View Full Version : New to (nepenthis) pitcher plants
02-09-2003, 12:21 PM
Hi all. I baught two (Nepenthis) a few months aggo and was wondering if they have a dormant time like venus fly traps do when they die down? because mine dont seem to of really died down but just slow down in growth. Is this normal and should i worry if they do not die down in winter? What should temperatures be in winter and summer? i am in the UK and they are in a propagator that heats the temp to around 76 degrees f. Thanks for any info.
02-09-2003, 12:26 PM
chris, no they don't go dormant. They may have slowed down until they adjust to thier new home or they may not be getting enough light. As far as temps it would help to know what type of neps you bought. If they are hybrids from a local hardware store/ nursery then they might prefer 70s-80s. Generally the warmer the better within reason.
Remeber to use R/O or distilled water.
02-09-2003, 12:55 PM
Im using rain water that i have been collecting in a bucket in my garden.... One is a hybrid and i think the other is a normal nepenthis. Im not really sure lol. Do they have a slowed down growth time of year? Should i lower the temperatures at any time during the year or just turn the heater off at night time and then on again in the morning. Im probably gonna put the heater on a timer and might get a medium filter (Natural) light from a store and have that on a timer also so the temp falls and rises with the light.
Hi Chris, and welcome.
Being fairly new to CP's myself (not quite a year yet) I understand all your questions. Let me see if I can help with some very basic information.
There are two general catagories Neps fall into, Lowland (warm days, warm nights) and Highland (warmish days, cool nights). This is why it is helpful to know what kind of Neps you have. There are of course variants within these catagories but that gets a little more complicated and you'll pick it up as you go along.
This is a really good webpage giving you a rundown on the basics as well http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq6010e.html and will answer alot of your questions.
Unfortunately I can't comment on your lighting questions as I grow my neps (and all other CP) outside.
As for your other questions...
No, nepenthes don't have a slowed down growth period at all, they are tropical plants.
As for the heater, assuming you have lowland neps, or those that can be grown as lowland, room tempurature is usualy just fine for them, and they can adapt rather quickly to a wide range of tempuratures (Mine do wonderfully in tempuratures fluctuating between low 50's F and upper 90's)
For most lowland and intermediate Nepenthes, more important than tempurature in my experience is humidity. In which case the higher the better, esspecially since I noticed on another post that you have them in with sundews.
One more bit of advice one newbie to another, go out and buy "The Savage Garden" by Peter D'Amato. This book will help not only in answering most of your questions regarding what will live where and how, but also in identifying your plants and addapting your growing conditions to them. It really is one of the best investments you can make.
If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask, there are many very knowledgable people here and they all like to help.
Welcome again to the forums and best of luck with your plants.
02-09-2003, 01:46 PM
Thanks a lot for that http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif. As i said i only know that one of them is a hybrid cause it says so on the label. The other just says Pitcher plant (Nepenthes) so im not sure lol. The humidity and temp seem ok in my new set up, i only just got it today cause i read up about the pitchers dryibng out if not humid enough. Now the whole propagator has misted up hehe so should be ok in there. Ill try and find out what my other one is. Is it ok to leave the heater on during the day and switch off at night? or shall i leave it on at night aswell?
02-09-2003, 01:48 PM
Maehem covered it. Bright light, don't use plant grow lights, use full spectrum lights. Lots of humidity.
BUY THE BOOK. It alone has the power to save many plants.
02-09-2003, 01:51 PM
Ok i had a look at the label on the other plant. It says Pitcher plant (Nepenthes) 'Alata' is that what you were looking for? I am thinking of moving the propagator to a shelf in my bedroom with a tube light above it set on a timer. Would that be a better thing to do? because its winter here right now and the sun isnt that bright or out for too long right now.
02-09-2003, 02:43 PM
You'll need more than one flourescent tube to get your Nepenthes to pitcher. Try 4x 40 watt flourescent tubes to start with, more would be better. The plants will survive in dim light (for a while) but they need good light as well as high humidity to produce any pitchers. People say over 60% humidity is adequate but I think over 80% is necessary. According to my own experience more is always better. Just don't leave the plants foliage wet so that water is standing on the leaves for a long time as this can invite fungal diseases and mar the foliage.
Many people say Nepenthes alata is an easy one and good for a starter plant. I never owned this species as I go for the weirder looking ones but bright light, correct temps and humidity are all important in growing your Nepenthes to their fullest extent with robust pitchers on every leaf. Otherwise you'll just have a big jungle vine. http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
02-09-2003, 03:03 PM
Lol well i dont want a jungle vine. You sure i would need 4 of those lights? i only have two plants. Why are 4 needed? Im not sure about the humidity of mine. Im gonna get a humidity monitor soon so i can check the percentage. Also should i leave the temp the same day and night or should i turn off my heater at night time. Its at roughly 76 degrees in there with some water at the bottom of the propagator to create humidity and should i let it flower? i have heard that some CP's die due to flowering.
02-09-2003, 08:11 PM
It is ok to lower the temp a little at night but not neccessary. You need the lights to get enough energy per square foot for the plants to grow well, it has nothing to do with how many plants you have.
I wouldn't worry about flowers for 5 years or so, by then you'll know the answer.
02-10-2003, 12:54 AM
Hmm so i need 4x 40 watt tube lights? florescent? length? and how much do they cost roughly? I need to buy a humidity dial today to check what percentage its at because my dad recons it might be 100% lol bu i dont think so. I have the two top vents open and still pretty humid in there so ill check today. How would i lower it if it is too high? just put less water in there?
