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Thread: Philcula's N. rajah

  1. #1
    killerplantsguy's Avatar
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    Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Terraforum member "Philcula". I'd like to share photos of his Nepenthe rajah:





    It had four open pitchers - fantastic!
    KPG
    "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" - Mark Twain

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." - Pancho Villa, last words.

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    Nice! I'm jealous

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    Very cool plant, Phil! It would be interesting to hear some of the cultivation details, such as age of plant, growing conditions, etc. I'd be happy to compare notes, share info, and so forth. Thanks for posting the images, KPG.

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    jorick's Avatar
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    inpressive plant , I've never seen such a big one

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    srduggins's Avatar
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    Nice plant and nice pics. Its great to finally see some of Phil's impressive plants.
    A day without Nepenthes is like a day without sunshine

    --steve

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    Thanks folks, you're most kind. Since I don't own a digital camera nor the capability to post pics I decided to pull the stick out of my back side and have my friend Paul help me out. It was a very pleasant afternoon with him clicking away at my plants and answering his questions. If you want to see some of the other pics he took you'll have to ask him to post them. He has my permission.

    Neps...I proably don't grow the plant in the most conventional way but here's what I do:

    Pot size = 12 inches, soil mix is small & medium grade orchid bark, pumice, charcoal and shredded long fiber sphagnum all in equal proportions then top dressed with a layer of pure long fiber sphagnum. Plant size is 32 inches dia.

    The plant sits inside a home made clear plastic grow chamber constructed from clear plastic doll display cases that were slit apart and then re-connected together to make a 36 inch square box. the floor area is a thick layer of long fiber sphagnum (for humidity).

    On top of the moss layer are sections of ceiling diffusing panels or 'egg crate' as it is sometimes called. The pots sit on this to keep the bottom of the pot off the moss to assist drainage. Over the top of the grow chamber is a large, clear plastic tent with ventilation openings in two opposing corners. Fresh air from the swamp cooler goes into one corner and blows hot air out the other.

    The unit sits in pretty bright light. The inside often heats up to 90 degrees F, but the humidity hovers around 75 to 80% daytime and 100% nightime. It probably doesn't need this much humidity during the day but it seems to really love it. My greenhouse experiences a natural nighttime drop in temps of up to 40 degrees F during the summer which helps cool down the chamber even more..

    I water only when the soil mix under the top dressing of sphagnum has begun to dry off. I don't use any type of fertilizer; organic or artificial. I DO hand feed the traps with live insects, LOTS of them. They also feed on argentine ants by the hundreds.

    In a nutshell I grow the plants with very warm humid days in bright light and very cool humid nights with constant air circulation in a fast draining grow medium that is watered only when the mix begins to dry off.

    I received this plant around 7 years ago as a tiny, tiny tc seedling. I believe it is a Wistuba clone if I'm not mistaken. For the first 4 years it just grew but didn't increase in size all that dramatically. Then all of a sudden one spring the next leaf to develop was twice the size of the previous so I knew the plant had finally settled in and was past its slow seedling state.

    The photo doesn't truly depict the color of it. The peristome has an outer edge of deep purple black with the inner circumference being a deep pigeon blood red. Quite a lovely contrast. When I repot this plant into a larger pot I will use my method of cutting the pot away from the root mass in order to disturb the roots as little as possible.

    I'm sure I left some details out but please feel free to ask if you need any more details. It has been fun.

    Phil

  7. #7
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Beautiful plant! Thanks for sharing them KPG. Maybe you'll post more so we can see more of Phil's plants.

    So...this chamber you built is inside a greenhouse? I'm still trying to think of a way to build an area I can cool at nite (without fancy electronics). Your greenhouse naturally cools down 40 degrees at nite?
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    PAK- Yes, this chamber is inside my greenhouse. Our summer weather here is almost desert like. We do get some morning fog, but at night the temps drop down dramatically. In many instances it can be 95 degrees F during the day and hit 50 to 55 deg. F at night. I'm fortunate that I've never had to try to get my greenhouse temps lower artificially.

    During the day I use swamp coolers to help keep temps somewhat comfortable but I also use a high powered fogger to blast the air with humidity. It's probably not necessary to keep the humidity so high during the day but I can tell the plants really like it alot and to me...a tropical greenhouse should be really humid if the sunlight is intense and the temps are rising.

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