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Thread: Seed vs TC

  1. #1
    cps4lif
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    Seed vs TC

    I am wanting to get more entrenched into the fascinating world of collecting Nepenthes. In an attempt to build a larger collection I have been to many websites looking for various Nepenthes species that I have an attraction to. My searching has turned up an interesting realization; the vast majority of Nepenthes for sale are label as "TC" or clones. I am not sure if it is the purist in me but I have a natural tendency to want to turn my nose up at the prospect of purchasing a Nepenthes that is not seed grown. What are the pros and cons of seed grown vs. Tc / clone?

  2. #2
    Doomsday's Avatar
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    Oh god. BRace yourself for a fiery debate...
    Basically tc clones are all identical (not a bad thing).

    Seed grown clones are each genetically different and havea chance of looking different.

    The benefit of SG is that you MIGHT get a better looking or more vigorous clone, but with tc you are guaranteed to get when you know you are buying.... Also, one benefit for SG is that most tc'ers wont sell clones of female and male neps because they dont want everyone breeding them so you cant get female neps of some species... With sg they cant control that.

  3. #3
    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cps4lif View Post
    I am wanting to get more entrenched into the fascinating world of collecting Nepenthes. In an attempt to build a larger collection I have been to many websites looking for various Nepenthes species that I have an attraction to. My searching has turned up an interesting realization; the vast majority of Nepenthes for sale are label as "TC" or clones. I am not sure if it is the purist in me but I have a natural tendency to want to turn my nose up at the prospect of purchasing a Nepenthes that is not seed grown. What are the pros and cons of seed grown vs. Tc / clone?
    I'm certainly no expert hobbyist, I've only been doing neps for a month. But from a scientific standpoint, plants get pollinated and produce seeds so that the weaker strain of that plant dies off over time and the stronger strain's population grows larger, AKA natural selection. If there is some sort of genetic mishap in the mother plant of the TC sample, then it is automatically in the new plant. However, I would assume that the people creating TC are serious about propagating, meaning they probably have a lot of experience, meaning they have an eye for visible genetic mishaps. If there is something majorly wrong in the DNA, the plant would probably die pretty quickly, so it would be rare to get a TC with a major genetic issue.

    That's from a very simple scientific understanding, and my best guess.

  4. #4
    Doomsday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pineapple View Post
    I'm certainly no expert hobbyist, I've only been doing neps for a month. But from a scientific standpoint, plants get pollinated and produce seeds so that the weaker strain of that plant dies off over time and the stronger strain's population grows larger, AKA natural selection. If there is some sort of genetic mishap in the mother plant of the TC sample, then it is automatically in the new plant. However, I would assume that the people creating TC are serious about propagating, meaning they probably have a lot of experience, meaning they have an eye for visible genetic mishaps. If there is something majorly wrong in the DNA, the plant would probably die pretty quickly, so it would be rare to get a TC with a major genetic issue.

    That's from a very simple scientific understanding, and my best guess.
    Yea that is true as well. Most tc'ers DO look for only the most vigorous clones to multiply. They also check for viruses and other deformities for particullarly rare plants.

  5. #5
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    There are pluses to both. With TC plants you know what you're going to get. Seed grown is more random and unpredictable. I prefer seed grown plants, but I won't turn down a nice TC plant. The majority od Neps I have are actually seed grown, just by chance.

  6. #6
    cps4lif
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    So... My intention is to build up a rather nice collection and grow them to a point of being able to do cuttings and what not, in hopes of being able to trade or with other collectors. With the amount of TC Nepenthes I have encountered, would that not be limiting the amount of genetic diversity in cultivation, making it so that everybody's plants are virtually identical to the other guy? I guess my concern is that I don't want to spend a bunch of time and money on something that will eventually become common further down the road, is this a valid concern? If I decide to go seed grown, is there any recommendations of growers that specialize in selling seed grown Nepenthes?

  7. #7
    Doomsday's Avatar
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    We;; it depends.. All venus fly trap cultivars are genetically identical. And they dont all look the same since growing conditions affect the plant as well. People dont complain that they all havethe same dna... Its all personal preference. With sg neps they are worth more usually but they also cost a good penny more also

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    JRFxtreme's Avatar
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    In my opinion..

    The pros of tissue culture:
    Uniformity. You always know what you're going to get. They're usually cheaper, especially for rarer species/hybrids. If for some reason you lose a TC plant, you can just buy another and it will have the same traits and gender.

    Cons:
    There are occasional bad clones where some clones can have minor defects or deficiencies. There is less genetic diversity to choose from when it comes to making your own crosses and the possibility of being limited to one sex making species seed impossible with TC only plants that don't have both male and female clones available.

    The pros of seed grown:
    There is more genetic and sexual diversity. Seed grown are sometimes hardier since they didn't start life in a test tube sheltered from the elements so some amount of natural selection has taken place from early on.

    Cons:
    You can never be 100% sure of what you're going to get. This is especially true with complex hybrids. If you purchase a complex hybrid based on a single photo, chances are you will end up with a plant that looks different, sometimes dramatically, for better or worse.

    Feel free to add to the list.

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