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Thread: Nitrogen deficiency

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    All my Nepenthes that I grow indoors under lights seem to all have a yellowish color to the leaves. The ones I grow outside all have nice green leaves but only receive bright indirect light. Are the plants that I grow indoors yellower because of brighter lights or are they showing signs of a nutrient deficiency. If so, what can I do about it?
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    I get a yellowish look to the leaves as a result of the plants growing very close to lights (within 4"). I received a N. ventricosa that had large green leaves initially, and the new leaves that formed were only 3" and very yellow. However, the pitchers were much larger and more colorful. I moved the plant further from the lights, and the new leaves were green. I received N. x red leopard from Tony on last Thursday with bright green leaves, and now the new leaves at the top have turned golden with a flush of red.

    My guess is that it's the light, but it seems strange because sunlight should be even more intense. I don't associate the yellow color to be a bad sign (in my case atleast), but I could be mistaken.

    Brian

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    srduggins's Avatar
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    Plants will form darker green leaves with less light in order to absorb more light to create chlorophyl. Yellow leaves in other plants is a sign of iron deficiency. I would try a nice foliar feed with epiphytes delight or other orchid fertilizer.
    A day without Nepenthes is like a day without sunshine

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Yellow leaves can be a sign of virtually anything--bright light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, pathogens, non-optimal humidity, too hot, too cold....etc.

    But, with that said, I grow all my neps under fluorescent lights and some develop yellowish (and sometimes reddish) leaves. In my case, it's probably the light because I foliar feed with an orchid fertilizer once per month, and my plants are growing and pitchering like mad so I believe they're well fed.

    Why don't you try foliar feeding once per month with an orchid/epiphyte fertilizer diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength? It's pretty safe with neps and I would recommend you place your plants in lower light while they're absorbing the liquid as some species can have their leaves slighly burned if placed under bright light with lots of water on them.
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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Could it be any problem with the light bulbs you use? Perhaps using bulbs made specifically for growing plants could improve the coloring. I've noticed a similar yellow leaf problem with some of my Neps and thought it could be due to the lights I use (I use T8 bulbs with a color temperature of 6700K). Anyone else got an opinion on that?

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    I try to judge the color of my leaves by the photos of wild Nepenthes I see. I haven't seen too many wild Nepenthes with bright green leaves like the artifically fertilized plants. The wild Nep. leaves are usually flushed with gold, red, or purple.

    Try a simple experiment: Take an outdoor plant with green leaves and put it under the lights to see what happens. Likewise, an indoor plant can be placed outdoors.

    On another note: I feed my plants on a regular basis with fresh insects. I notice a growth spurt, with larger leaves/pitchers, but the color of the leaves remains the same. I don't see a dark green color develop.

    Brian

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    Bah! I threw away a few Neps a while back because their leaves were turning weird colors...Now that I read this they probably could have been saved [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]

    It seems many Neps in my terrariums under very bright light aquire yellowish leaves. Some of them produce pitchers like crazy and some aren't doing so well. I'll definitely have to look into this further.

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Perhaps using bulbs made specifically for growing plants could improve the coloring.Anyone else got an opinion on that?
    I exclusively use T12 cool white fluorescents, largely because I have trouble finding warm whites. Most of my plants have done fine under these and for those that haven't, I'm inclined to believe excessive temperature was the culprit. I'm not saying a combination of warm/cool whites isn't better (it probably is)--I'm just saying that I'm perfectly satisfied with how my plants are doing under cool whites only. As for leaf coloring, I can think of reasons why using a mix of cool/warms would produce a difference in coloration, but I can also think of reasons why it wouldn't.

    I'd be interested in knowing if anyone's done a controlled experiment that looks at growth rate, pitcher formation and coloration under cool whites vs. cool/warm combo.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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