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Thread: Nepenthes Problems

  1. #1
    Katherine
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    Nepenthes Problems

    I have some problems with my Nepenthes.
    I have both an Alata and a Ventrata, both suffering from the same problems, I suspect.

    The conditions:

    They are both potted in the same hanging basket, in the same media, which is fresh pure NZ sphagnum moss. The alata is planted straight into the soil, but the ventrata is planted in a pot with the bottom cut out, which is embedded in the hanging basket soil.

    The hanging basket is watered once a week. The soil never dries out completely, but it does dry out over the course of the week, and it would dry out completely if it wasn't watered for two weeks.

    The hanging basket is hanging underneath a 40W household lightbulb, and is less than half at metre away, and a little to the side. I always try and face the plants so they face the lightbulb.

    The temperatures are always high. The fire is going, and the lightbulb makes it quite hot. It would be close to 30 degrees celcius, if not actually 30 degrees, where the hanging basket is. There is very little or no temperature drop.

    I regularly fertilise the Nepenthes with 1/4 strength liquid orchid fertiliser in a litre of water, every second week, and I tip this in the soil and on some leaves. 3 months ago I fertilised every pitcher on both plants too much, and killed the pitchers, although not the vine's or leaves connected to the pitchers which were affected.
    I don't know if the bottle I used to fertilise them last week had had something in it previously, but I know the bottles I used every other time hadn't.


    The plants:

    I got the ventrata 5 months ago, and since then it has only produced two pitchers, both of which were healthy and succesively larger and more mature looking. The first of the two pitchers it made in my care has died through nautral causes, but I killed the second.
    It only had 1 other mature pitcher when I got it, which slowly died. It's many other pitchers were small, immature and hairy. It has since begun to vine.

    The plant produces a new leaf every week, but has since begun to slow growth. Each new leaf has a pitcher on the end of the tendril, but when the leaves first unwrap to reveal the pitcher and tendril, the pitchers look white, and almost have a silvery sheen. It never used to do this. It has also begun to produce basals. It has two healthy large one's, and a small developing one. The oldest basal has begun to show some strange behaviour too.
    Pretty much the plant makes leaves with little pitchers, which refuse to grow quickly, or even mediumly. In fact they grow extremely slowly, whereas it used to produce a pitcher every month. The last pitcher after the one I killed had to be clipped off, because it got damaged before it could grow, and ever since then the plant has refused to make pitchers. The small pitcher it is slowly growing is strange looking as well, and totally unlike the last pitchers. Also, the newset leaves it has produced are unhappy looking. They are bright, light green instead of the characteristic dark glossy green, and they are not straight edged on the sides, instead they are undulating, alsmost as though something has eaten hunks out of the sides of the leaves all the way along.

    The Alata I've only had for a few months. It is growing leaves slowly, and pitchers slowly. When I first got it it had heaps of pretty red dappled pitchers. Some even had nectar on them. I accidentally killed these off in the fertilising incident mentioned above. It now produces leaves only very slowly, and all it's new pitchers are bright green, with no red colouration. The pitchers it does eventually grow to full size are only half the size of it's previous one's, have no sign of nectar, and open their lids really early, then refuse to grow bigger. Also, the peristome never fully opens out, it is always nearly unpresent at the front, and only hlaf unfurled at the sides. It is still a rosette, but is just beginning to vine, and is much smaller than the ventrata.

    Help! What is wrong with my plants?
    Drosera Arcturi-The Alpine Sundew...

    I'm an AMP People's Choice Applicant this year, please vote for me here:
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  2. #2
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Is that light incandescent or fluorescent?

  3. #3
    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    that is what i was going to ask. because regular incandescent lightbulbs do not put out the spectrum required for plant growth.

  4. #4

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    Sounds to me like you need to increase the light level. If 40 watts is all its getting, its not enough. My ventrata grows in a window in full sun and still it wants more. It may also be a humidity issue and either needs some higher humidity to pitcher or time to acclimate to lower humidity. Which can take a long time although ventrata is tough. I like to keep humidity around 60 -70 %.

  5. #5
    From the Tropics mindmaze's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to stop fertilizing the plants completely. I've heard of other people fertilizing their Neps before, but they do it very rarely, like once a month. I don't fertilize my plants at all, just let them catch what they can. I also don't like to use hanging baskets since they tend to dry out quicker than I would like them to, unless you have epiphytic species, which in my experience don't mind drying out sometimes. Check the ambient humidity as well to see if it's lower than 70%. Other than that, don't be too finicky with your plants, you'll be amazed what they do when you're not touching them every 5 minutes.

    Joel

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