I posted this on CPUK forum but i am trying to get as much info on this as possible so those who have already read this...forgive me:-)
I grow my plants in terrarium but this contribution to the forum is not as much about terraria as it is about artificial feeding of CPs so if needed please move it to more apropriate department.
Some time ago I have been thinking about how to keep the plants vividly growing even when the conditions arent very favorable (e.g. winter) when there is not enough prey/insects. It is well understood that CP are green plants capable of photosyntesis and that supplementation of N P and other lacking elements via digestion of prey is not necessary requirement for their survival. Of course a nourished plant grows and propagates better than struggling one. The importance of feeding the plants varies from one species to another and is maybe the most obvious in the case of tuberous droserae when they need (in very short time) grow rapidly bloom and create seeds or extra tubers. Without enough prey some of them only form a terrestrial rosette and then go back to dormancy without flowering and further propagation. All of the CPs are onlu capable of digestion of very simple molecules. So the prey body's components have to be broken down to its primary structures (aminoacids glycides fatty acids phosphosacharides etc). Depending on the CP genus not all of the components can be used for nourishing the plant. Enzymes available are the crucial determinating point. Well I designed an experiment to perform and determine whether there is a way to nourish the plants artificially to boost their growth and sustain wellness.
As we know the anorganic fertilizers work mostly on the principle of addition of nitrogen in ammonium or nitrate form (or both in case of ammonium nitrate) phosphorus in form of sec. and tert. fosfates....potassium as KNO3 or KCl..and so on....in other words in a form unacceptable for most of CPs.
Organic fertilizers are mostly urea guanidine calcium cyanamide (nitrolime) or other compounds with little tollerance of Cp to such fertilization.
So i decided to try a different kind of food supplement for CPs...the very same that is used for animals.
I took a powder mix of some aminoacids (lysine proline glutamic acid valine isoleucine serine tyrozine etc) fatty acids (stearic lignoceric acids and myristic acid) glycosides glycides and coenzymes and minerals such as Mg and vanadyl sulphate..)
This i prepared dilute solution from and fed it to the plant once a week for two months.
I only used Heliamphora and Nepenthes for this first experiment.
In case of Heliamphora (minor) I had two plants coming from a cluster division of one plant...therefore genetically identical and they were grown together under the same conditions except one was fed the solution and the other was just as a referrence plant. The pictures show that both plants grew the same amount of new pitchers and that the frequency of growth did not increase but the growth of each new pitcher of fed plant was more rapid and the traps distingtively better developed:
In case of Nepenthes i used common cheap hybrid x Ventrata. The young plant was fed for one month the very same nutrients. The next pitches was much bigger then the previous created by plant and actually bigger than tha plant itself:
It would be nice to see whether this works with slow-growing nepenthes and other carnivorous genus.
I havent tried this with pinguicular nor sarracenias (dormancy). But i have tried with droseras. The food was fed in solid/powder form directly onto the leaf. (D. capensis D.slackii D peltata) but before the food could be digested the affected leaf was a subject to rot/mould attack. This I think happens because droserae genus dont possess glycosidases-enzymes making the digestion of sugars possible. Since there were sugars present they remained undigested and therefore an inducement for fungus growth.
I think with the proper analysis of enzymes in plants it is possible to design a harmless fertilizer to be mixed to meet each plant`s requirements:-)
Sorry for the long lecture I just wanted to share my results and thought it might be of interest to some.
Also I would like to ask you whether anyone had tried this before i did and what was the outcome of the experiment:-)
P.S.(1): Apologies for my English for it is not my native tongue....
P.S.(2): My sincere congratulations on electing a smart president with a brain in his head (for a change )