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Thread: N. ampullaria care

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    Rosieonfire's Avatar
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    N. ampullaria care

    Recently I acquired an ampullaria 'like twist' from a friend. I'm new to cp's and also live in a crowded apartment. Is this a variety of nepenthes that could do well in a sunny windowsill? In the winter my house is in the high 60s during the day and mid 60s at night. My research indicates that amps like it warm all year round. If it needs a more tailored environment, what kind of equipment would I need?

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    you have a lowland nepenthes.

    think it is called lime twist.

    generally speaking they prefer low light, VERY high humidity, and heat. 60's sounds a bit chilly........it will survive but not for an extended period of time......also it may affect growth. mine are 85-90 during the day and 80 at night as a reference.

    equipment will consist of large aquarium/terrarium/build your own grow chamber, humidifier, heat source and light source bare minimum. another part of the double edged sword is once you make the thing happy it will grow very fast and it will get big.

    not trying to discourage...it is a nice looking plant, a very rewarding plant but will need space at some point. to give an example a similar one to yours started off making 4 inch leaves stem to tip......10 months later 9-12 inch leaves. went from 2 inch square to a 2 foot square in less than a year.

    i will provide more information later.....sleepy.

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    Rosieonfire's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info cpbobby! I had a feeling that my apartment conditins would not be sufficient. I took this plant as a rescue with the knowledge that it may need more care than I am interested in providing . How does one regulate temps in a terrarium? Either I'm goin to have to get some equipment to accommodate this plant or use this plant to trade...

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    Taargus's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to disagree with the above recommendations, ampullaria is not that needy. It may grow in low light, but grows more robustly with better colors in normal Nepenthes med-high light. N. ampullaria will do fine with 60's at night. Not ideal, it won't grow quickly, but it will do fine.

    You can very easily and cheaply pick up a small terrarium. If the amp is small enough you can use a 10 gallon fishtank with a glass folding top and a fluorescent light around the 6500k range, available at any pet store and constantly on craigslist. The light will provide much warmer daytime temps as it will put off enough heat if in a more enclosed environment. If you close the glass top at night the humidity will go higher as well. Put in in a higher traffic area of your apartment and keep the top cracked during the day for some air movement. If you use a larger tank, you'll have to invest in a small fan for air exchange. Use something to elevate the pot of the bottom of the tank, ( stones, egg crate, whatever,) and add an inch or so of water to the bottom to help keep the humidity up.

    I say this as had an N. ampullaria 'Lime Twist' in this exact situation until it was large enough that I felt safe putting it outside with my other Nepenthes. I used to grow lowlanders exclusively in terrariums until I moved to Florida and N. ampullaria does need humidity, (but even 60-70% is fine if it's consistent,) and warm temps, (but a drop no lower than 60 F at night if conditions stay consistent and it warms up during the day,) it will grow fine and you can keep this species.

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    k im back........

    lighting......you can get yourself a 5000-7500 lumens fixture. personally i prefer to run a combination of 6400k and 2700 or 3000k.

    heating.....either a mat under the terrarium or an aquarium heater. i use a submersible heater and i set it at 80 degrees as a baseline......it will exceed that in the day time via greenhouse effect and drop down to 80 at night.

    humidity....either a humidifier, fogger or just put water in the bottom of the terrarium. I have use both just water and a fogger with each other. The water by itself will sustain close to 70% but with a $6 timer from lowes and a pond fogger set to come on for 30 minutes 6 times a day will boost your humidity to an 80 or so percent average.

    ventilation....will need a fan....generally i set mine to come on at the same time as the fogger.

    water......rain, distilled, ro etc..

    with that humidity you will need a well drained, well aerated soil which is a hugely debated topic in regards to soil mixes. i use 65% perlite/20% peat/15% orchid bark. nepenthes are to be top watered not tray watered.

    i do not recommend a 10 gallon fish tank. too small. another option is a storage tote.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I have had a red N. ampullaria on a western windowsill for a few years now and it's currently about 24" in diameter. It's never received any extra lighting other than the sun. Granted it sometimes doesn't pitcher and is probably not performing to it's utmost, but it has done well considering the dry air during winter etc. It can take a plant quite a while to acclimate to such conditions though and it should be done carefully as it's possible to damage the plant or dry it to a crisp. It concerns me that this is a rescue plant and may already be in a weakened state and subjecting it to sun and dry household air may simply be the death stroke to the plant, if that's the case. Can you post some photos of the plant to help evaluate it's current health?

    edit: oh yeah I should also point out that some Nepenthes will just not tolerate growing in this manor no matter how long you try to acclimate them. So do your research when considering which plants would make likely candidates for windowsill growing without lots of extra gadgets to alter the environment.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Taargus's Avatar
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    Tony- Isn't that the truth! Some adapt to less than ideal conditions and some don't, even the same species. Interesting that you've got one that does ok in a windowsill. There's too much dry air conditioned central air to try that on mine here, N. ampullaria never adapted well to a windowsill in NY either, (tried it when I temporarily ran out of room.) However, terrarium growing them, they did great without supplemental heating and extremely high humidity that their natural growing conditions seem to imply they need.


    Quote Originally Posted by cpbobby View Post
    i do not recommend a 10 gallon fish tank. too small. another option is a storage tote.
    Yeah, I know a 10 gallon isn't ideal either, but it'll suit Rosieonfire long enough for cheap enough for her to make a decision to see if she wants to invest in growing this plant or trade it for something more adaptable to the conditions she already has. All the stuff for true lowland conditions is a bit much for one plant, but if you love it and have to have it, then yeah, invest in the heat/humidity/ whole 9 yards and do it right.

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