Monkey Cups


Carnivorous Plants

Meet the Monkey Cup Plant!

The Nepenthes family of carnivorous plants are commonly known as “Monkey Cups” because the tall, colourful cups that surround the plant are filled with a nectar so tempting that monkeys have been seen sipping from them.

Smaller creature beware though – sneaking a sip from this carnivorous plant usually proves to be a fatal mistake!


Carnivorous Plants

Monkey Cups Characteristics

Nepenthes exotic purple, yellow and pink cups start out as a simple leaf growing on the end of a vine.
As the plant matures, the leaf tip balloons out into a long cup, with a lid covering its top. From the lid, a deadly nectar drips down to pool at the base of the cup.
When the pitcher plant is ready for its first dinner guests, the lid opens and the trap is ready.

Monkey Cups (Nepenthes)

Ie. Tropical Pitcher Plants

The scent of the sweet nectar wafts out of the cup to temp passing wildlife. Irresistibly drawn to the cup’s edge, an unsuspecting fly might suddenly find itself slipping down the walls of the cup. At this point, the fly might realise it is literally in deep trouble, but it is too late! Nepenthes has ensured that the walls of the cup are waxy and slippery. Every attempt to climb out of the cup will not only cause the fly to slip further down, but will trigger the plant to release a digestive acid so strong that after only a few hours all traces of its victim will have completely vanished! Fortunately for their victims, Monkey Cups do not have a huge appetite, and one meal a month usually satisfies them. Nepenthes are found across the world, but these meat-loving plants are particularly predominant in South East Asia, Madagascar and Australia. There are over a hundred different species that vary in size and shape. The size of their cups is relative to the size of their prey – Monkey Cups never bite off more than they can chew! Though they typically feed on insects, larger varieties can consume snails, frogs and scorpions. The largest, the Rajah Pitcher, has been known to trap rodents!

Carnivorous Plants

Caring for the Monkey Cup Plant

So you’ve stepped into the enchanting world of Monkey Cups! Let us walk you through the process of watering, feeding and more, ensuring your hungry Nepenthes is fed and flourishing.

  • Potting: Nepenthes do well in a smaller pot. Choose a pot with good drainage that’s a little bigger than the plant – generally around 10-15cm for a small plant or 15-25cm for larger ones.
  • Sunlight: Nepenthes love bright light, but not direct light, which can burn their leaves. East or west-facing aspects that receive partial sun are ideal.
  • Soil: Like other carnivorous plants, Nepenthes prefers a low-nutrient soil with good drainage. Our carnivorous plant potting medium is perfect for ensuring your Monkey Cups takes root. Fertilising isn’t required, but since Nepenthes is more tolerant of minerals than other carnivorous plants you can fertilise it with a weak solution of orchid fertiliser during spring and summer.
  • Watering: A tropical plant, Nepenthes loves a wet, humid environment. You can water it often so that the soil remains moist, but not waterlogged. For this reason, avoid standing the pot in water for long periods. Unlike other carnivorous plants, Monkey Cups can be watered with tap water, though distilled or rainwater are best to prevent long term mineral build-up.
  • Feeding: If your Nepenthes lives outdoors, there’s no need to feed it – it will catch all the bugs it’s hungry for! If it’s indoors, or if you want to hand-feed occasionally, live or dried crickets or mealworms (available at pet stores) are its favourite snack! Drop one into each cup every 2-3 weeks during spring and summer and your Monkey Cup will be well fed!


“My kids just love their ‘Hungry Plants’! We’ve collected the whole set and it brings them endless pleasure inspecting their plants everyday to see if they’ve caught some prey.”

Celeste F.

“Fantastic customer service! Seamless order experience, my order was delivered ahead of schedule, plants were well packaged and in great condition. Highly recommend Hungry Plants!”

Ulrich P.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Carnivorous Plants Need Fertilizer?

Carnivorous plants generally don’t need to be fertilised as they obtain these nutrients from their prey.

What's the best spot to put my plant?

A sunny windowsill or outside in the sun will keep your carnivorous plant super happy & healthy.

How Often Should I Water My Plant?

Carnivorous plants love water and should not be left to dry out, check the soil, it should be moist but not wet before watering again. Carnivorous plants can be sensitive to minerals in tap water, so they prefer distilled or rainwater

Do Carnivorous Plants Need Fertilizer?

Carnivorous plants generally don’t need to be fertilised as they obtain these nutrients from their prey.

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