02-10-2003, 12:56 AM
I was meant to ask 'UV Florescent'? im not sure what type you mean. Hehe. I hate being new to things. I sound like a right idiot asking these questions dont i http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
02-10-2003, 05:39 AM
Don't worry about sounding stupid, everyone has to start somewhere-that's why we're here-to help each other out with our experiences. *http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
The more lights are necessary because one simply isn't bright enough to give the plant it's energy from photosynthesis. I don't know what the DIY stores in the UK are like but here in the US a twin tube flourescent fixture for 2x 40 watt flourescents is very common and will only cost between $5 & $10 USD not including the bulbs. For the bulbs you can use two "cool white" and two "warm white" this will give you a relatively even color spectrum which more closely matches the sun (if you check out my Terrarium lighting 101 post in the "Terrarium/greenhouse" forum you will hopefully be able to understand a little better). You can buy more fancy flourescents but having done so in the past I honestly don't see a big difference. But DON'T buy any flourescents that say "Plant light" as these are a rip off and are very dim compared to a plain old cool white flourescent.
Your propagator (I'm assuming this is something similar to a small cold frame grow box but clear?) may be 100% humidiy if it's mostly closed, is there water condensed on the glass? It is only "dangerous" to have very high humidity if the water will not evaporate on the plant's leaves as this can lead to fungal diseases and rot. Most Nepenthes live in a region of almost daily rains but the water must be able to evaporate from the leaves and the excess drain away from the roots and leave the soil just wet but not waterlogged/flooded (this will rot the roots). If you start to see what look like spiderwebs on the plants soil then you know that the humidity is way too highand/or the soil is being kept too wet.
If you have a couple open holes it should be alright.
Remember that your humidity will drop a bit when you add those lights due to the heat generated by them. You may wind up closing the vents halfway to retain more humidity.
02-10-2003, 05:59 AM
Ok well thepropagator has two vents one on each side of the lid. Each one has 4 slits about 3/4 of a cm wide and about 5cm long. I have these both fuller open right now and there is still condensation on the inside of the tank. Ill see what i can do about the lighting as soon as i get some money's http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif there is no water on the actual leaves yet. A few drops may fall onto them though. Ill have to try putting less water in the base next time.
02-10-2003, 07:35 AM
Some of these questions depend on the size of your propagator. if you were using 10 gallon aquariums, end-on-end, one shop light is probably sufficeint. That is how a lot of mine are grown and they get good color. I am sure two would be better, so if your propagator is wide enough, go as many as it will allow. It also depends on how far away from the top your plants are,. You will want them as close to the lights as possible.
The heat switch sounds really nice. If you want to know which types if Nepenthes you can grow, try and get something to monitor the temperatures. The heat on during the day and then off at night might give you the right temperature swing to grow highland Nepenthes. If it does not get cool enough, you could keep it on continously for lowland plants.
The two you have sound like perfect beginner plants. N. alata is very acomandating and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and hybrids usually are tougher than pure-breds(this is called "hybrid vigor").
Keep asking questions and they will get answered, but that book is definitely a must if you are going to get into the hobby.
02-10-2003, 08:30 AM
If i recall correctly the width of the propagator is 56cm but i cannot be sure because im at college right now. Ill have a look when i get home and figure out how many lights i will need. I am also going to be planting my sundew seeds today hopefully. Will they be ok in with the nepenthes? or should i grow seperately until they surface? The tenperature is constantly help between 72 and 77 degrees F when the heater is switched on.
02-10-2003, 10:07 AM
That sounds like you could get at leas three, maybe four shoplights on. Another thing about lights, is that many people have theri own opinion on what kid to use. I have heard full spectrum do not really do anything and others swear by them. I do know you will do fine with just plain old 40 watt cool white. You can also alternate with your bulbs and do hafl CW and half warm white, just to change the spectrum a little.
What kind of sundew seed are you sowing? I personally in this situation would sow the seed in your pots, and then put the pots in little plastic baggies and put that within a coupe of inches of the light. I like to spray a mist of fungicide before doing that, but that is just me.
Maybe you should move the sundew seed Q to the Sundew forum.
02-10-2003, 11:03 AM
ok...... Is there a website i can order those bulbs from? I looked in a hardware store here in the Uk earlier and the bulbs were £10 pounds for 300mm 40watt ones and i dont think they had cool white or warm white. The sundew is a (Capensis) tropical kind so the conditions are almost identicle. The only light i have in my house right now is a UV flouresent bulb. My dad thinks that will kill the plants because of the UV in it. Its not a dark dark UV one like in theme parks. Its fairly light in the purply colour. Dont know if they can be used?
02-10-2003, 02:08 PM
I don't think you will be able to use your UV light. It's not the UV which harms the plant as much as a wrong bulb color (this is called a Kelvin rating). What you want is a bulb giving as close to a crisp white light as possible. A purple tinted light is likely to be in the 20,000+ Kelvin rating and what you need for good plant growth is 5,000K to 6,500K. 5000K is the optimum "white" light as it's the rating of the noonday sun at the equator. The higher you go in K numbers from this the bluer the light will be, the lower you go from 5000K the yellower the light will be.
I'm sure that your local DIY, Hardware or Home store should carry cheap replacement flourescents, tell them you are looking for some shoplight replacement tubes called cool white & warm white. In the US you can buy two 4 foot, 40 watt flourescent cool white or warm white tubes for about $4USD as they are so common you can even buy them at the grocery store.
02-10-2003, 04:55 PM
Is natural sunlight not alright to use for nepenthes? because mine are ina window sil right now. Not too much sun yet but it is still a fairly bright position and as spring starts the light will become greater.... I have even noticed a big diference in growth just from putting the plants into the propagator. They have started growing quite quickly again lol.
Natural light is great if you have a fairly bright window or if/when you can put them outside. Making sure they get enough light on a window is a bit difficult, but if you think there is enough try it and see what happens.
02-10-2003, 05:45 PM
"ditto above" http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
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