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Thread: Many, many questions on nepenthes growth.

  1. #1
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Scenario 1:
    I received a 3" plant from the nursery. Tissue-cultured. After a couple of months, it grows taller and starts showing signs of vining. Soon after, I see intermediate pitchers. I let the plant continue growing taller and see more and more of the brown stem.

    Questions:
    1. If the plant doesn't put out basal shoots, that means I will never get lower pitchers again right?
    2. This is going to happen to all N.bicalcarata since it doesn't put out basal shoots?
    3. And if I miss its lower pitchers, I got to buy a new plant? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]

    Scenario 2:
    Tissue-cultured plant again. After a couple of months, it grows taller and starts showing signs of vining. But this time, I see basal shoots forming. I noticed that the vining stem slows down its growth and rarely puts out pitchers.

    Questions:
    4. Does this happen to all nepenthes?
    5. And will the vining stem resume its growth after the basal shoots have reached a certain size?

    Scenario 3:
    I suspect that the plant is cultured using intermediate or upper stem/leaf tissue. With a new basal shoot, the plant starts producing intermediate pitchers after 2-3 lower pitchers.

    Questions:
    6. Can I keep cutting the plant back in order to "maximise" the lower pitchers production i.e. to encourage more basal shoot growths?

    Ultimate Questions
    7. How does one ever get large, mature lower pitchers then? Via seed-grown plants? Heavy fertilisation? *scratches head*
    8. Just how far up do lower pitchers go?

    The reason for so MANY questions:
    All of my neps start vining before I see mature lower pitchers. So I wonder if my plants will ever be mature. It's like "Hey, I want you to grow OLD, NOT grow UP!"
    Cindy

  2. #2

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    1. If the plant doesn't put out basal shoots, that means I will never get lower pitchers again right?

    Right.

    2. This is going to happen to all N.bicalcarata since it doesn't put out basal shoots?

    Bicalcarata most definitely puts out basal shoots-usually a bunch at one time. To encourage basals, gently train the long, old vine to grow below the pot level.

    3. And if I miss its lower pitchers, I got to buy a new plant?

    Only if you want to. You'll get lowers once the plant matures and has enough root mass.

    Scenario 2:
    Tissue-cultured plant again. After a couple of months, it grows taller and starts showing signs of vining. But this time, I see basal shoots forming. I noticed that the vining stem slows down its growth and rarely puts out pitchers.

    Questions:
    4. Does this happen to all nepenthes?

    Often, but not engraved in stone. Usually when the old vine begins to slow down and stop pitchering because energy is going into basals, its time to take a cutting.

    5. And will the vining stem resume its growth after the basal shoots have reached a certain size?
    No. It may even start to die back. You want to take the cutting before this happens.

    Scenario 3:
    I suspect that the plant is cultured using intermediate or upper stem/leaf tissue. With a new basal shoot, the plant starts producing intermediate pitchers after 2-3 lower pitchers.

    Questions:
    6. Can I keep cutting the plant back in order to "maximise" the lower pitchers production i.e. to encourage more basal shoot growths?
    Encouraging more basal growths is now you will eventually get the plant to produce the lowers. Often tip cuttings from older vines take a while to finally do the lowers. Even the first basal produced may produce intermediates. The plant is still just barely beyond the cutting stage, and needs to "mature" to produce the true lower pitchers.

    Ultimate Questions
    7. How does one ever get large, mature lower pitchers then?

    A large mature plant.

    Via seed-grown plants? Heavy fertilisation? *scratches head*

    Despite what others may note, we find seed grown plants to have the most variation in growth rates. TC plants are much more consistant because they are all the same clone.
    Nepenthes benefit from fertilizing. As to how much is up to you.
    8. Just how far up do lower pitchers go?
    Depends on the species/hybrid, size of the plant and growing conditions.
    If your plants move quickly into the vining stage, you may be growing them too shady. Ease them into brighter conditions. It will encourge the internodal distance to stay short. They also grow a little slower, but you get thicker leaves and more lower pitchers.

    Good growing

    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Thanks tons, Trent. I'll try to bend the N.bicalcarata but it will be really tough. No more further questions. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    Cindy

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    Hello,
    I found something rather interesting today, was in a rush so took a blur pic.



    Its N. xcoccinea, with lowers, but guess what, the plant started vining 5 feet below, the stem shown had been producing uppers, quite old, then lowers pop out from a sideshoot.
    I have no explanation for this, but I am quite certain that a vining stem producing uppers can still bring out a lower pitcher sideshoot.

    An example from natural habitat:
    N. rafflesiana lower pitcher rossettes maybe 4 or 5, spaced out about a metre apart. All are connected by an old stem buried under leaf litter. (this is just what I observed)
    Lets see, the average seed grown raff begins vining and uppers at about 50cm in length - this means the plantlets emerged from an old stem which once bore uppers right?
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]
    I have no answer to how and why, but I can suggest layering technique for a very tall vine? Or atleast give you hope for more lowers [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    Thanks

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    You will sometimes get lower pitchers from lateral shoots from a climbing vine producing uppers. It does depend a lot on the species (for example, eymae will produce uppers from the word go on upper lateral shoots). However, you'll find that these laterals will go to the uppering phase much sooner than a normal rosette (just like basals).

    Hamish
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

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    srduggins's Avatar
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    If you root cuttings from laterals or basals, do the lower pitchers last longer than if left on the plant?
    A day without Nepenthes is like a day without sunshine

    --steve

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Oh, man! Lam, now I am sure the N.coccinea upper vine cutting you gave me would produce lower pitchers! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] Just that you have to prove that the N.mirabilis does it too. LOL
    Cindy

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