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Thread: Ideal medium for nepenthes.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Ideal medium for nepenthes.

    Hello folks. Just curious for a long lasting medium for my nepenthes. My current mix I highly peat and I think it might be the reason for the decline of my treasured truncata. It is a rather large plant and I have had it potted in the same huge pot for about 3 or more years now. I thought it was the winter that caused it's decline bug I don't think that is the case anymore. I don't like repotting nepenthes due to very fragile root systems. It proved fatal to some nepenthes to repot. I don't care for LFS in my area because it breaks down and compacts so easily then doesn't hold water well. Lost a few nepenthes that way. Then I am back to repotting again.

    What I would like is a recipe for your mix. Like 3 parts this 1 part this and so forth. I am thinking a heavy sand mix might be good. Like 3 parts sand to 1 part peat. I don't like perlite because it floats and plants stay outside during the summer. I am just at wits end. I hope I can repot all these plants in time so they can rebound. I have 3 bogs yet left to do and they take some time to do to make sure plant and tags are correct. Wow it sure is easier to keep up with it rather than putting it off.

    Thanks everyone! I feel like I am relearning a lot this go around.
    JB
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    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    My preferred mix for my outdoor and windowsill neps. works well in low to average humidity.

    fine bark/fine perlite/fine charcoal/ in equal amounts and a inch thick LFS topdressing

    My mix for my HL chamber neps is almost identical, except the ingredients are more coarse due to the higer humidity and more frequent watering. Also, I use Live LFS for the chamber neps.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Have you ever tried cocohusk, tree fern fiber or various orchid barks? They ought to give you a couple years before completely falling apart, and given your humidity I'm not sure you'd need peat in it to retain the moisture. Give this website a look and see what they describe for the water retention properties, and maybe if you email them you might get a good recommendation:

    http://repotme.com/orchid-media/index.html

    I know Ozzy and Crissytal are in the same general area as you, and maybe ask the coastal Hawaiian growers because it's roughly the same environment, albeit with less heat because they have chilled tradewinds moving the air around a little bit more. Sam Estes in the swamp on the big island pots in what looked like sludge + rocks, which may be peat : volcanic rock, considering the heat and sun his plants all receive (so they can stay in a wetter mix).

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    There are as many composts as there are Nepenthes growers. I grow seedlings and most of my highland plants in live sphagnum moss; for others, I use a 2:1:1 mix of live sphagnum, pumice, and fine orchid bark. Other recipes call for small amounts of charcoal, pumice, coco husks, or vermiculite

    Quick draining, not sodden, is the order of the day . . .

    Nepenthes truncata (Pasian)
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    It gets humid and HOT here. I water orchids just about every day. In the 100's and high humidity biting the summer. I have treefern fiber but not enough to pot up these guys. I guess they could be watered every day too. Treefern lasts a LONG time. Goal is to never repot but sure I cannot get there growing in containers. And to think I just repotted several nepenthes before realizing the peat was causing the decline in the truncata. Found that out after looking at the peat from the bog that I'm taking down and how it is do compacked and like paste. I have thought about the stiff used for hydroponics too. Inorganic and I can set a pump to water every day and just up the pot size when needed. Will give me little to no rootzone disturbance when I up pot. I wonder if I could grow the ferns in that with the nepenthes. I have a fern growing in with one of my nepenthes. The nepenthes is doing great. I learned in biology ferns tend to form symbiotic relationships with surrounding plants. Thus sharing sugars and stuff through the roots. I wonder if that is happening with my marbled dragon.

    I honestly forgot about the non organic hydroton until I read thez's post. I really do wonder if I could do a system that uses hydroton as the medium. Use a timered pump to fill the pots twice or more a day but let them dry the rest. My brain is working now. What kind of ph do bros generally like? The hydoton is neutral. LFS gets really acidic like peat and that can harm some plants too. Hmmmmmi need to start reading now.

    ---------- Post added at 03:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:28 PM ----------

    Bella that truncata is wonderful. Mine is sad now and come to think has been on the decline for a while now. I just didn't catch it. Bella my concern with LFS is the breakdown in SC and the only time and place I can get it to grow well is on my bog that stays wet. I want to minimize repots if I can. I have almost killed several orchids due to compacted LFS. I would hate to do ghat to my bros too. They don't bounce back like orchids in my experiences. Maybe I am asking too much of my medium?? Or expectations?

    ---------- Post added at 03:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:34 PM ----------

    Bella what do you mean not sodden?
    JB
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    BigBella's Avatar
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    JB -- Thanks. I have friends who use sphagnum-based mixes -- often with a bit of "orchid bark" in the 100˚ plus heat of Summer in Austin, Texas; and they've had little problem with the breakdown of the moss. Any time that I have used denser mixes, I too have noticed decline and slowed growth. My suggestion is to mix some larger bark into the compost to keep it aerated . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Ok yeah we are slot more humid I think here than Austin. Never had luck with it myself. Ok I will definitely repot. Also concerned about acidity honestly. They were growing phrag discovered in 2002 in LFS. The plants were slow growing and not doing well. They discovered they despised the acidity and changed medium and they took off. So that got me thinking about my nepenthes. So going to look that up now too. I have to do something before they all perish.
    JB
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    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_OrchidGuy View Post
    Ok yeah we are slot more humid I think here than Austin. Never had luck with it myself. Ok I will definitely repot. Also concerned about acidity honestly. They were growing phrag discovered in 2002 in LFS. The plants were slow growing and not doing well. They discovered they despised the acidity and changed medium and they took off. So that got me thinking about my nepenthes. So going to look that up now too. I have to do something before they all perish.
    Most all of my neps are kept in a very acidic environment -- and I also occasionally use a "peat tea" and coffee to decrease the pH further . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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