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Thread: Easy Nep?

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    Are they any easy neps for a beginner like myself? I want something that I can keep by a Wisconsin window year round. Temps are about 70's in the winter and I could move it outside in the summer (unless it's not good). Humidity is not that high in the winter so that might be a problem. Everyone here has some kind of nep but the only plant I've had are VFT's so like I said, I need a beginner nep. Thanks.

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    Capslock's Avatar
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    I'd get a N. ventricosa or any of various hybrids. There are too many of them to mention that seem to grow easily in household conditions. It will suffer in winter, but mist it every day and hope for the best! Make sure it's a somewhat sunny window.

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    Why would it suffer in winter? What kind of conditions does a N. ventricosa need?

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    I'd agree and say N. ventricosa as well. The cool thing is that if you grow them under artificial lights (like me) your plants won't suffer in the winter because there's no decreased photoperiod.

    Really easy Nep, this one is. It grows like a weed!

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    I dont think the lack of light in the winter will be as much of a problem as will the lack of humidity. In wisconsin as in michigan where I live it is required to run the heater almost 24/7 so even with humidifiers it is difficult to get the humidity up. I have grown a N. ventrata on a west facing windowsill for 2 years with no problems. It grows just fine in the winter just doesnt pitcher for a few months.
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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    How many hours of sunlight does it need? What kind of soil conditions? How big do they get and how fast/slow do they grow?

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    Well I don't know how many hours it 'needs' but it gets about 4-5 hours during the summer and 2-3 in the winter. This is direct sun hours, the window is bright the rest of the time. It is planted in straight LFS. I don't know how to answer how big it can get, I guess it can continue to grow upwards until something stops it or impeds its growth. It is reletively fast in the summer and spring and slows down in the winter.
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    swords's Avatar
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    My vote would be to accuire a Nepenthes Ventrata (a hybrid between Ventricosa and alata) it's found at places ike Bachmanns Garden centers this time of year and really is the perect beginners Nepenthes. J & K Orchids shop in Neenah, WI should have some or a similar easy nep if you tell them you are new to the nepenthes and really want one easy to care for. I live in MN and can not keep neps in my apartment unless they are in my grow chambers made from showerstalls and setup with lights, humidifiers, etc.

    My first ever nep was from my old hippie uncle which was a cutting of his very old Ventrata. It didn't pitcher in his window either (too dry) but once I put the cutting in a terrarium with bright lighting and high humidity (use four flourescent tubes at least over a 55 gallon aquarium but six is even better) it really took off.

    The plant should be potted in long fiber spahgnum moss, garden centers (liek Bachmans) sell it to line hanging baskets but it's the best of all nepenthes soils to use (they grow in it in the wild) and basis for any specialty nepenthes soil mixes that I use on my more "difficult" species.

    Ventrata will only reach about 18" in diameter under bright lighting (each leaf about 9-11 inches with 6 inch pitchers). In a sunny window the leaves under real sun can be much longer (my uncles has 2 ft leaves but no pitchers) but as was stated, humidity is the problem for getting it (or any other nepenthes) to pitcher in a window. Misting it once or twice a day does not do much to help as that aleviates the humidity problem for only about 5 minutes.

    If you are adamant about growing it in the open on a windowsill get a cool mist humidifier to humidfy the area in the room where it grows (in bright light). don't aim it at the plant just put it in the area. Walmart sells a digital humidity and temperature gage in the hardware dept for $6.97. This will give you an exact idea of your groiwng conditions. An ultra sonic humidfier (the ones that make fog) is good too but may be too much cause condensation on the floor and walls by running all the time. A cool mist is better for running 24/7 in a open room. Remember the humidifier must run all the time but you can get an appliance timer made by GE (look at Walmarts lighting dept) which can be set on & off every 15 minutes this should keep the area sufficiently humid without ruining your walls. Watching the humidity gage will let you see what you're getting and adjust the appliance timer accordingly.

    As far as the height of Nepenthes this can be variable, diameter is more important if you are growing in a confined space. I cut mine down every year because they can (when in their older climbing stage) quickly fill the growing chambers I have for them. Cutting them back keeps them manageable and looking good with only the fresh green growing tip continually restarting tall nepenthes often become leaf bare or dry and woody near the soil once they reach over a few feet high with only the top couple feet looking real good and pitchering.

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