Nepenthes truncata is a lowland plant being found in the
Philippines at an altitude of 230-600 meters. This
species receives its name from the large truncate or
heart-shaped leathery leaves. Truncata plants grown from
seeds mature relatively quickly, and 1 foot diameter
plants can be realized in a few years. That plant grows
well as a hanging basket plant inside the home, in a hot
greenhouse or in a terrarium in your home.
One of the biggest Nepenthes species in the world.
Truncata will eventually produce monster pitchers on
leaves that are short, thick and heart-shaped. The
pitchers, with their colorful wavy peristome, can be some
of the largest in the entire genus, reaching lengths of
over 40 cm. Stems are generally non-climbing and compact.
The traps start out at first as a small swelling, but
quickly expand to their full size over the course of
several weeks. The lid opens to reveal digestive
fluids in the bottom of the trap. Prey is attracted by
the gaudy colours and nectar produced by the trap, under
the lid, which does not close and around the rim. The
pitchers of Nepenthes species have a smooth lining.
Insects and other small animals that are attracted to the
pitchers cannot maintain a grip on this slippery surface
and fall into the pitcher. Once they move their way
inside, they lose their footing and slip into the nectar.
The nectar is also quite intoxicating. The lower section
inside the trap is covered in digestive glands and these
quickly dissolve the soft parts of the prey, leaving the
remains to drop down to the bottom into the soup.
The plant has two main types of traps, lower and
upper. The lower pitchers form tubes with a small pitcher
opening, small cap for a lid, and less developed
peristome. The plant will produce intermediate pitchers
which have characteristics of lowers and uppers. Finally
the upper pitchers are produced, which have a triangular
lid, wide flaring persistome, producing long tubby
pitchers that can be enormous. Nepenthes are dioecious,
male and female flowers exist on different plants. If you
have several plants, and a few are blooming, then you may
be able to pollinate them.
Hardiness zone 10, (1°C/35°F) in Winter. Full sun is
recommended for Nepenthes. Light will color the traps of
a distinctive red mottling color on the tops of the
pitchers. Growing Lowlands usually requires a hot house
or a heated terrarium. It seems fine at 80°F. This plant
is a lowland, but can tolerate very cold temperatures as
well. Keeping it warm at all times is advisable, although
it can tolerate temperatures as low as 35°F, non-frost,
at night for weeks at a time.
Species of Nepenthes grow on soils that are poor in
nutrients or on other plants where nutrients are not
readily available. Plants, such as some Nepenthes, that
grow on other plants, but do not take nutrients from the
supporting plants, are referred to as epiphytes. In order
to grow in places that are poor in nutrients, Nepenthes
have adapted a carnivorous lifestyle, which supplements
their intake of nitrogen and other nutrients. The soil
needs to be light and airy. All the plants grew in a very
wet acidic sandy soil. Use pure peat moss. You can also
use a mix of equal parts of peat moss, perlite,
vermiculite and long-fibred sphagnum moss.
The plants should be watered regularly but should not be
left standing in water at any time. Try too keep them
warm and humid but not stagnant and wet. Use rain water
or distillated water, hard city water will kill your
carnivorous plant. Lowlands and Highlands Nepenthes like
high humidity, but more for Lowlands, and watering should
be done when the soil starts to look dry on the top. Due
to its very thick leaves and pitchers, this plant can
tolerate lower humdity levels than most lowland Nepenthes.
Keeping it above 75% is usually the best way to grow it.