The monkey cup plant is one of the most prominent flowering, perennial carnivorous plants indigenous to Asia. It is a tropical pitcher plant that has 140 differently-known species. All these species are members of the Nepenthaceae family. There are two types of nepenthes plants: highland and lowland, and each need different maintenance.
Monkey Cup Plant – Description
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Monkey cups are known as Nepenthes in the plant world. It is a vine-like plant with pitchers hanging from the ends of its greenish leaves.
Pitchers are produced as the leaf’s midvein swells. This creates a hollow cup with a liquid-filled bottom. Because of its stunning hues and the nectar it secretes, insects are drawn to this plant.
The cup’s interior is slick and covered in hairs that point downward. As a result, the bug tumbles into the cup’s bottom, where it will be smothered by digestive acid.
Because monkeys enjoy sipping the liquid in the cups, they are known as “monkey cups.”
Monkey Cup Plant Care
Monkey cup plant care is relatively easy. The following are essential factors that play an important role in the cultivation and growth of monkey cup plants:
Monkey Cup Plant Light Requirements
Monkey cup plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight. It’s ideal to have 50% sun or dappled shade. Broad spectrum plant lights that are placed just far enough away to prevent overheating or scorching frequently work effectively.
A light source that is too weak will result in thin, wiry plants or poor color. You might see sunburn on top of the plant, which is exposed directly to light or the sun.
Monkey Cup Heat Index and Humidity Requirements
These two aspects of cultivation complement one another. It is important to keep in mind that humidity will decrease as temperature rises.
Grow lowland nepenthes successfully in daytime temperatures between 21 and 24 °C. Even during the winter, nighttime lows should never fall below 14 °C. As a bare minimum, relative humidity should be kept above 60% to promote healthy, vigorous growth and pitching. Your plant may stop growing completely if the temperature or humidity is too low.
Grow ‘Highland’ Nepenthes in environments with lower daytime temperatures of about 21 c. Unlike their lowland counterparts, they enjoy the drop in nighttime temperatures to between 10°C. Their metabolism, which is necessary for healthy and strong growth, is slowed down at night by these nighttime dips. Once more, the ambient humidity should be maintained at 60%, preferably higher. Get a humidifier if you plan to grow them in a greenhouse or conservatory.
Monkey Cup Plant Watering
For watering, it is best to use distilled or rainwater water. If necessary, you can also use boiled tap water. Pour the water onto the saucer rather than directly onto the ground. The plant will obtain the required water on its own, which will also raise the relative humidity. Keep the soil damp but stay away from drying out and waterlogging.
Monkey Cup Plant Fertilizer Requirements
There is no need to fertilize the pitcher plant. Its soil provides all the nutrients it needs. The plant uses its traps to collect and ingest insects when it needs more nutrients.
If the monkey jar plant does not have access to insects indoors, you can apply a small amount of liquid fertilizer to the soil two or three times throughout the growing season.
Monkey Cup Plant Soil Requirements
Pitcher plants are picky about their living conditions; therefore, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a place. However, with the correct care, this pitcher plant can grow beautiful cups that are also useful for warding off insects.
These carnivorous plants can be produced from species found at mid-altitudes. Therefore, you must maintain a steady temperature between 20 and 30 °C.
Monkey Cup plant, or Nepenthes, enjoys a sunny environment because it normally thrives in thin woodlands. However, you must stay away from places where the sun is always out. Too much bright light can harm the cups.
Monkey Cup Plant Planting Needs
There are numerous effective porous, low-fertility mixtures. These include perlite, peat moss, tree fern fiber, chopped fir bark, and long-fiber sphagnum moss. The growing space needs to be well-drained and open sufficiently so that air can reach the roots. For the majority of Nepenthes, plant parents use unmilled sphagnum with perlite.
Repotting Monkey Cup Plants
If the soil degrades, the plant dries out too rapidly. As time goes by, your plant’s size will grow, suggesting a larger pot. Don’t let it get cramped; try a new pot that is slightly larger than the previous one.
Add about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water to the pitchers after placing the plant where it will grow. These pitchers can dry out and perish when the regularly present fluid is emptied out during shipping or transportation. Refill to mitigate this effect.
Pitchers and leaves that naturally wither as the plant grows should be removed for optimal culture.
Cut the green stems to promote side shoots and a fuller plant because many Nepenthes are vines. You can also allow the vines to hang low in an elevated container, such as a hanging basket, or train up a stake.
In many cases, letting the vines descend stimulates the plant to grow new basal shoots, making the plant more attractive. When you attempt pruning, you must avoid removing more than 30% of the plant’s foliage at once.
Raise the humidity levels to get the plant to produce pitchers. Don’t spritz your plants with pure water because it can promote infections or leaf spots.
