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Thread: soil moisture tolerance

  1. #1

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    soil moisture tolerance

    I'm curious and have a question for the more experienced people here. How do Nepenthes tolerate saturated soils (in this case, peat/sphagnum mix)? More specifically, if I were to have a setup that constantly dripped/refreshed water from the top and drained through the bottom, would that be too much for lowland Nepenthes? Or is root rot more of a symptom that comes from stagnant saturated soils?

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    It really has a lot to do with the species involved. Some lowlanders would do well with a perpetually saturated media, as long as it's kept oxygenated. I think leaving out the peat and simply using sphagnum would be better in the long run, and you may want to use some kind of aggregate to ensure the bottom-center of the pot doesn't become too compacted.

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    I've had some lowland Neps (amps mainly) growing in constantly moist but completely drained soil. Due to the high humidity and low air flow in the tank the medium takes a few months to dry out. When I repotted them into a more open medium in net pots, I noticed there were not growing much in the way of roots. They have been growing just fine but thier root growth was tiny, I would suspect adding more moisture/wetness would only reduce the root growth.

    Here is a thread about a Ceph I had growing in a constantly wet setup, it never grew "well" but it did grow. http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...some-Driftwood

    None of the non "wet" loving plants ever developed any real root system in these conditions. Unless you are going for a "look" I would go another route. I loved the "look" of that Ceph growing in the tank but once I removed it into a more traditional medium it took off.

    Root rot is caused by lack of airflow to the roots very generally speaking, the reason I was able to keep the Ceph growing in constantly running water was just that it was constantly running and good air exchange. But at the same time there was no roots to rot!

    If possible I would recommend tracking down more inorganic mediums for a constantly wet medium. Things like lava rock/laterite/hydroton come to mind, good quality dense organic mediums would be better than peat imo. Live sphagnum would be a good option also, but it would be more of a top dressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mato View Post
    I think leaving out the peat and simply using sphagnum would be better in the long run, and you may want to use some kind of aggregate to ensure the bottom-center of the pot doesn't become too compacted.
    Look up Rand Air Cone pots, they might be helpful with the bottom-center issue.

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    I think soil will be the important factor
    I grow inter and HL species and they are drenched most of the time - but, my soil contains lots of foam - so, it drains freely. If I put plant in those conditions potted in 'regular' peat mixes - they rot out super fast. irrespective of species, I grow all my plants like this.

    That said - I have no LL experience

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