Hello everyone, in school we were doing a "how to" guide of anything we ant to make it about. I decided to do "how to grow Nepenthes from seed" I honestly don't know why I chose this, because I only have done this once and I didn't even do it the way I explained to do it... and I only have 2 species of nepenthes. And I don't know much about them. I should have chosen something simpler, like flytraps seeds. but it's too late. I guess..
Anyway, i wrote up teh guide and it's very long, but I was just looking to see if anyone could correct me about anything for nepenthes, or even just the way I wrote it. lol. I'm not very good at axplaining things so some i=of it might not make any sense to you guys.. lol
Well, here it is! (it's obviously a lot different on microsoft word)
Growing NEPENTHES from Seeds
Nepenthes are tropical pitcher plants that feed on insects and sometimes small animals to make up for the nutrition they donít get from their soil. Nepenthes can range from a few inches across, to over 30 inches of the size of a pitcher! Pitchers that big are usually the ones that can capture frogs, lizards and sometimes rats and mice. Most Nepenthes feed on insects though. They attract their prey by having beautiful colours that look similar to flowers, and they also have nectar in the edge of the pitcher, or the peristome. The peristome is very slippery and has small grooved in it the aim down into the pitcher, and when an insect feed on the nectar, and gets ďdrunkĒ on it, they slip into the pitcher and cannot get out because of the slippery inside and the waters in the bottom. The insects eventually drowns an the pitcher absorbs the nutrients from the insect. Nepenthes also have a lid, and some people think it closes over the pitcher when prey are captured. But this is not true, the lid is only to keep too much rain from going into the pitcher.
Highland and lowland Nepenthes:
Most Nepenthes live high up in the tropical mountains where it has cooler temperatures and night drops, so this needs to be provided for the highland species. Lowland Nepenthes live lower in the mountains and like a little bit warmer temperatures, but still a small night drop. Most highland Nepenthes do very well in 20 degrees Celsius in the day, and about a 5 degree drop at night. Lowland Nepenthes do well in house temperatures, but a little warmer might be better, and try to keep them warm at night too. But not warmer then the daytime temperatures. Providing highland temperatures for a terrarium can be very simple. You can just put a cold ice pack in the terrarium every night. But if the terrarium is really big, you might need something a little more complicated and effective. For lowlands you can just put a heat pad under the terrarium and turn it on at night or leave it on.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
-Fresh, Nepenthes seeds, 20 or more
-Dried, high quality sphagnum moss, or peat moss with no fertilizers at all.
-Drip tray, for the bottom of the pot so water doesnít leak
-Terrarium, 10 gallon or more
-2 t8 32 watt fresh fluorescent tube lights
Choosing your Nepenthes seeds...
There are quite a few different species to choose from. Iíd recommend the easier species that can tolerate more different temps. Lowland ones are easy to grow from seed usually, such as N. Rafflesiana, N. Ampullaria and N. Ventricosa tolerates lowland temps. Some good highland ones are N. Ramispina, N. Sanguinea, N. Ventricosa again, N. Maxima and others. There are still many more easy and challenging species to choose from. You can buy seeds from online stores like CZplants.com, bestcarnivorousplants.net, carnivorous plant forums have them from time to time, and of course, eBay.com. If your buys from eBay, always make sure the seller has positive feedback and that the seeds are fresh. This is true with any store or person. If the seeds are even a few months old they can dramatically decrease in germination rate. Try not to buy seeds in winter months because if Nepenthes seeds get too cold or freeze they will be ruined.
Building the terrarium...
Making a terrarium is simple. Just buy a 10 gal or more terrarium and put of piece of Plexiglas on top. Then you will need to buy a light set up, I highly recommend 2 t8 32 watt fresh fluorescent tube lights next to each other for great lighting. Nepenthes need full sunlight, so these will work well. Just put that light set up on top of the terrarium, and keep it on for about 14 hours a day. Remember about the temperatures for highlanders and lowlanders on the first page.
Getting the right soil...
Most people use dried, high quality sphagnum moss. It works very well for germinating Nepenthes seeds. You can buy it from The Home Depot, or order it from online stores. You can also use peat moss, but it doesnít work quite as well. If you do use peat moss, make sure it isnít Schultz or Miracle grow peat moss. They have added fertilizers to their soil and fertilizers kill Nepenthes. You can usually buy peat moss from your local nursery.
Planting the seeds...
Fill your small pot up with the desired media. Then, for planting Nepenthes seeds, simply sprinkle the seeds evenly on the surface of the soil. Donít cover them, or they will not grow. You can also mist them a little bit with a spray bottle when theyíre on the soil to help them stick. Remember to always use distilled water because it doesnít have any chemicals or minerals like tap water. Now, fill up the drip try with your distilled water and let the pot of soil soak it up. Keep the soil very moist, but not too wet or waterlogged.
Place your pot of seeds into the terrarium youíve made earlier. Donít forget to keep the temperatures according to lowland or highland.
Watch your seeds sprout and grow! They will take about 2 weeks to sprout, sometimes longer, and very long to grow into bigger plants. (about 5 years) But it is worth it because itís fun, and sometimes you can get variations in the plant colour, size, shape, pattern and more! You can transplant you Nepenthes seeds after about a year, into their proper media.