enough with good light. Personally, I would try to keep the temps. during the day always in the middle 70's to lower 80's with a drop in the 60's at night. Humidity above 50% always would be terrific if possible. All this while trying to give them as much sunlight as you can just short of burning them too bad is my motto :-)) That's how I would go about it but I shouldn't give advice....I can't grow intermediates :-))

I remember Tony mentioning in an earlier thread that "consistency" is very important when growing Nepenthes' indoors on a windowsill.....that and strong light. With my experience so far I have to say that that is pretty much exactly correct.
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  • #11
oh gawd let me see if i can remember them:

effalgent kotto
maxima x alata
  • #12
I know maxima x alata would be happy for sure with your conditions.......not sure about the other ones. To be honest, I have no experience with any of the other varieties you listed but I am sure someone here with much more experience than I will chime in soon. I will say that your conditions seem good though so if they are not difficult varieties they should be alright I would think.
  • #13
it will be a learning experience....i prefer lowlanders but i may keep 1 of them for the practice. On a positive note I do like the color intensity and pitcher size on them. They seem to make much larger pitchers than my lowlanders considering the size of the plant....that and they can be outside of their terrarium.
  • #14
Yep....they really come into there own as they mature, getting bigger and more colorful. That is, if they are kept happy but I personally find Highlanders the easiest of the Nepenthes to grow. My opinion ofcourse because you don't have to worry about temps getting a little bit on the cool side for whatever reason and you do not have to worry as much about water and keeping the soil wet. They are bit flexible in both regards as far as I can tell.

Good luck with them cpbobby and please post pics if you have them and the time to do so. I certainly would like to see them and I am sure others here on the forum would too. I am going to keep an eye on this thread because I would like to learn something myself from some of the more advance growers on the forum. Thanks for the post.