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Thread: Nepenthes rajah

  1. #65

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    Varun- Yes, I believe Jeremiah grows his big rajah in pure LFS. I did also, in the same size pot that he grows his in...but my plant was about 3x bigger than his and needed to be repotted. The problem was, and I'll repeat it once more, that the roots were all tangled in the moss..which was rotting, and I could not get it off the roots without damaging them. Thus the decline of the plant, plain and simple. Had I been growing in an open mix I would have been able to just pot the whole root ball on into a bigger pot...or maybe could have removed a good deal of it without having to tear the roots up so much.

    If you want to grow your rajah in LFS that's fine. You just need to be prepared for the day when it needs to be removed from the root mass. And there will be that day. You just can not be misguided into believing that what works for one does not work for another. That does not apply here. Sphagnum does not last forever no matter how careful you water and how much air circulation you give it. It WILL eventually decay and if the roots of your plant are tangled up in a lot of it where do you think the moss will begin decaying first?

    Varun I'm concerned about something you mentioned earlier. You mentioned that you need to water your moss often to keep it alive but the media you grow your rajah in stays too wet. You need to decide which is more important. The moss or the rajah. If you want to keep your rajah healthy, then under your growing conditions you may need to forgo the beauty of the live moss..if it means you have to keep your rajah media so wet all the time. There is so much emphasis on top dressing with live moss but so often to the detriment of the plant being grown. I'm pretty sure there is no Sphagnum moss growing where rajah does. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. And if I am...well then there you go; my humble appologies.

    Also, the rajah we grow may be a higher elevation form than the burbidgeae we grow. They do grow at different elevations and therefor react differently to cold in different ways.

  2. #66

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    All the habitat photos I've seen of rajah have it growing in sandy bare clay soil/rock. I've yet to see Sphagnum (any species) growing around it, but I could've just missed it. One would think these clay soils would not provide much aeration, but it is my understanding that lots of aeration is provided by fern roots.

    Just for reference, burb grows 1200-1800m asl.
    Rajah grows 1500-2600 asl.

    I've always wanted to try a burb, but I think my temps would kill it. I had a rajah that survived about a year, but it only pitchered once, and there's no way I could've kept it alive long term.
    Z polski y dumny
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  3. #67
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    I still get jitters on how you could have felt to have lost such a specimen. My humble condolences. I do agree with you on the fact of the media deteriorating. I did expect that the moment I decided to pot the plants in it. The concern is how long it can go before considering a repot.

    Well Phil....to be totally honest...I feel that I should wait a bit longer...especially atleast till I make a definite grow setup. Right now I use a shelf method with 3 crappy single tube, CFL light fixtures positioned on cardboard boxes to light a shelf and whatnot looking horrible and inconvenient. I am planning on a new highland setup in the summer...something more of a tank style which would serve my purpose for a good chunk of time. Then I feel I should repot...i.e., let my plant regain its strength by growing more leaves and pitchers which I can feed. Then for sure...I will repot into the new lighter media. Make no mistake, your experience has taught such that I will never ever pot my future neps (and even current ones) in the same media that I currently use. My plant is still only 8 inches in diameter from leaf tip to leaf tip (measured yest with a ruler ). I still fall into the category of juvenile plant growers. I definitely want to grow this to adult size....so your information is really very helpful. I am already making an archive with information like this which I can refer to in the future.

    Hmm....I totally agree with you and no denial over with that point. I have to do something regarding the wet media. Earlier when the sphagnum was very little, it used ot have a microenvironment from the LFS media and stayed pretty damp without problems. I used to water once a week then. Now, I literally use a liter of water every day just to keep the growing sphagnum moss happy. Since sphagnum only takes what it wants and lets the remaining pass..the media collects the remainder. You are right. I have to do something about it. I might probably start removing some of the moss, put it aside and use it as a media-mix for my future plants or ceph cuttings. I am currently also trying in replacing the sphagnum with polytrichum. Polytrichum has a far sturdier stem structure...grows a lot taller, looks many magnitudes better and also provides good aeration. Plus....it doesn't require too much water as long as the humidity is fine. The concern is that it grows a lot slower and is harder to establish than sphagnum.

    Yeah! there is no sphagnum from what i have seen and read about the N.rajah habitat. You are definately right:
    - First thing I need to do is to start trimming away at the sphagnum layer in the rajah and my other nep pots.
    I will probably start doing this tomorrow
    The last thing I want is the nightmare of seeing a black creeping death on my highland neps.

    Anyways, Thank you for your all your advice Phil. Thanks for sharing your experience and making me aware of the concerns with the current media that I use. I have certainly learnt a lot in this thread that will redefine the way I will grow my plants.

  4. #68
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    I think it tought most of us a lesson. I know I will stop using it as a mix as well. Even though all mine except the predator are still small.

  5. #69
    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    I am not sure if someone said this but, since you like using things like the laundry basket, can't you line the inside with moss then fill it with good substrate, that way you can have the cheap big baskets and won't have to worry about the soil going through all the holes.

  6. #70
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    I'm pretty sure that the basket is so they can get some air flow through the soil.

  7. #71
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    bingo!

  8. #72
    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the substrate just wash right out the the laundry basket when he watered it if there wasn't something holding it in?

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