I've had this plant for a year. It has grown a lot this spring, and put out a ton of new pitchers. There are a bunch of new tiny ones forming still. It was looking so good, I didn't want to mess with it. I just left last years dead leaves on it even though they were brown and dead. It was so over grown looking I finally cut the dead stuff. That's when I saw the base of the stems where they meet the soil. It looks great from the front, but looking down on the stems/soil, they're all brown. I'm worried it wasn't draining well. Is it a gonner? I'm trying to make this photobucket link thing work. Hope it does. See links below while I hold my breath. Thank you!
You have a Nepenthes x "ventrata" (it is important to specify what genus at least, preferably species or hybrid if known since there are some 5 different carnivorous genera that are all pitcher plants, and all need different care), which certainly should be in better draining soil than that (ie. long-fiber sphagnum preferably, kept just moist) even if it's a bomb-proof plant, but what you are seeing is simply old stem turning woody. These are lianas, only the end few feet of vine stay green (if that with some) while the rest turns brown and hard.
I understand that you'd prefer me to specify exactly what the plant is, but since I don't even know that those are the stems turning to wood, hopefully you can assume that asking me for the genus and/or species of a plant is asking too much in this case. That's why I'm here in the first place. This plant was a gift. I know NOTHING. I'm not even a plant person. Obviously. I did manage to keep the thing alive for over a year, and it looks pretty happy. It's huge compared to when I got it. I diligently collected rain water during the most severe drought our area (TX) has ever seen, so I could water it. I make sure it has the right light and temperature. I'm doing the best I can. But the stems looked bad when I finally cut all the old leaves off, and I did notice the container it was in quit draining properly. I'm not sure how long it was sitting in water. I looked at a ton of other pictures online, and none looked all brown like that. But what I *think* I'm hearing from you is that it looks normal? If it is normal, and not dying, that's certainly good news. Am I supposed to do something to keep the wood from forming, or just go with it? Thanks again. I appreciate knowing more. So does the plant. Thank you a million times.