Nepenthes "Gentle"

Unfortunately I haven't had that much experience with Nepenthes. The very first Nepenthes I ever grew was Nepenthes "Gentle," and it is still growing for me today. I've had some difficulties with it, especially when it comes to waterings, but it has been really resilient and forgiving and has grown to the extent that it is without doubt the tallest plant in my collection!

I first bought my Nepenthes 3 years ago from California Carnivores in my first order. When I first started growing the plant, I was very paranoid about giving the cool night temperatures that many growers strongly recommend giving. However, after another grower's recommendation of favoring high humidity over night temperatures I stopped worrying about it as much and my plant still seems to do just fine. I think a large difference between the warm day temperatures and cool night temperatures is probably beneficial but not necessarily necessary.

My Nepenthes began as a relatively small, short plant, but over the years it has slowly gained height to over a foot tall!!! The way I water it is by top watering it with purified water until its water saucer is a few inches tall. However, frequently it's hard for me to figure out when there isn't enough water in the pot and when I need to dewater the plant. As a result, my plant has often become very dry and its growth has periodically slowed.

One area that I definitely think I have fully succeeded in is bright light. The light from my T5-HO's is definitely enough to satisfy Nepenthes Gentle.

Feedings should also be relatively easy. When a pitcher opens, give each pitcher a few Oscmote Slow Release Pellets or a some bloodworms. This should help accelerate the plant's growth.

Over the years, Nepenthes "Gentle" has also flowered for me. I don't think I am able to pollinate these flowers (as I might need a second plant flowering at the same time), but I know that hybridization is a popular and commonplace at nurseries. Nepenthes "Gentle" has also produced many smaller plants (called "pups") at its base, so once I report my plants I will probably have another 2-3 additional plants.

Overall, Nepenthes "Gentle" is another rewarding and easy to grow plant. It's really beautiful and very forgiving considering some of the errors I have made. If you want to grow Nepenthes but are on the fence about growing them really seriously (some people focus exclusively on Nepenthes), this plant is a great starting point and a great representative if you don't want to necessarily focus on Nepenthes. However, if you are looking for more interesting Nepenthes, many hybrids between the quintessential Nepenthes Ventriocosa and very difficult species are similarly easy to grow.

One note about Nepenthes in general - if you have a very small terrarium, they may not be the best plants for you. They can grow to a very large size and their leaves can extend very far from their pots, either leading to neighboring plants being starved of sunlight or the Nepenthes being very cramped within the confines of smaller terrariums.

Media/Soil: Different growers and nurseries recommend different things for Nepenthes. One mixture I've seen is long fibered sphagnum and perlite, but other growers have procured other more complicated mixtures.
Lighting: As with other Nepenthes, it does best with bright light. I used T5-HO grow lights for all my Nepenthes.
Water: As usual, use water with a t.d.s. reading of < 50. I personally use zero water because my own collection is relatively small and zero water filters are much cheaper and easier to use than reverse osmosis filters. Top water your plants and allow an inch to accumalate at the bottom. Repeat every time all the water evaporates.
Temperatures: Probably almost anything within reason! 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, maybe even 90's or 40's! I'm sure it could stretch even further for short periods!!
Feeding: Oscmote Slow Release Pellets will definitely work. Peter D'Amato from California Carnivores recommends this and it's worked for me. Additionally, blood worms may work.
Propagation: Stem Cuttings, flowering, root cuttings, division of mother plant and pups. However, I haven't tried any of these yet.