About a year ago, I posted some pictures of my highland shelf/alarm clock. I was snapping a few pictures today and thought I'd make an update.
Not a Nep, but one of my favorite plants from this shelf. It took me three or four years to get the hang of this genus, but it looks like it's finally settled in. Moving it out of the peat and perlite it came in certainly seemed to help - I wish I hadn't waited two years to do it. That's N. truncata in the background, if you didn't figure that out already. This picture really doesn't do it justice.
I like to keep things neat and tidy in my growing area. (Haha.) This is DeRoose's Alata and several clones of N. sanguinea - these were my first experiment with net pots, which I now swear by. These two lived in my living room with a wood stove for heat one winter, and didn't seem to mind at all. I kept them in inch-high trays of water, which I think helped a lot. In my ice-cold bedroom they don't drink nearly as fast. There's also N. fusca x vietchii to the left there, but it's not so happy as of lately and recently let several old pitchers wilt. I think the media has compacted in its pot.
I need to get my Phaleonopsis out of this corner. N. sanguinea doesn't appear to mind, but it also has half of it's foliage directly under the lights.
How could this be possibly be a problem? DeRoose's Alata is just exploring.
The way that orchid spike has flopped over makes me laugh. It was doing OK up until it opened the third bloom, then it gradually started to fall. By the time the side branch started to emerge, it was hopeless.
Happy plant! This actually isn't even the largest pitcher recently - I think this one got rushed through development when the temperatures started to change last month. The other ones are all buried underneath the neighbors, though.
Just the petiole and tendril are over two feet in length. That's a half-gallon round pot in the center of the frame there, for reference.
This N. sanguinea pitcher and it's brethren looked great all summer. Then I let the plants go about two months without a good soaking. I don't think it really hurts these big beasts, but they like to sulk and play coy. Perhaps Nepenthes are somehow related to cats?
Despite the wilted peristome, many of these pitchers still have big amber beads of nectar on them. Told you they were faking it. Sorry for the poor focus - my camera with an adjustable focus is old and I can only get three full-size shots on the tiny memory card at a time. I'll try to snap some later when I have more time.
A self-portrait. I asked my plants to get out of the way, but they never listen to me. I wonder where I went wrong with them...
This is the side of the rack where I put my "small" highlanders. A year and a half later, most of them don't really qualify as such. All of them deserve to be moved into full-sized net pots.
But instead of putting my maturing size two and three plants into net pots, I used one for this little size one N. lowii I got from Ozzy's April Fools' giveaway. My zeal was well worth it - I got three plantlets from the giveaway and two died back shortly after potting. Or so I thought; they recently re-emerged from beneath their much more energetic sister. I couldn't get a clear pic with my autofocusing snapshot camera, unfortunately.
N. lowii has been a pretty quick grower for me. I think the well of live Sphagnum I potted it in has helped. (I think that fast-growing Sphagnum sets a good example for impressionable young seedlings.) N. gymnaphora x izumiae seems concerned for the little lowii's safety, however.
N. rajah, on the other hand, has been very finicky. Could it be that its mind was swapped with N. lowii's, a la Freaky Friday? More likely, it's unhappy for the same mystery reason as the yellowing Sphagnum around it. If you can make it out through the bad focus, you might notice that the wilted leaves beneath the new growth were about twice as big. Last year it was mostly purple with relatively large leaves and small pitchers; this year it's red and green and yellow and the ratio of pitcher to leave size almost seems reversed. If it croaks, it croaks, and I've accepted that. I sure wish I knew what it's problem was, though.
This N. ovata came to me pretty stressed - the previous grower wasn't able to maintain good temperatures for it. Of all the plants I took of his hands, this one was actually still in pretty good shape when I got it, but it wasn't happy. It didn't pitcher much at all for a year or more, but seemed to turn around after the live Sphagnum I used to pot it became well established. I think this may be the last buried pitcher it will make, as the leaves have suddenly jumped up dramatically in size. For a time, though, I always had to go digging to see how it was doing. (Totally unrelated tangent; there were a few months where the two growth points looked eerily identical - the leaves emerged at the same angle and relative size, and even the tendrils curled in similar shapes.) I really like this plant!
The other end of the "small" shelf. There's N. alata x maxima on the left and in the background, and two forms of alata on the right - one "Boschiana Mimic," the other unidentified. Between the two on the bottom of the frame is an N. fusca which has recently seen a big growth spurt. The funny-shaped alata x maxima pitcher in back bumped into the lights before opening, so it's got kind of a hunchback.
Thanks for looking!