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Thread: Substrate for N.campanulata

  1. #1

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    Substrate for N.campanulata

    So I'm just getting into Nepenthes and other carnivorous plants in my vivariums. My first attempts were growing N.ampullaria from seeds, and growing sundews on a moss drip wall. So far I've had success. Now I have a N.campanulata on order. I'm debating putting it in a terrarium with frogs where it will be placed on a piece of driftwood with some moss. I know they grow slow and stay small.

    I've read they grow as a lithophyte as well, so can I get away with a small amount of sphagnum moss around its roots? Will that work or will I need the typical Nepenthes substrate mix I keep finding on websites?


    Thanks for the help.

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    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    First off, how big are the frogs? They could get gooped by the sticky nectar of N. campanulata. If they are on the smaller side, I would fear that the nectar may inhibit their breathing.

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    They are Theloderma asperum and grow to a bit over an inch and a half. They are a tree frog that spends most of its time in tree hollows that are full of water.

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    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    Hmmm, that sounds like a risk even with smaller Nepenthes.

    However, N. campanulata is very nice plant and if you are able to, you should grow it anyways with its own setup.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, here is a link to what I am talking about in regards to the nectar of N. campanulata: Nepenthes campanulata -- stringy nectar (2) - YouTube

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    A lot of the common consensus with other Nepenthes, including the over protective keepers in the dart frog community, is that most pitchers are low risk, if any, for frogs.

    But whether or not I plan to go this route my question still remains unanswered. Can I grow this pitcher almost like an epipytic plant like a bromeliad or orchid with the roots wrapped in moss on a branch? This species grows in rock crevices on limestone cliffs, so as a lithophyte would my idea work?

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    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    Hmm, you might want to talk to Clue. He grows some good looking N. campanulata in such a manner. I'm not too knowledgeable on the subject. He could probably give your more info.

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    Thank you for all the info. I'll check out that link you provided as well.

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    clippity-clip-clip Clue's Avatar
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    Hi RabidSimian,

    I got your PM and decided to do a little write-up on N. campanulata here. I'd like to say that I'm moderately successful with this species. This thread is a good starting point for more information.

    IMAG0115

    I grow mine lithophytically for aesthetic reasons on a large chunk of limestone rock.

    N. campanulata

    This is a picture of it the last time I had access to my camera, circa two months ago. I have two separate clones growing on it, a red clone and a green Borneo Exotics clone. This is definitely not the easiest way to grow N. campanulata in my opinion and N. campanulata is not a beginner's species, nor very forgiving. Here's some abbreviated pointers about what works for me:

    • Bright light: this one's fairly obvious from the full tank shot.
    • High humidity (65-70% +)
    • Good ventilation: I run a computer fan in the tank intermittently for air circulation
    • Airy medium: should have plenty of aggregate (50% +), be it pumice, pouzzolane, akadama, perlite, or bark
    • Moist but not overly wet: I let mine dry out more than the average Nepenthes in between waterings
    • Temperature is of less importance, room temperature is good but lower than 10 C and higher than 32 C should be avoided.


    The environmental conditions are very dependent on your growing conditions of course; keep a plant wetter and you'll need more water retention (sphagnum or peat), etc. However, I see some potential caveats to keeping them with frogs. N. campanulata in my experience does not appreciate much misting at all and doesn't like extra water in its pitchers, as well as needing excellent ventilation -- it really is a more 'dry environment' plant than typical lowland Nepenthes. Also, I could imagine that in larger pitchers, smaller dart frogs may not be able to escape if caught as the pitchers have exceptionally waxy sides.

    IMAG0116

    IMAG0117

    I have never tried mounting Nepenthes on driftwood, but I think that a spot in a typical frog tank is more well-suited towards orchids and bromeliads. I'm not sure whether the roots would take well to it or not, and if it were to dry out too much without having much root space (and therefore roots), it may wilt too far to save.
    Last edited by Clue; 02-28-2016 at 10:17 PM. Reason: images reformatted
    "I, for one, can't wait to grow Nepenthes extincta!"
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