Tom's Carnivores

Nepenthes singalana

Description & Care

Nepenthes singalana hails from the island of Sumatra, and is - I think - one of the most underrated species of tropical pitcher plant. Named after the volcanic Mount Singgalang, N. singalana grows throughout the Barisan range and is a true highlander - I wouldn’t suggest trying to grow this one in intermediate conditions long term.

That said, if you grow highlanders, I can’t recommend it highly enough! It has elegant, slender pitchers that vary in colour from green and speckled right through to maroon. The peristome is generally flared and starts bright red or orange, but darkens to a deep purple in good light. It’s also lined with prominent teeth - not as defined as the hooks of N. hamata or N. edwardsiana, but impressive nonetheless. The tips of the teeth - which are often a different colour to the rest of the peristome - point into the mouth of the pitcher, but most impressive are the long, forward-pointing teeth that line the tall neck right up to the lid. Zoom in on my photos above to see what I mean.

Other qualities I like about this plant include its propensity to flower - I have several females that put out inflorescences like clockwork - and the ease with which the cut vine and basals can be rooted. It’s also a very attractive plant even when young. Unlike many other species (N. veitchii along them), N. singalana produces dark, shapely, toothy pitchers when the plant is less than 10cm across. It grows at a moderate pace for a highlander, enjoys lots of bright light, and benefits from proper highland conditions.

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 - can take a lot without burning.
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

Learn more about cultivation with my guide to growing Nepenthes.

Day & Night Temperatures

Nepenthes singalana is a highland species, found at elevations of between 2000 and 2900 meters. This range is highlighted in orange above, and equates to temperatures of approximately 18 - 25°C (64 - 77°F) during the day, and 8 - 15°C (46 - 59°F) at night.


Native to Sumatra
IUCN Red List status Least Concern
Natural hybrids N. aristolochioides, N. bongso, N. gymnamphora, N. inermis, N. spathulata

Where to Buy

Availability Widely available. Vine roots easily, so frequently offered as cuttings too.
Borneo Exotics codes
  • BE-3169 (Tujuh, giant form)
  • BE-3170 (Belirang, 2 clones)
  • BE-3248 (Tujuh, 6 clones)
  • BE-3761 (hort seed, many clones)
California Carnivores discount code

Visit and get 10% off by using code tomscarnivores.

Sphagnum Shop discount code

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