October 24, 2014
Nepenthes pervillei is an incredible and unique species of Nepenthes found only on the island of Seychelles off the coast of Africa. It has evolved to become quite different from most species of Nepenthes because it is separated from the Indonesian Islands by the vast Indian Ocean. For example, the seeds of N. pervillei look almost nothing like the seeds of species found in Borneo, Sumatra, or the Phillipines. N. pervillei is so unique that it was initially classified into its own genus, Anurosperma pervillei. Where it grows the soil is fairly dry and gravelly, its roots reach deep into granite rock fissures. N. pervillei is also exposed to intense light during the day and since it grows around black granite, the soil reaches temperatures up to 27° celsius (80.6 fahrenheit). N. pervillei is notoriously difficult to grow in cultivation; in my opinion this is because people tend to treat it like other Nepenthes when in reality N. pervillei is exposed to a very different set of conditions on Seychelles. The following guide is merely a suggestion, we cannot guarantee these same conditions will work for your N. pervillei. It can be just as difficult, if not more so than N. villosa in cultivation.
As mentioned before, N. pervillei grows in very exposed areas in the wild. In cultivation the same is not necessarily true, we have found they grow just as well with light levels normal to typical Nepenthes. In a greenhouse setting 60-80% shade cloth can work well. Under artificial lighting typical t5s, or t8s work well. High Pressure Sodium and LED lights also work great for Nepenthes. A light level of around 8100-12000 lx (750-1100 fc) should be sufficient, which is the same light levels that N. villosa likes.
In the wild, N. pervillei grows at an altitudinal range of 350–750 m above sea level which means it would be considered a true lowlander. However, there are some conflicting reports about what temperatures N. pervillei likes in cultivation; some people have had success with regular highland conditions while others have reported more success with true lowland temperatures. We grow our N. pervillei in our highland greenhouse but right next to the heaters where they receive fairly hot temperatures. Day temperatures range from high 70s to the high 80s (fahrenheit) while night temperatures are never below 60 degrees.
As of yet, we have not experimented with fertilizing N. pervillei but we assume it would be beneficial. A quarter strength of the recommended dosage of Growmore© or Maxsea© works well for Nepenthes. As always, fertilize your Nepenthes at your own risk, it can be easy to over fertilize them.
In the wild, N. pervillei grows in very gravely soil with extremely high drainage. We have found that its very important to emulate those conditions in cultivation as well. Our N. pervillei are all in net pots with a high amount of perlite, any very well draining Nepenthes mix can work well but a peat/sand/perlite mix is recommended. We sell our own specialized Nepenthes media mix. Production at the moment is lower than demand, but we are working on this lag. This easy draining soil potted in a net pot lets water drain out and evaporate very quickly. Our N. pervillei are also in a location in the greenhouse that is very windy which helps wick away water even faster. What is surprising is that N. pervillei doesn’t like to be watered often even in a well draining mix. We water our plants maybe around once every other week or so, this means that the exposed soil is almost completely dry with a little bit of moisture inside where the roots are located. These dry conditions make sense considering N. pervillei has leaves that are extremely thick and almost succulent-like in appearance,
Although N. pervillei likes its soil to be dry, it is important to keep the humidity fairly high. Humidity levels that normal lowland species prefer should work well. However, it is important to prevent too much condensation from building up on the leaves and growth points, N. pervillei is very prone to rot. It is also a good idea to give N. pervillei a high amount of airflow which helps keep the soil dry and prevents any condensation.
By: Luca Leeser