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Thread: Nepenthes Fertilization Experiment

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    BurntSnow's Avatar
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    Nepenthes Fertilization Experiment

    Hello everyone. Before you start reading, I just want to clear up some stuff-
    1. Yes, I am turning 12 years old.
    2. Yes, I have only been growing plants since January.
    3. No, I am not an insane Nepenthes murderer for trying this experiment when I'm a novice grower.
    I am trying to do an experiment on the effect of different fertilizers for the average highland Nepenthes. Ventricosa seems like the largest, cheapest, and easiest way to try. For one Ventricosa, I will be using MaxSea fertilizer. It will be applied twice a month, and will probably be diluted a bit when sprinkled onto the leaves. On the other, I will be using cooled, stale coffee at 1/2 strength by watering the plant with it, leaving it for exactly 2 days, and then drenching the soil thoroughly with distilled water. This method will be used twice a month, same as the Ventricosa MaxSea will be used on. This whole experiment will be 5 months long, and will be carefully monitored then recorded on a log right here on TF. Another Ventricosa will be fed 1 medium/large insect (perhaps mealworms? crickets?) per pitcher per month and also monitored with the other Ventricosas. The purpose of this experiment is to find out which fertilization method has the greatest effect on Nepenthes. Any comments? Tips?
    Last edited by BurntSnow; 07-19-2010 at 10:40 AM.
    -just burned your snow

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    mass's Avatar
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    twice a month on the coffee might be a bit excessive. I do it once every few months, let the coffee drain completely through the media, and don't flush it with water. Just my method..

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    BurntSnow's Avatar
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    That's actually what I've been trying to avoid. The excessiveness of current methods are irrelevant to this situation in which I'm trying to report the best way of feeding carnivorous plants nature vs. altered while also exploring different ways of using the coffee method. Perhaps the length before draining should be of a 2 day period.
    -just burned your snow

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    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    I say, sure, go for it, but three different plants is such a small sample size that I can't imagine you'll have significant data. If a fertilized one does, say, 10% better than the control, what does that prove? There are so many variables it would be hard to pinpoint the cause. And if it does worse, you can't say the fertilizer did it either. And unless the plants are genetically the same, the difference in growth in just three months could also easily affected by that. If you're determined to do an experiment and don't have perfect growing conditions and many plants for a large sample size, I recommend getting a bunch of death cube ventratas from the same place at the same time. You could put them in the exact same light, soil, and water conditions, and because they're genetically identical you'd see less noise. Just my thoughts, I've never used either so I don't have an opinion of what's better, coffee or fert.

    I enjoy experiments too, but if you don't do them correctly you can end up with a bunch of dead plants, a bruised ego, and no significant data. And I'm also curious, what's your hypothesis of the outcome? As in, which group do you think will do the best and which group will do the worst? I'm not comparing the two, but I think the coffee and maxsea will be applied too often to be beneficial, and they might possibly be a hindrance.
    Formerly known as Silenceisgod!

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I think you might be better served to go to 1/4 strength rather than 3/4, if this will be as regular as every two weeks. If you want to quantify the coffee vs. MaxSea levels, you can get a TDS meter for about $25. If I were doing this I'd try to use solutions of the same TDS; it doesn't tell you a lot about what you're giving the plants, but at least you'd know a little something about the amounts of each.
    Also, make sure to get a control as well. With a small sample your investigation is sure to be informal, but I believe a control will let you make much better judgements about your results than just two plants, both on fertilizers. If something went wrong with both of them, you'd be able to tell if it were the fertilizers or an outside influence. And if everything goes well, you'll be able to quantify how much the fertilizers helped relative to normal cultivation practices.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Other complications aside,
    if you are only running the experiment for 3 months, it is not a long time to observe the full reactions of the plants in the experiments. It takes these plants quite a while to respond to things, except for powerful and overwhelming things, like high temps, sun burn, etc.

    I have some plants that take months to respond to something I have done (good or bad), as they are relatively slow growers to begin with.

    Aside from how long you continue with the experiment and give the plants time to respond.... and observe their reaction to your "test", I don't think you have to "cover all your bases" as far as proper experimenting goes.
    As you said, you are young and just starting out. If we had to wait until everything was perfect before we did things, NOTHING would ever get done!
    You have a fine idea and experiment going! Do keep everyone informed as to its results. And good luck with it!

    Experience IS the best teacher. In the process of this, you will possibly learn something new about the plants, fertilizer/coffee, as well as about testing procedures, patience, etc. There IS more to learn in this process than most people realize.
    Go for it! And again, good luck!
    Paul
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    BurntSnow's Avatar
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    Should I use 6 Ventricosas, 2 per type of fertilizer?
    Oh, also
    SIG: Thanks for the tip .
    seedjar: thanks for the info. Would 1/2 strength seem to work best?
    GrowinOld: thank you! I'm going to try and see how it goes (hides 7th grade poster board).
    -just burned your snow

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    I'd say at least three but obviously more replicates you use the better data you would get...

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