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Thread: how much energy do nepenthes dedicate to making pitchers?

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    how much energy do nepenthes dedicate to making pitchers?

    It looks like the plant spends quite a bit of energy to make a pitcher...probably about the same as 1 large leaf.

    This is probably unconventional thinking at the least and sacrilege at the most but:

    With a smaller nepenthes I will prune them down to 1 before they develop fully and allow 1 new one once the old one dies.

    That way the plant is spending it's energy for overall growth and leaf production. Once the plant get's larger ill allow 2, then 3 and so on.

    Once the plant gets 12 inches tall I think will leave it to it's own devices.

    thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpbobby View Post
    It looks like the plant spends quite a bit of energy to make a pitcher...probably about the same as 1 large leaf.
    What is your basis for this conclusion?

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    i believe you are completely correct but you would be amaze just how fast a pitcher forms i have a nepenthes growing out doors

    it only gets the last sunlight of the day (sunset) and its growing red pitchers quite fast where as the one i have indoors has green pitchers and it takes way longer

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    Class 5 Nepenthes hoarder lance's Avatar
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    I always allow my Nepenthes to pitcher because
    1. they get food from it which eventually will make up for the energy spent on the pitcher
    2. Its always good to compare the development between the last pitcher
    3. Most of the Nepenthes I have make very colorful and cool pitchers which sure is a sight I don't want to miss


    Hope this helps!


    In addition to growing plants, I design and build RC planes powered by Tesla batteries. Check out my progress at www.chargedplanes.com

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    thanx for the input..

    -basis of my conclusion is observation and geometry. if I was to take a leaf and roll it up a few times to produce a pitcher it would be pretty close.....im not looking to publish a journal.

    -unfortunately it isn't humid enough for my lowlanders outside so they have to stay in their cage but the thought has crossed my mind to put the terrarium in a windowsill. do you have an estimation about what light would be in lumens from a setting sun would be in a windowsill compared to my setup?.....I have read the lowlanders do not like alot of light. right now I am giving them 10,000 lumens from t5 ho's.

    - 1. correct me if i am wrong but a small plant can't really use but so much food and I will make sure the available pitcher(s) is happy.

    - 2. good point.

    -3. agree but it isn't something i plan to do forever just to help the plant get bigger. yes I will be missing out for the short term but if it does work then the larger plant will produce even more beautiful, bigger pitchers.

    I'm thinking of a system of 1 pitcher per 3 inches of leaf span measured off of the newest leaf for my bical until the plant gets 10 inches tall then it can do what it wants. since the raff has larger size but small density im thinking 1 pitcher per 3 leaves until it reaches 12 inches tall and 1 pitcher per 3 inches on my mirabilis var echinostoma until it reaches 12 inches in height.
    Last edited by cpbobby; 07-04-2012 at 08:51 AM.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    A plant that cannot afford the resources to make a pitcher, won't. Nepenthes make pitchers for a reason. Plants that pitcher and catch prey often make noticeable advances in growth as a result. Removing pitchers seems counterproductive to me.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    The cost of carnivory is rather high. Carnivorous plants make trap leaves to obtain the nutrients they cannot get from the nutrient poor substrates they grow in - mainly Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. The costs can be seen since the trap leaves are not efficient in photosynthesis as non-trap leaves. Nepenthes compromises here by having a broad petiole for photosynthesis as well as a trap. If well fertilized Nepenthes will stop producing pitchers keeping the broad petiole and grow like any other plant. They will also abort the pitchers in less than optimal conditions (temperature and/or moisture).

    A good place to start reading is this article on the Costs of Carivory on the ICPS website.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 07-04-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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    -correct me if i am wrong but a small plant can't really use but so much food and I will make sure the available pitcher(s) is happy. In nature producing more traps increases likelihood of catching prey but this is a controlled environment so likelihood just depends on when I feed it. Then wouldn't it use the extra resources for overall growth?

    -interesting counter-point. If the trap leaves are terrible at energy production then that really does dull the point of pruning infant traps to a greater degree. I will give it a read. thanx!

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