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Thread: Nepenthes suggestions

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    Nepenthes suggestions

    My father-in-law bought for my wife, two years ago, a Nepenthes for Mother's Day. To the best of my knowledge, from leaf and pitcher comparisons, it appears to be N. ventrata, or possibly another cross of either or both parents. It was not id'd when he purchased it (at a farmer's market in Fla), not even to high or lowland. He was told it was "incredibly easy" to care for. He also bought one for himself at that time (since deceased) and picked up another for himself this year. Mine (or my wife's, but it's in my care) is still going very strong. So what's the problem? Well, I swear the thing is mocking me. Every day it taunts me with its lack of pitchers. Anyway, the thing's got about a dozen points of growth, 3 of which are actually rooted (one a cutting I took of a longish piece). The leaves are bright green, no crisping at all, no yellowing, nothing, except for the tendrils, which just won't produce a thing. Currently, it's being kept in a southern window that also gets eastern and some western sun. Lighting, I think, is probably not a problem, right? It WAS being kept open air in my home (40% humidity, controlled). I've since built a sort of enclosure out of a quilters gizmo, some round thing with an inner and outer ring that clamp together. The rings are now holding a dry cleaners standard plastic bag which hangs over the plant. I don't have a hygrometer to measure humidity currently, but a guess would be about 60%. It's been in this situation for about a month now. There's one new tip that looks like it might be promising, but I'm not holding my breath here. For reference, this quilter's ring thing is 18" in diameter, and the most mature leaves of the plant extend, while hanging, almost the full 18". Temp is roughly 72-74 during the day in the window, down to about 65 in the window at night. I've ordered thin but rigid film to make a more permanent enclosure. Is there anything else I can try? Or am I destined to have a "toothless" carnivore?

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    I ordered a 60"x24"x0.06" piece of acrylic. Other than arriving broken, it fits nicely in the quilters frame thingy. I've made acrylic things before for my fish tanks, but always something with right angles. So, for now, the cylinder will be secured with the quilters thingie, and another on the bottom. I've two other pieces of acrylic to make a top and bottom, which will be easily removed and drilled for circulation. This chamber has, overnight, allowed for a jump in humidity that is now extremely noticeable. Hopefully this will do the trick. It's also brilliantly clear and light-weight, and completely unobtrusive, making for an attractive display even in well trafficked living areas. For smaller cylinders, you could easily adapt this AND get your sheets from a home store and the whole thing puts together and breaks down in, literally, a few minutes. I couldn't find 5' sheets, only 2'x4' at the largest, so I had to special order. I'm taking from the lack of responses here that there's nothing more I could be doing?

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    rattler's Avatar
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    if its growing fine but lacks pitchers im guessing humidity is the culpret....sometimes its light but 9 times out of 10 its humidity......alot of nep hybrids and even species are alot tougher than most give them credit for and will grow fine even in extreme low humidity levels if properly acclimated.....HOWEVER very few will throw pitchers at low levels....a steady 70-75% is pretty ideal for most other than fresh out of TC and seedlings.....you dont need "rain forest" humidity for most but alot arent exactly happy at even 50%.....should also note ppl tend to be pretty optimistic at guessing their humidity levels in their house....central heating/cooling sucks out humidity like you wouldnt believe.....

    the other possibility is there is fertilizer in the soil its in.....if its taking up adequate nuit's through the roots it doesnt need pitchers and wont waste the energy producing them.....with most the common hybrids, fix the humidity and you will start seeing pitchers inflate within a few weeks if you have healthy tendrils.....if this doesnt fix it assume its nuits in the soil and repot into orchid bark and sphagnum......
    cervid serial killer
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    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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    Thanks rattler. I hear you on estimations... people tend to be optimistic about a lot of measurements. In this case, though, both my A/C and heating run on humidifiers that keep the house at 40%. We actually HAVE to do this for our mild daughter, who will get daily chronic nosebleeds if the humidity is too low. She's actually the best indicator as to when we need to check on a unit. LOL. It IS possible there is or was fertilizer in the soil, I don't know. Like I said, it was purchased at a farmer's market 2 years ago and I did find so little green pearls at the top of the soil over time that looked like they could be some flavor of slow release like the ever-popular osmocote. I'm thinking it's overdue for a repot anyway, as the soil's looking pretty rough and grown-through and there are a few inch long (or so) roots exposed through the bottom. Will update if it turns out I find more of those little pearls. Repotting, at this point, can't hurt anyway.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    i usually repot every 2 years as a normal course of things......in my conditions somewhere between 2.5 and 3 years the soil breaks down and can quickly kill plants......but this can vary depending on your conditions.....i grow Neps a lil wetter than most....
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

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    I wouldn't say the soil looks to be breaking down as much as it seems that root mass has replaced the soil (from bonsai experience, not from taking it out of the pot). But if two years is fairly normal, that it's due anyway. They new cylinder is keeping humidity just around 70% (day) to around 80% (night). It does drop to about 65% part of the day. So, I'm thinking equal parts LFS, peat, and sand. Sound about right? What's in there now is pretty much just peat, with some perlite and then those little green doodads here and there.

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    Woohoo! I've got bulging tendrils on three tips that have, so far, remained completely green. Now, dilemma, I'll be mixing up soil for a mother's day gift later this week. I planned on mixing xoil for the Nepenthes and repotting at the same time as the bog creation. Now, what do I do? Repot anyway and risk setting it back, or let it develop and see if new pitchers finally form?

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    rattler's Avatar
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    sounds like it needs replaced anyway.......wont slow the pitchers from inflating on most the common hybrids you find.....i use straight LFS if its 4 inch or smaller pot.....over 4 inches i use a mix of LFS, orchid bark and some aquatic plant soil for ballast.....different ppl use different mixes and yours isnt bad so long as you dont go to heavy on the peat....
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

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