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Thread: N. Northiana Journal

  1. #1
    Is ready to take this hobby to a whole new level DavyJones's Avatar
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    N. Northiana Journal

    Over my past few years active on this board I have seen very little information on growing N. Northiana. While an incredibly beautiful, well-known species, it seems very few people, especially in the US cultivate this plant. If they do, I can't find them anywhere. Last week I finally felt confident enough to purchase this plant, and attempt to grow it in a relatively low humidity environment. (I would provide numbers, but apparently my hygrometer is broke. Trust me, its an open house environment that many people, specifically terrarium growers would scoff at.) In this entry I will outline my receipt procedures, some initial photographs, and will continue to update as deemed necessary. This is by no means a scientific study, rather, my observations as I try to grow this plant in very average conditions, in order to perhaps shed some light on this species for the casual grower.

    Plant was received last Friday, July 23, 2010 via USPS. I am fairly positive the plant is essentially directly coming from BE, and is roughly 6 inches in diameter, with 4 or so pitchers, developing, dead, or otherwise. Plant was removed from bag, dead pitchers clipped, living pitchers filled with distilled water via eyedropper, per my usual receiving procedures. I did notice the roots of this plant to be much more wiry compared to the roots of my other plants. I would typically now mix up my standard nepenthes mix, but have opted otherwise for this plant specifically.

    After doing some research here last year, I learned that Cindy has acheived greater success growing this plant using what she called "burnt earth," which turned out to be *dirt* cheap local baked clay. As we can all assume, the conditions of my bedroom do not even closely match her growing conditions overseas. I decided to purchase "Pond Care Aquatic Planting Media."



    The package clearly states there is no fertilizer contained within, and the media has a very similar look to Cindy's burnt Earth, only lacking the awesome red color. A standard square 4" pot was prepared, and a mix of 3:1 Aquatic Media to Sphagnum peat moss was used. Plant was inserted, and baggie was replaced over top, with the two corners slightly snipped to allow slight air flow. I will/have been cutting a little larger portion from the corners of the bag every other day. I will water as I water my other plants, every 3-4 days as needed. It will be grown in a dimmer corner of my grow rack, per some article that was posted out of the ICPS in my inquiry post last year. I use 2 GE standard daylight tubes I bought at Wal-Mart. The pictures below will conclude this entry. Hopefully I can procure a better camera soon, so that I need not use my camera phone. Enjoy!

    Upon Arrival


    In with the rest
    "We are in a sense the Universe trying to understand itself. By Observing it we are observing what we are." - Phillip Plait

    Growlist: Updated 1/11/12 http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=110846

  2. #2
    clippity-clip-clip Clue's Avatar
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    Yay! Let's see this beast in a year and marvel how much it grew! That's the best scenario, anyways.

    I love northiana, but it probably wouldn't do its best here... maybe you could prove that wrong when yours starts pitchering in a dry place.
    Last edited by Clue; 07-27-2010 at 08:28 PM.
    "I, for one, can't wait to grow Nepenthes extincta!"
    Plant List ; blog

  3. #3
    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    Any updates on how it's doing?
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

    My growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...255#post961255

    Video of my birth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xc5wIpUenQ

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    Plant Ninja Smitty's Avatar
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    Bump! How did this substrate work out for you?

    Previously known as: NY Plant Nerd

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    Is ready to take this hobby to a whole new level DavyJones's Avatar
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    I certainly haven't updated this in a while, because nothing too exciting has been happening. Updates are as follows:

    The foliage of the plant had significantly decreased in size while getting acclimated to a different (lower humidity) environment. This was certainly expected due to the nature of this plant. I am please to say that it has started to produce better foliage recently.

    The substrate has actually worked out very well. It drains incredibly well, and if it were not for the overall price, I would probably use a similar mix for many of my nepenthes. Certainly no complaints here.

    After doing my annual repotting of all my plants that have been in their pot for 1+ years, I decided to go with a top coating of LFS on all my nepenthes, including N. Northiana. After doing such the plant began inflating a few pitchers! :-) So hopefully I should have some pictures once something respectable pops up.

    My assessment after 9 months is that the plant certainly lives up to it's difficult reputation. While it has not shown any serious decline in overall health, pitcher production so far has been low, and while the leaves did get smaller, it has consistently produced them. I think things will only get better with this plant as we move into summer, warmer temps, higher overall humidity, etc. I hope to keep adding updates to this, but to date there hasn't been anything too exciting.

    If anybody else has any experiences to share, please do so!
    "We are in a sense the Universe trying to understand itself. By Observing it we are observing what we are." - Phillip Plait

    Growlist: Updated 1/11/12 http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=110846

  6. #6
    Plant Ninja Smitty's Avatar
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    Thank you for the update. I have been pouring over pages looking for some good N. northiana substrate recipes.

    I would love to have a spot in the room and stack some limestone in a clear tote, stuff the nooks with live moss, plant it in the moss filled crevice and see how it does.

    Previously known as: NY Plant Nerd

  7. #7
    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    I once tried to grow N.northiana a few years ago but it eventually died on me, but in doing so I learned some rather interesting things about this nep.....

    1. Planting it in crushed limestone was a total failure....it did not like living in limestone AT ALL....I'm not sure why, but once I moved it to a perlite/LFS mix it did a little better for a while.

    2. It is a vampire....it hates sunlight and I wouldn't be surprised if it did well in a sunless north window. Too much light will kill it in time.

    3. heat is optional.....it seems to grow best at temps of 80F day and 65F night.....high temps don't seem to be important.

    4. Jack up the humidity.....this sucker likes it 75% or above....I've never seen a nep that was so sensitive to this, it's lids droop the second the humidity drops below 70% it seems.

    Well....that's all the first hand experience I have with it so far.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

    My growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...255#post961255

    Video of my birth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xc5wIpUenQ

  8. #8
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Too bad it's so difficult. It's my favorite lowland species. The gaping mouth is just fantastic. But yeah..maybe someday I'll attempt it for myself.

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