Rapidly acclimating new Nepenthes to your growing conditions is one of the most crucial steps to obtaining long-term success of your expensive acquisitions! I learned the hard way that taking just a few extra precautions during the initial unboxing and acclimating process can greatly reduce shipping stress and allow my new Nepenthes to start growing vigorously right away.
Proper acclimation will prevent unnecessary pitcher loss and mitigate shock from shipping damage. This rooted cutting will lose one pitcher due to shipping damage, but the other one looks great! If you can't completely seal the bag due to the size of the plant, inverting the bag like a dome works almost as well.
I used to just throw my Nepenthes into my growing conditions and accepted slowed growth (lasting 2-3 months!) and loss of pitchers as normal. After discussing the frustrating slowness of acclimation with fellow Nepenthes grower Joshua Ritts, he taught me that bagging the plants and providing 100% humidity for 1-2 weeks can go a long way towards preventing shipping shock. I have tried this on many new acquisitions and kept a log of careful observations, and it actually works!
Rapid Bag Acclimation Procedure
After unboxing and inspecting the plant for shipping damage and pests, pot the plant up and water the media well. Fill the pitchers with water and completely seal the plants in ZipLock bags for 1-2 weeks. After I start to observe growth in the new plant, I slowly start to adjust the plant to my regular growing conditions by opening the bag up more and more every day - maybe only open halfway the first day, then opened completely but still in the bag for several days, and finally removing the bag after about a week. Bam! The new Nepenthes may still lose a pitcher or two from shipping damage, but most will hold on to their existing pitchers and start developing new ones right away 2-3 weeks of gentle acclimation. Most new plants treated this way start leaf jumping right away! I'm so happy to have found this technique and will be using it on every new tropical pitcher plant that I acquire!
I hope this new technique helps you! I have also been uploading more Nepenthes-related content on my YouTube Inglorious Bettas. I generally upload one or two videos a week. Subscribe and comment if you want to see more Nepenthes videos! I also post daily updates to my Instagram, @Nepenthes_Diary! Happy growing!