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Thread: Questions about vining Nepenthes and cuttings

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    Questions about vining Nepenthes and cuttings

    My Nepenthes have been doing great over this winter, but two of them have been doing a bit *too* well.

    My ventrata, grown as a houseplant, lost most its pitchers (possibly from the shock of moving to a lower humidity level), but then started producing a vine and two basal shoots. Both basals have been producing small pitchers, but the vine has been going nuts, and is close to 3 feet long. No pitchers have formed along the vine, but it constantly puts out nice, big new leaves as it gets longer.

    My tobaica, grown in what used to be my spare shower, has exploded. Before I moved it, it had 4 growing points, but was rather "bushy". Since then, pitcher production has virtually halted as each vine has grown enormously, all over 3 feet long, one of which has become woody at the base. There are no new basals, though.

    So, I'm thinking of taking cuttings, and I've read up on how to do so, but I had a few more general questions.

    1) What stimulates Nepenthes to start vining? My ventrata only had 6" traps, and my tobaica's traps never got bigger than 3", yet both started vining while I've seen other people's plants that are much bigger but aren't vining.

    2) If I cut these plants back, and growth renews in the form of basal shoots, will the pitchers get bigger before they start vining again?

    3) How badly would cutting back the vines shock the plants? Can I expect no growth for a while, or will they immediately pour effort into basal shoots?

    4) Should I wait until there's a new basal on the Tobaica before cutting it back? If so, is there a way to stimulate the formation of new basals at the level of the pot, rather than higher up?

    Thanks!
    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    1: Age. And not all vine. Those are the best lol. Your small traps are due to unfavorable environmental conditions. If it makes you feel better I can't grow nepenthes outside terraria worth a squat lol.

    2: not if the environmental conditions aren't in it's favor. Increase humidity and you'll get larger pitchers/pitchers

    3: It's fine, these plants in particular are extra hardy and i'm not sure you could hurt them with an atom bomb They will start to form new growth points along the vine that is left and the basals will continue to grow.

    4: You can if you want. There might already be basals that havnen't popped up yet. I've never ever worried about cutting a plant and i've never had a plant not grow new shoots along the vine, but it's up to you and my experiences do not mean this is a law in nepenthes culture

    Remember, you can cut up the part you cut off and they will grow into new clones aswell!

    EDIT: I just re-read your post. You have small pitchers near the media because it's more humid down there. Also in plants like N. ventrata the pitcher development is not proportional to the vine growth. For example, you can have a big vine but all of the tendrils will remain dormant until the plant grows say, a foot more in length, then the dormant tendrils will activate and the new tendrils will be dormant. It's like a cycle. On the other hand there are plants like N. truncata that grow a petiole and pitcher while the next leaf is growing instead of putting out lots of leaves at once and making you wait on pitcher production like some of the faster growing plants do.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Here is whay I have notices about my ventrata. And Nepenthes in general. Some plants like Clint says will procuce a pitcher regardless, but some like to have the tendral grabbing onto something before it inflates it pitcher. You can think of it this way. These plants want to climb, and the plant knows that its pitchers when inflated can be heavy. So it will holdback a pitcher to give the tendral time to grab something so it can proceed up the tree or what ever it is growing on. If you train the tendrals to grab back upon itself or another part of the plant you can entice pitchers to form. Try training the tendrals around something and see if they inflate.

    I currently do not grow any nepenthes as houseplants. I just bring some in from the GH when I want to decorate, but return them after I am done.
    JB
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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    1) What stimulates Nepenthes to start vining? My ventrata only had 6" traps, and my tobaica's traps never got bigger than 3", yet both started vining while I've seen other people's plants that are much bigger but aren't vining.

    Age or if the plant you have is already an intermediate or upper vine cutting.

    2) If I cut these plants back, and growth renews in the form of basal shoots, will the pitchers get bigger before they start vining again?

    Yes if the conditions are good. I noticed that subsequent basals will be larger if there the conditions are kept the same as before.

    3) How badly would cutting back the vines shock the plants? Can I expect no growth for a while, or will they immediately pour effort into basal shoots?

    Cutting back will not shock the plants. Sometimes, the plant produces lateral shoots instead of basal shoots. It depends on species. N. ventrata should produce basals readily, not sure about tobaica though.

    4) Should I wait until there's a new basal on the Tobaica before cutting it back? If so, is there a way to stimulate the formation of new basals at the level of the pot, rather than higher up?

    Another way of stimulating basals would be to lean the main vine over the edge of the pot. If the growing tip can go lower than the pot, it will even be better.
    Cindy

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    Thanks everyone! I'll definitely post the results when I get around to actually trying it!

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    I used to take cuttings from other plants, but I quit just cutting and started doing air-layering. Try that...you can at least be sure when you completely cut the plant, the new portion already has roots. Theres a great tutorial on CPUK if you don't know how to do it already. When you make the slit in the stem, but before wrapping sphag around it, sprinkle rooting hormone on the cut...it'll grow roots much faster.
    Z polski y dumny
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    Ok, quick update on the situation:

    My tobaica just kept growing, so I cut back one growing stem to making cuttings about 2 weeks ago. Already, some are showing new growth at the nodes, and when they're rooted and established I'll hack off the rest into cuttings and get rid of it (I need the space for new plants).

    I haven't cut the ventrata, just let it keep growing. It didn't get any new pitchers until about 2 weeks ago, and now it's got about 5 on the new basals (none on the vine yet). Humidity barely changed, so I think it may be the change in photoperiod.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    My. N.tobaica is also vining and it has 3 basals and one soon to be basal .

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