Tom's Carnivores

Nepenthes lowii × ventricosa

Description & Care

This is a fantastic hybrid between the easy-to-grow highlander Nepenthes ventricosa and the beautifully bizarre Nepenthes lowii. Also known as N. × briggsiana, it’s a very fast grower which holds many pitchers at once. I regularly have to prune mine, as you’ll see from the photos!

The plant’s tough red pitchers inherit the wide open mouth and attractively striped peristome which often characterise N. lowii hybrids. It produces very thick green leaves, vines rapidly, and produces many basal offshoots.

This cross and the reverse, N. ventricosa x lowii, have been created many times over the last 30 years. The original was made in the 1990s by Johannes Marabini, and some of the most famous cultivars including “Peter D’Amato” and “Hortus Botanicus” came from this grex. Exotica Plants in Australia has also created this cross at least once. These plants were highly coveted and would often sell for hundreds. Recently, though, a Dutch nursery put a new clone of this hybrid - frequently sold as N. lowii x ventricosa ‘red’ - into tissue culture, and this has lowered prices dramatically.

How I Grow It

Media Long fibre sphagnum moss, perlite, and - optionally - orchid bark (2:1:1)
Water Damp but not wet
Light Very bright, diffused light
Fertilizer Maxsea or liquid orchid feed in the pitchers, every two weeks
Temperature 12°C (54°F) minimum year-round, with summer highs of ~ 30°C (86°F)
Humidity 70% during the day, rising to over 90% at night. But generally unfussy - would probably do well on a windowsill.

Learn more about cultivation with my guide to growing Nepenthes.

Day & Night Temperatures

The female parent - Nepenthes lowii - is a highland species found at elevations of between 1650 and 2600 meters. The male parent - Nepenthes ventricosa - is a highland species found at elevations of between 1000 and 2000 meters.

On average, the hybrid N. lowii x ventricosa is likely to grow best with temperatures of approximately 21 - 28°C (69 - 83°F) during the day, and 11 - 18°C (51 - 65°F) at night. This range is highlighted in purple above.

Where to Buy

Availability Widely available from garden centres and most CP nurseries.
Borneo Exotics codes
  • Never offered by BE
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Sphagnum Shop discount code

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