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Thread: New Nepenthes fan with questions

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    dboeren's Avatar
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    New Nepenthes fan with questions

    Hello! I'm brand new to carnivorous plants and rapidly becoming obsessed with Nepenthes. I've already ordered a copy of Savage Garden, expected to arrive sometime next week.

    Anyway, I'm working on researching some intial Nepenthes plants to start my collection (haven't ordered anything yet) and could use some good advice. I'll follow up with that in the Nepenthes forum.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hey there - welcome to the Terraforums!

    I'm a Nep fan myself, I don't have the huge collection I once did but I'm working on recollecting my favorites. The first plant I ever got in 1999 or 2000 was a cutting from an Nepenthes Ventrata that my uncle was growing (without pitchers) in his bedroom window. This plant is a hybrid of N. alata and N. ventricosa. Usually if you see a plant being sold as "N. alata" it is actually this N. Ventrata hybrid. True N. alata is not that common in cultivation. Anyway, this plant is very easy to grow and pitcher in a terrarium with lights overtop, some people can grow their Nepenthes in a window and have them pitcher but I can not - I must grow mine in terrariums and grow chambers to keep them humid & well lit enough.

    Your first investment after the book should be a thermometer and hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity of the area you plan to grow your plants. This will tell you what plants you can grow based on how cold the temps are at night and during the day. There are people who complain that the humidity gauges aren't scientifically accurate, and that may be so but it will give you a ballpark figure as to what your conditions are, a nice cheap digital model at Walmart will only run you about $6, an old fashioned dial & red fluid tube model at home depot is $4. No reason not to have one when people are buying $50-$100 rare Nep seedlings yet people make up all kinds of excuses not to have them.

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Hmm...I'm thinking back to my first few plants that aren't ventrata and wondering what's doing the best still...

    Looking over everything, stenophylla and vogelli will take household temps and a sunny window for a good while, but might not pitcher if you don't give them enough light so make sure you give it a good 5hrs sun behind a window sill with at least 3 of those being noontime sun, if that's how you're going to be growing. I think hybrids with sibuyanensis in them are pretty hardy too (sibXhamata, sibXTM ...they're a bit expensive though so maybe try to find a cheaper cross in case something accidentally dies so you don't lose a $100 plant).

    If you want to grow them at low humidity in your house too, you've got to either acclimate them yourself (will take a month or more..) or buy from a place that acclimates already (I think flytrapshop comes acclimated/hardened off already!). If you end up getting things bare-root you'll want to pot them up in something like 1 perlite : 1 long fiber sphagnum moss, or maybe more inorganic material in there if your humidity is high so their roots don't rot from staying wet too long.

    You'll also want to get a TDS meter to test your water to make sure it's not too full of minerals for them if you plan on watering with tap water, either that or buy reverse osmosis water, or a reverse osmosis machine to hook up to your taps for them. Or you could always store up jugs of rainwater with which to water.

    ---oh, almost forgot - truncata seems like it was made for growing on a livingroom window sill, same with clipeata (but clippy's hard to find in the states unfortunately...).

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    5 types of nepenthes: Ultra Highlanders, Highlanders, Lowlanders, Ultra Lowlanders and Intermediates. Pure nep species fall usually either in the highland or lowland category. almost all hybrids may be grown in intermediate conditions.

    Ultrahighlander: 70s (day) 40s (night) ex: villosa, dubia, inermis
    Highlanders: 80s (day) 50s (night) ex: burbidgeae, jamban, glabrata
    Intermediate: 90+ (day) 50s (night) ex: albimarginata, x ventrata, alata <---the widest range, best place to start off
    Lowlanders: 90+(day) 70s (night) ex: ampullaria, rafflesiana, bicalcarata
    Ultralowlanders: 80s minimum ex: cant really think of any off the top of my head....

    you should first chose your nepenthes based upon which conditions you can achieve. it wouldnt make sense to buy a lowland nepenthes if your environment is favorable for highlanders (this could be done with the proper equipment however, though it may prove costly). personally i find highlander nepenthes much more striking in appearance than lowland neps. beauty is in the eye of the beholder though
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    RL7836's Avatar
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    While I don't have the Nep knowledge of the others who've posted, consider a maxima for one of your plants (I have the N. eymae clone 2 from BE, which is a maxima). It's an attractive plant which has continued to pitcher after I moved it from a tank to a windowsill. From what I can tell, it's pretty bombproof ...

    (add'l pics in growlist)
    All the best,
    Ron
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    dboeren's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I'm planning on picking up a digital thermometer/hygrometer, and I'll look into the water test kit. I figured I could get by on distilled initially if I had to.

    I might even be OK with our own water from the refrigerator, it passes through a filter at the kitchen sink, then another filter in the fridge itself. One time we had someone come by trying to sell us a filter system and their tests showed we already had excellent water condition. I don't want to make any assumptions, but at least we have a shot at it

    Thanks for the maxima recommendation. I like that looks of that pitcher and I'd heard elsewhere that maxima crosses were pretty tough so I'll add it to my candidates list. I have a feeling I'll probably have a decent sized list by the time I'm ready to order, and then what I actually get will depend in part on what's in stock at the time.

    RL7836, I'm still working on picking up the species name formatting. Do you mean that your plant is a maxima x eymae cross then? Or if it's just N. eymae, then in what way is that maxima?

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    Nepenthes101's Avatar
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    Figured I'll chime in a bit. I grow the True Eymae species, and my Eymae is a Female.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dboeren View Post
    RL7836, I'm still working on picking up the species name formatting. Do you mean that your plant is a maxima x eymae cross then? Or if it's just N. eymae, then in what way is that maxima?
    There's a number of Neps with some controversy surrounding either the species or specific clones. N. eymae is one of them. I received my plant believing it was a true eymae, however, further research has shown it to be a N. maxima (when you want to read the whole story - read this thread). Nep101 has shared a pic of an upper from the 'real' eymae....
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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