Young N. miranda That Has NEVER Had Pitchers, plus ID request
I've looked through previous threads, hoping to find the answer to this, but since I didn't really find anything that satisfied my question(s), I'm posting on here for a solution.
I have a young-well, actually TWO-N. mirandax hybrids that I purchased last spring at a reptile show from a guy who grows CP's. He told me that they were tissue-cultured and roughly a year old. They were in 2-inch pots at the time and now reside in a 6-inch hanging pot. I asked him about substrate, and he told me that Eco Earth, a coconut fiber based substrate often used in terrariums, would work fine, so that's what they're in. They have grown quite a bit, added new leaves, have nice coloration...but no pitchers. Not even the first sign of a pitcher, ever. They will get the little tendrils at the ends of the leaves, but those don't get more than an inch or so in length and they never develop into anything. Now, everything I've read so far on here deals with fertilizing Neps that either have pitchers or have HAD pitchers, but not about those that have never grown them. So, what is the recommendation with this particular plant-give it more time, repot in a different media, or add fertilizer to stimulate pitcher formation?
Here's a pic of it, taken a few days ago:
Now here's the ID requests-bought this bruiser a few days ago at a Publix, of all places. Has nice pitchers, healthy leaves, had not been there more than a couple of days so it had not been given tap water from the store. The pitchers are a full foot long and the leaves are HUGE...is this an adult N. miranda?
Don't worry; it doesn't stay out under that bush. I hung it there to pour distilled water on it and take the pic then moved it back inside.
While I'm at it, might as well throw in a pic of my smaller Nep, taken at school last fall, since someone said it probably was not N. alata as labeled. I like to have my plants correctly ID'd, so I'd appreciate if someone could let me know if it is or isn't N. alata.
The big top one is miranda, the second one is actually a hybrid between ventricosa x alata.
The adult Miranda is still young. It has potential to get huge.
The lack of pitchers might be the result of the plants being relatively new out of Tc. Will take some time for the plant to get accustomed to the real world. Have seen Tc plants that make offshoots like crazy so guessing they are still under influence of the hormones used in Tc. Fertilizing this plant will make bigger leaves and tiny pitchers.
Looks like ventrata to me. Will get a pic of my alata for comparison
You didn't go into any detail about your growing conditions. The two conditions often found in the average home that will inhibit pitcher production are: low atmospheric humidity, and night temps that exceed 60F as a constant. Nepenthes are essentially rainforest plants, so they don't like dry air. (some will tolerate dryer conditions, many perform poorly or refuse to pitcher at all if the air is dry) Most commonly grown Nepenthes species and hybrids are the highland varieties, which must experience a cooling off period at night to "reset" their metabolism. So, if your plant is positioned in the home where night temps never drop below 60F, this can be a contributing factor.
I should add a third point, and this almost goes without saying: a Nepenthes won't pitcher if light levels are not close to optimal. They need very bright light; the light source should cast a definite shadow, but not be so intense as to cause foliage to yellow or develop burn marks. In the winter months, most growers find they must provide supplemental lighting to maintain the health of the plants. In the summer, some shading is likely needed to cut the light intensity down to at least 70% of full sun, or as low as 50% of full sun. Your first plant, the stubborn one, looks very lushly green...perhaps too rich a green, which hints at the possibility that the plant is not receiving sufficient light.
As kalumauiman stated, though, it is a young plant and may simply not yet have reached an age where it is ready to pitcher. Improving the growing conditions will help push it in the right direction.
Oh, and your "alata" is almost certainly N. Ventrata, as the others have suggested: a hybrid between alata and ventricosa, a plant very often encountered in garden centers and widely available as a "beginners plant'.
The young plant is positioned in a southeastern-facing window, and there is a bright fluorescent light on in that room 24/7. It is still possible that this time of year, the light is not quite sufficient, so hopefully once the danger of frosts and freezes are over I can move it outside. I don't think humidity is an issue, since around here, too MUCH humidity is usually a bigger problem. I mist all my CP's 2-3 times or more per day, along with my primitive plants, which also require high humidity. Now, the nighttime temps could be problematic, since while we don't keep the house hot, it's not going to drop below 60 degrees at night, either. The average temp for both night and day this time of year is 68 degrees. We have a fully enclosed, but unheated, back porch where I keep my Epis during the winter, so would you suggest putting this young Nep on this porch on nights where it's not expected to drop to freezing or below?
The N. ventrata(good to know what it actually is) normally stays at school, in a window facing the southwest, and temps there are more or less the same as in the house, perhaps a bit warmer during the day. It also gets misted 2-3 times daily, and has done really well there. I have it home right now, next to the young N. miranda since I'm still off on Christmas holidays and was not able to get into the school building until today, so I knew I could not leave it unattended for two weeks. Hopefully the changing locations won't hurt it, though I know they are rather prone to "transplant shock".
So, other than consider changing locations for the small N. miranda when the weather becomes more cooperative, it is not recommended to do anything else, besides wait for it to start producing pitchers? What about during the summer here, when the night temps rarely drop below 80 and days can easily exceed 90-100, with humidity levels often at 70% or higher? I don't have a greenhouse, so what to do with the Neps then?