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Thread: Help Temper Tantrum

  1. #9
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    For the old folks like me 30 celsius = 86 fahr., 24 celsius = 75 fahr.

    None of those are really demanding highland temperature plants, except perhaps the N. muluensis x lowii.

    Your night time (24c) is a bit high but there isn't much you can do to drop that if your room is warm. You are fighting a difficult battle since it is not a problem with excess heat from lighting systems etc. A little better air circulation may help. Open a window and let your room cool more. Try adding the frozen packs although that gets old fast.

    Personally I really don't think the temperature is the problem. Keep in mind that it takes MONTHS for a Nepenthes to fully adapt to a new location. My guess is they were pitchering for a bit after you received them because they were already developing those pitchers and now they are at the point where they are adjusted and not happy.

    So that leaves us with other potential problems that would cause long term unhappiness....

    My first inclination is light level. #1 cause for poor pitcher production is lack of sufficient light levels and/or duration. You didn't indicate how long the lights are on but I would guess it is the usual 14-16hrs a day which should be fine. That leaves light intensity. I can't quite make out the lights but is there 2 13w CFL bulbs there? 13w bulbs are pretty weak. Even with 2 that is in my opinion not even close to sufficient. 2 13w bulbs will be giving you 1600lumens total. I would go with at least 23w bulbs which will boost your lumens to 3200. If you can go even bigger that would be better. Nepenthes are high light loving plants.

    If space is an issue check out the new micro mini CFL. They are about half the size of the regular size CFL with the same light output. Not sure what wattages are available but more varieties are showing up on the market.

    I think if you start there with lighting changes, try and reduce your night time temperatues a bit, and perhaps increase air circulation a little, you will see big improvements in the long run.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  2. #10
    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I never really thought about lighting, because my plants would always get red coppery leaves! You can see it on the Muluesis x Lowii. Also the Heliamphora is turning nice and red, so i thought it was sufficient light, these 13W lights have lumen output of 26W. I bought these because of that advantage.


    Some of the plants were making brand new leaves and they picther immediately. I'll take all you guys suggestions. Tony Thanks for the detailed help!
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  3. #11
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Do you have any further information on the bulbs? Like actual lumen output etc? The wattage thing is only a measure of how much electricity they use and doesn't give much information on actual light levels.

    I see you have the Heliamphora raised up which could account for the red flush on the new leaf. Under really intense lighting however, many Heliamphora will turn entirely red. The nectar spoons look a little underdeveloped (judging by your avatar pic.) Which also indicates insufficient lighting with Heliamphora.

    Good luck with your adjustments. I would say that you are well on the road to CP master!

    oh yeah... bear in mind that increasing light levels could potentially cause more challenges with heat from the bigger bulbs. The plants may also start using more water and nutrients in response to the increase in light/heat. SO whenever you make changes, keep a close eye on things until a balance returns.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  4. #12
    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    Thanks, I threw the package away! But it said that each 13W had aproximately 3600 Lumen output if I remember correctly. The heliamphoras latest picther is under developed because I had to move it somewhere else were it got less light. the older pics have better developed spoons because it was in that terrarium before. Right now its back and is sending up 2 new picthers with nicely developed spoons!


    I guess they'll just have to adjust, because I don't think my parents would let me 'upgrade' Right now i'm misting them with refrigerated water.
    -Carnivoure12
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    I've tried to do what you are trying to do now. It pretty much just doesn't work. If I was you I would sell or give away the Highlanders. They will almost certainly die in your conditions.

    I even got real creative. I had a portable swamp cooler always blowing on the terrarium. I had a humidifer outside my window with a funnel ducktaped to the exhaust with a tube attached to it and blowing right next to the Ultra highlanders. No luck.

    The main reason why is because there is a difference between the temps around the plants and the temps inside the plants, which is what really matters. Lack of air circulation, like in terrariums, means 80s is really like 90s to the plant.

    I gave up on terrariums. They are death traps for highlanders, pure and simple. A better route to go is to use a growrack and then run a humidifier in your room, near your plants, all the time. At night, open your window and make sure your grow rack is next to it. Sunlight through your window is vastly superior to fluorescent lighting anyways. I use both though, unless it gets too hot then I turn the lights off.

    I've found that most Neps grow fine, once they are established, in these conditions. Most Neps really only need a minimum of 50% humidity. Hamatas though, probably will suffer still. For example my Talangs grow but won't pitcher in the heat.

  6. #14
    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    Hmm dying off is quite drastic, they grow very well when its winter here, i'm sure they'll do well, plus they grow just fine in my terrarium. I only have them in there because they're still small. I think it would be more risky to change their conditons while going through this transition period.

    My Apartment doesn't get much light through the windows, so i can't use them...
    -Carnivoure12
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  7. #15
    The Consuming Flame EdaxFlamma's Avatar
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    Just my two cents on your lighting situation... I purchased 3- 35watt(this is the fluorescent rating) daylight bulbs and each one of those only totaled to about 2100 lumens each... I would think you might want to look into some new lighting my friend.

    And I just did a quick search on a few of my sites that sell bulbs and I'm not finding anything in the 13watt range (~60watt incand.) that has over 900 lumens... not trying to say you didn't have something like that but just more info for you.
    Trying to rebuild. Feel free to PM me with questions.

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  8. #16
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    Easiest solution for me to grow highland & cool loving plants is to affix a 4" PC fan to a 4" flexible duct tube and have the fan pulling cold air from outside the window into the tube and then into the terrarium. This drops the temps considerably while the lights are on and dramatically when the lights are off. If it's hot summertime I put the intake fan infront of my A/C so the nighttime temps will drop right.

    You will want to humidify the incoming air for Neps so I used an ultrasonic humidifier who had it's output plugged with a 2" diameter tube. This tube intersects the 4" flexible air duct somewhere along the line before the incoming air empties into the terrarium so that the fresh cool air is well fogged. Attach the ultrasonic humidifier to a humidistat or a timer so it doesn't run constant. This makes fussing and fudging numbers and "attempting" to grow them a non-issue. You will grow them because you're giving them good temps/humidity.

    You need to upgrade the lighting and if your plants grow decently they will outgrow the space you show very soon. N. hamata is a very rapid grower if it's happy/settled in. Build a simple 4 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft box and cover in plastic then you can put 4 - 6 x 40 watt fluorescent tubes over them (180-240 watts about 14000-18000 lumens). This will give you tons of space & bright light compared to what you've got now and a much more stable environment for these finicky plants.

    Even with all this my highland plants slowed down, lost their oldest pitchers and refused to produce new pitchers in July & August. That's the way it is with warm weather & highlanders and just goes to show you how much these plants require proper conditions to thrive and not just survive.

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