N. bicalcarata "red flush"
purchase date: 02 / 02
arrived as a size 3
plant origin: Borneo Exotics
photo taken: 6 / 04
Nepenthes bicalcarata is one of those "must have" species for any collection. It is the famous "fanged pitcher plant". Bicalcarata is a true lowlander. It prefers warm to hot, humid conditions for optimal growth. Upper and lower, squat form, pitchers are produced. Through tissue culture, many color forms are available. Once established, it grows quickly and can get very large in cultivation. I used to grow this plant in a large closet terrarium setting under grow lights and it quickly took over the space! I currently grow bicalcarata as a houseplant by a windowsill. I found out that N. bicalcarata HATES outdoor highlander conditions. Also, I had troubles with humidity and leaf curl at first. I have two varieties that I believe are from seed grown specimens that are doing quite well. Those two varieties are pictured above. They are both pitchering up and doing okay as windowsill plants. They don't seem to grow as quickly as when I grew them in terrarium conditions compared to normal household temperature and humidity. Since the plants will get large I don't mind them growing a bit slower. I also discovered that larger plants shipped bareroot had major stress and shock problems after repotting. Some died within days! The smaller size 3 plants available now have had less problems with shipping and transitioning to household environments. Be careful with moving this plant around as well. This species is very tempermental to change and can quickly die if stressed out. Once it has adjusted to its growing location, N. bicalcarata is easy to look after. Since the prices have greatly fallen for this once rare, highly sought after species, it is worth a try to acclimate it to normal household conditions.
Cultivation: easy under warm, humid conditions;
Moderate to difficult as a windowsill specimen; next to impossible as an
outdoor plant, prone to transplant shock
Market availability: size 3 up to 12" diameter and bigger plants; common
Species variability: a few; typical, "red flush", "yellow", "red", and others
$ / size: moderate $25.00 to $50.00 + for larger specimen and color variation plants.
Cuttings: none available for trade