Aerating the water can promote growth by lowering the likelihood of stagnation. Simply half-fill a clean, tightly-covered container with water, give it a good shake and then aerate the water before using. Do not spray the leaves with cold water. The monkey cup plant can live for many years with the right care.
You should not use clay pots because they tend to collect salt. The roots of the monkey cup plant are often fine and dark. Pushing the plant down can harm these delicate roots. Therefore, you should try to level it by vibrating the container vigorously to help it settle around the roots without any external help.
After repotting, give the container a good rinse; this will assist the mix in settling around the roots. Don’t add fertilizer to the plant.
Pruning Monkey Cup Plant
When cultivating the pitcher plant, pruning is not necessary. You can cut back the stem of the plant to make it fuller. However, you can deadhead the plant to encourage it to produce additional leaves after blooming.
You can also remove old, diseased, and dead leaves by trimming them off. As a result, the plant will gain immensely and will grow properly.
Propagation of Monkey Cup Plant
Take a clipping from the plant just above a node when the plant is actively growing. Leave two to three leaves at the top of the cutting after removing all the bottom ones. A node and a few leaves left at the top should be part of the trimming.
You can plant the cutting in sphagnum moss by inserting the base with the node directly in the potting material. After giving the cutting some water, put the pot somewhere that is humid and well-lit.
The cutting will start to take root in approximately a month or two. When fresh growth starts to sprout, you can move it to a much bigger pot.
Typical Problems with the Monkey Cup Plant
Lower leaves will quickly turn yellow and decay if they receive insufficient light and are constantly wet. Although on a smaller scale, this is a normal reaction to aging.
When winter arrives, the plant becomes yellow and loses its leaves. If this occurs in the middle of the summer, something needs to be done right away.
Put the plant outside, if feasible, or in a spot with low direct sunlight during off-peak hours. Even while it may take the plant a few weeks to recover, improved growing circumstances will positively impact its general health.
Yellow leaves also occur because of sunburn or potting soil that isn’t carnivorous.
Pitchers are brought by prolonged under-watering or excessive sunshine. They naturally grow in damp crevices of trees; thus, dry soil must always be avoided. A moist environment should start to promote better development after a few weeks.
When the foliage is completely dehydrated, it crisps up and dies. Remove infected leaves and keep the soil moist rather than throwing the plant away. Monkey Cup Plants have a modified stem that still has enough energy stored in it to grow new foliage.
The plant will quickly suffer from stunted growth and leaf loss from using cold tap water. You should use either fresh bottled water or rainwater to offset the chilly temperatures and high chlorine levels commonly present in tap water. If you must use tap water, give it a helping hand by letting it sit for 24 hours in a non-mental container before using it.
The mold development on the soil indicates inadequate lighting and excessive irrigation. Despite being innocuous, most gardeners find it unattractive; therefore, it is removed as soon as it is discovered.
Swap out the top two inches of soil for a brand-new batch of compost. Reduce watering frequency or increase the quantity of light received. Avoid direct sunshine for the first several weeks to prevent environmental shock. You might potentially have root rot if the mold is followed by yellowing lower leaves.
Varieties of Monkey Cup Plant
There are several species of monkey cup plants. However, most of these hardy plants sold in stores are hybrids or plants produced by mating two different species.
Tropical Pitcher plants
These species, which favor consistent warmth between 20 and 35 °C, consist of:
This common pitcher plant from the tropics has tiny, spherical cups. Unlike most of its cousins, Nepenthes ampullaria receives nutrients from insects and other organic matter, such as bird droppings.
This species is ubiquitous in its natural habitat and has extended cups. The cups can be any color, including green, yellow, or red. It prefers steady, warm conditions because it is a lowland Nepenthes.
Ampullaria nepenthes rounded pots
Pots for Nepenthes ampullaria are small and spherical.
Pitcher Plants Native to the Higher, Colder Lands
These species are accustomed to changing temperatures. The average daytime temperature in the wild is around 25°C. The temperature falls to 10°C at night. Highland species are accustomed to up to 90% humidity. They consist of:
The coloration of this Nepenthes cup is remarkable. The bulbous, yellow-green pots are frequently spotted with crimson. This unique to Malaysia highland species can withstand temperature changes.
The tropical pitcher plant Nepenthes aristolochioides is a highland species native to Sumatra. This species is especially well-liked because of its unique cup shape with a side opening. As a result of extensive collection, it is currently regarded as endangered in its native country.
Important Points to Remember
- Always utilize rainwater; in the winter, ensure it’s not icy cold.
- Keep the compost barely damp and never drenched.
- A light, humid location is ideal for these plants. Extremely hot, dry conditions are not acceptable.
- Foliar feeding can help develop strong, healthy plants once every two weeks.
- Prune climbing stems every two years if necessary.
Monkey Cup is an excellent houseplant. You get more than just excellent looks when you have a tropical pitcher plant; you also get interactivity and the wild but fascinating enchantment of nature dangling from a hook in your ceiling.