Windowsill Nep recommendations
I'm looking to obtain a couple more Neps. I want to get some recommendations before I post a WTB thread or go looking around.
Unless I can find some small ones that will fit in a 10 or 20 gallon terrarium for 8-12 months it will need to stay on a windowsill. The only Nep I have right now is a N. x ventrata. It is doing well aside from refusing to pitcher due to the low humidity from our heating system. However, come spring when the heat shuts off the room will be much more humid. Around 50-60% if I had to guess based on some readings I got in late fall and the fact that I have around a combined 55 gallons of open top aquariums in the room evaporating into the air. Temps will be low 70s in the day and mid to high 60s at night.
If I can find something that will fit in one of the terrariums temps will be fairly constant in the mid to upper 70s. High humidity. I'd consider taking measures to switch ones of the 10g tanks over to highland type conditions if I end up setting up the 20g terrarium but for now that isn't happening.
So any recommendations? I favor the species that have toothy or at least ridged looking peristomes. Aside from that the more colors the better I guess. I know this is kinda vague but I'm more unfamiliar with nep species than any other CP at the moment.
No Nepenthes, whether highland or lowland types, will thrive for long if the lows are in the mid-to-high 60s at night, and barely 7 or 8 degrees warmer in the day. They an a temperature differential of 20 degrees or more for good health.
I'm going to get some more accurate readings over the next few days those were more estimates than anything. The lows at night may be lower and with the sunlight the highs may be a little higher.
Originally Posted by Whimgrinder
So two days and the low both nights was around 62 and the high around 74. Still not quite a 20* difference but anything I could make work?
N. Miranda, some of the N. ventricosa hybrids, probably some of the N. maxima hybrids. But if the humidity is low (I would expect it is below 50% in the winter) then many Nepenthes will struggle to make pitchers during the winter months. If you already have N. Ventrata and it isn't pitchering because the humidity is too low, then that is a pretty good indicator of what to expect from most other varieties.
Yup, I'm not really expecting much pitchering this winter, Humidity hovers around 35-40%. The humidity will rise significantly when the weather warms though. We had a few days last month with slightly warmer weather (50s?) and the heat wasn't running full time. The humidity jumped to 55-60%. So once the heat kicks off I'm expecting at least around there. For next winter I may be looking into a space in a community greenhouse nearby.
I would say don't worry about humidity that much. All my neps are windowsill grown and many of them keep pitchering during winter. Most will say only Maxima and its hybrids do well in low humidity but that may not be true in your conditions. It certainly isn't true for me. Ironically Miranda never pitchers for me in winter, Maxima (tentena) pitchers now and then but both will keep growing.
On the other hand Albomarginata (red), Truncata (pasian), Truncata x Veitchii, Veitchii (lowland) never stop pitchering for me.
I would say go for hairy species in general, they seem to do better in low humidity and also intermediate plants instead of HL or LL.
Really I would recommend you to try and make your own experience. Most people here are greenhouse growers and for sure you can't beat a greenhouse grown nepenthes. Even still that doesn't mean yours will not thrive. I have a Sibuyanensis that grows like a beast even in low humidity. If I had listened to people saying it can only be grown in the highest humidity I would have totally missed out on it.
Lets just hope any artificial lighting you throw on top would add some warmth, but the tempurature drop lets them know to "close shop" and start processing the food sugars they worked hard to produce in the day.
I don't even bother checking humidity, I grow lots of different species and hybrids, anything above 40% is better than what I've got in the middle of the day.
I would mirror Maxima's statement about hairy species, Veitchii, Fusca, and the like have been the most resilient for hot, cold, wet, and dry as well as artificial light and full sun. Fusca also had big pitchers and grows fast as well as being pretty affordable. I have one. Veitchii has been one of the most fantastic plants in cultivation for a while due to some of the biggest pitchers and that fantastic peristome as well as being one of the hardiest species. I had a Veitchii x Platychila that would grow faster than say a purebred Ventricosa.
I'm a windowsill grower. Nearly everything on my grow list is on a big rack in front of a SSW-facing window (if it isn't there, it inhabits another windowsill). I supplement light and humidity in the winter. A lot of this depends on your local climate, too. Where in CT are you?
The hairy species/hybrids Maxima recommends would be worth a shot, so would the maxima and ventricosa hybrids that Paul recommends. I have a maxima x aristolochioides that consistently makes pitchers, even during the winter when the humidity can dip into the 40 degree range for a few hours. Another good one to try might be [I]tobaica[I]. It doesn't have the showiest of pitchers, but they are quite elegantly shaped. It too makes pitchers consistently for me. Start with something inexpensive and forgiving and go from there.
The American Orchid Society has a great piece on killing plants :-), and I think it applies to nepenthusiasts as well: http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=412. I would read as much as you can about the species/hybrids you're considering, assess your growing conditions, consult other growers (who often have widely divergent experiences with any given plant), and experiment. Learning about the plants' requirements (and our limitations) is, at least for me, part of the fun. You will inevitably have painful losses, but also small successes to celebrate along the way.