Sup, peeps? I have a problem. My N. campanulata have settled in and are pitchers well, growing fast, and all is well... BUT the pitchers just aren't lasting. I have never encountered this problem, so I don't know how to address it.
I feed twice a month. Half strength organic fertilizer. The media is a normal Nepenthes mix. Loose. Well draining. I did add some aragonite and crushed shell, but only 10% of the total volume of the media. I did this because I had heard that plants who have calcium in their media perform better and can be fed more, and that having the pitchers start to die after feeding was common. That this would prevent that. That plants grown without calcium have a weaker immune system.
I don't believe I added too much calcium. The Sphagnum moss isn't even complaining. What's up? The pitchers start to die from the top down with the necrosis (I wouldn't even call it that. It just turns dark. It doesn't rot.) stopping at the hip (what's the scientific term for the hip, BTW?) I could go down to quarter strength, but that would seem kind of pointless. Why bother at that dose? Fertilizing the media isn't really an option. I don't even know if feeding it is the issue. I'll post pics later. I know the pitchers are thin, but I've fed far thinner pitchers on other plants without this happening. Other than this little issue, the plants are growing fast and performing well.
On one of my females, the last two leaves were fine until the third started growing, then they developed brown coloration. It did this during acclimation, but for a plant who looked fine for quite a while to develop brown coloration practically overnight that coincided with the development of a new leaf, that's pretty weird. The male and BE clone never did that. Not even during acclimation. This plant is... VERY small, so there isn't much room for error. At least it's growing. I've never encountered this happening before, either. Could this be a virus? After all the years, I still don't know how to distinguish a virus from light burn lmao. If so, what do I apply to it? How do you kill something that isn't alive?
I know what you're going to say. It DOES look like light burn, but it's not. Those leaves have been there for like a month. They were green and healthy. This red stuff appeared within the past three days! The light had not changed in intensity, the bulb wasn't changed, the acrylic cover wasn't remove, the plant's position wasn't move, NOTHING out of the ordinary has happened, so I have to rule out light damage. The larger plants, OTOH, do have some light damage. Surprisingly. Unless that is a virus, too, and didn't come out of nowhere like the females' problem did.
The distorted pitchers were made during acclimation. Still, they were healthy until I fed them.
I was going to send the female to someone to take care of for me until I'm ready to take it back... but it looks less than healthy enough, and I'm supposed to send it in like two months. Think it'll make it? The other female is in suspended animation. They arrived fresh out of TC (I asked for them early, and couldn't be happier, so don't think I'm complaining because I'm VERY grateful) and when they arrived they fell apart, so they were essentially rootles cuttings. This was.. uhh... A couple or three month ago I guess? I'm terrible with time. It appears to be the leaf it's self, and not something on the leaf.
For those wanting to know why I don't fertilize, look at the last pic I had no choice but to fertilize the media when I got 'em. Had to pitchers. 24 hours after each half-strength fish emulsion application, I flushed with like a half gallon of RO water. Don't tell me fertilizer doesn't make LFS break down faster :P