Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Winged Pitcher Plant
Nepenthes alata

Family: Nepenthaceae
Genus: Nepenthes (nep-EN-theez) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Carnivorous and Insectivorous

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive FLtropics On Jul 23, 2006, FLtropics from Pompano Beach, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Plants that eat flies make me very happy! This one is hanging in a 10" pot in the shade of my Crape Myrtle. Seems to be a happy camper to me! I have to move it to a bigger pot soon.

Neutral aahauge On Mar 31, 2003, aahauge wrote:

Nepenthes Alata needs to be kept wet. Mostly it's placed in hanging pots and you need to water it from above - never in a "tray system", where the plant is exposed to water all the time, which will suffocate the roots. Always use destilled water, rainwater or boiled water, that has rested for at least 24 hours.

"Alata" needs a very high level of humidity (minimum 70%), why you have to "mist" the plant at least 1 time a day. Water it every 2 or 3 days (if very hot every day) and mist it 2 or 3 times a day. Never let it dry out! Never expose the plant to direct sunlight for more than 2 or 3 hours a day. It needs lots of light (but not direct).

Fertilizer: The plant needs fertilizer unless it's eating a lot of flies! But too much fertilizer may kill it. Feed your "Alata" with 4 to 5 flies every month (or 1 to 2 flies in every pitcher/cup every 1½ to 2 months) and spray/mist it 1 time every month with a very soft fertilizer (1/3 of the normal strenght for indoor plants). Never apply fertilizer to the "regular" or "from top" watering method. The roots are simply not able to deal with this - but the leaves are. If the fertilizer is too strong, the leaves will die (first brown then black).

Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained and very poor in nutrients (equal sphagnum moss peat (no applied fertilizer!) tree bark and Silica Sand).

Pruning: In order not to let the plant become several meters high (not a very pretty sight) you need to cut it back in February/March. Leave at least 4 to 5 cm above earth, but all the cut-off's may be planted leaving 3 leaves above ground (if your cut-off has 5 leaves remove the lower 2. All these cut-offs become new plants under the right conditions (very high humidity, 80-90%, 60-80% shade (direct sunlight for only a few hours will kill the off-spring) always keep wet but not soaking, temperature must be around 23 to 32 C day and 21 to 28 at night).

Age: Under the right conditions the plant will grow for the next 20-25 years.

Good luck! It's actually a very easy plant to grow.

Having problems? Please contact me on

Søren Aahauge


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Brea, California
Fullerton, California
Sonoma, California
Jacksonville, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Houston, Texas

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