Nepenthes alata is a tropical plant endemic to the Philippines. This is a carnivorous plant that has nectar in the pitcher which attracts insects, these drown and are digested by the plant. It likes high humidity, during hot dry weather, misting it helps. The higher the humidity the more ‘pitchers’ the plant will produce. The soil should be well drained and kept moist at all times. In their natural surroundings pitcher plants grow in poor soil, so fertilising is not necessary especially if the plant can obtain insects. The mature pitchers will go brown and shrivel. Once they are properly brown they can be removed; before that they are still beneficial to the plant.
Nerium oleander, has been grown since antiquity and features in many Roman wall paintings in Pompeii. It is native to the Mediterranean and comes in different shades of pink, white and red, with single or double flowers.
It manages well in poor soil, is drought tolerant and can be grown in containers. If grown in a pot it requires more care and fertile soil with good drainage. The pot should dry completely before it is watered again. Oleanders take time to settle, and once established they don’t like to be moved and so may die. Growing them in the ground is better, they like full sun and will flower well. Growing Oleander from cuttings can be difficult, the most successful method is air-layering.
The Nerium oleander is one of the most beautiful plants in the garden—it is also probably the most poisonous. Updated 13/9/2018