User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 9

Thread: Promoting Growth - Bical/Amp Hybrid

  1. #1
    NatchGreyes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    592
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Promoting Growth - Bical/Amp Hybrid

    I've had a great bical x amp hybrid for about three months now, but which hasn't done anything. Literally, nothing. I wanted to know if there is anything to induce growth.

    First up, a shot of the pitchers - (This is why I like it, look at those fangs!)


    So, here it is on 01/31/14:


    Today:


    So, as you can sort of see, basically, it has lost a pitcher, but that's it. I've seen no growth. I'm slightly concerned.

    Treatment: As you can see from the last picture, it sits next to an amp, which is next to a bical. Both of them are doing splendidly, having ridiculous leaf jumps, etc. My initial thought was that it inherited the bical's tendency towards sulkiness. In other words, the tendency to do nothing after being moved to a new location, but I think it's been too long for it not to do nothing. (I judge this against the two bicals I just got, which, admittedly, were not barerooted/repotted, like this plant, but both of them have started growing after only a couple weeks of sulking (and one of those had a severely damaged growing point)).

    The bical x amp has been getting the same treatment as everything else - coffee every month or so, and SeaMax every few weeks - and it is the only plant to refuse to grow a minutia. It gets the same T5s and everything. Basically, everything that has been making its cousins happy, it's been getting.

    My thoughts: My first thought is that its cousins are potted in pure lfs, not the leca clay:lava gravel:seramis Nep mix that I started using. So, maybe I ought to change the medium. However, no other plant in this mixture has seen a negative effect - though I haven't tried it on either a bical or an amp.

    I don't really have any other thoughts, other than wondering if the rust (indicative of stress, according to Paul) is also indicative of a decline in the plant which will result in eventual death. Obviously, I don't want the plant to die, so I thought I'd reach out and see how you all think I should proceed. (My guess, however, is that Paul or Johnny will say "be patient").

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    theplantman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    973
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say to start with your soil mix to fix the stress. I've grown bical for 4 years now and it seems to like
    (1) warm temps (duh! But you can occasionally get brown "cold spots" from cold water or low temps under 45F--if your plant gets nice high temps then disregard this)
    (2) wet mix with a high proportion of LFS. Think of it like a swampy Nepenthes. They like lots of water, all the time.
    (3) heavy feeding (1/2 tsp of liquid feed per gallon, once every 2 weeks--it can easily take more but I grow in a greenhouse and it uses fertilizer up like a weed--not the same for a terrarium). Also seems to like more potassium than other Neps and it's my personal hypothesis that it may secrete some potassium in the massive amount of nectar it produces everywhere

    Because my Neps at work are so old, I want a good, aerated root zone and only use clay pots unless they're in hanging baskets. My mix is 1:1:1 LFS/Perlite or Turface/Orchid Bark, and for the bical it's very nearly a LFS/bark blend.

    If I had to take a guess, reading your media mix makes me suspect that the stressor may be pH and how it is affecting your plant's nutrient uptake. It may not be able to fend off the rust unless you make improvements in your conditions. Your first step for a firm diagnosis should be a repot. Then, give it a good dose of plant food. I can't say I'm a proponent of coffee. Not many Neps out there enjoying a cup of joe every morning. I'd suggest waiting a while to use coffee again--coffee does who-knows-what to pH, plus introduces a bunch of tannins and other random stuff that may or may not be playing a role here.
    Last edited by theplantman; 04-24-2014 at 07:17 PM.

  3. #3
    NatchGreyes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    592
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, that's my thought, repot in lfs. I'll have to go buy more of that tomorrow.

    I'm somewhat surprised that this is the only plant having an adverse reaction to the potting mix. Then again, perhaps I should not be. Both bicals and amps habitate peat swamp forests, which have a much lower pH than most Nep habitats. Despite the partial mix in of lfs, I don't think that would be enough to offset the slow, alkaline leech of the Seramis. Considering the size of the pot, I'm guessing the pH is closer to neutral than deeply acidic, as bical would have in the wild. Additionally, the mix isn't nearly as well at water retention as lfs. Generally, I'm not sure this is a problem, but I'm sure the bicals I have have a better uptake of water due to being in lfs (or a mix that is mostly lfs).

    Just a quick question, though I know that you've told me before, how are you applying the fertilizer? Usually, I do foliar, and I've seen good results with that, but I'm not sure if I should also try for root induction in this case, too.

    FYI, coffee pH is around 5, putting it nicely in the acidic range (though you can brew it in ways to make it less acidic). I generally only coffee dose established plants, but I did so in this case because I was trying to stimulate growth.

    I'm pretty good on the temps. At least, I have been. It's spring-ish, so it's a bit harder to control them, but things should stay fairly warm.

    Thanks for the help,
    -N

  4. #4
    hcarlton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Greeley, CO, USA
    Posts
    3,573
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree, amp and bical are both swamp species. I don't have a bical (yet), but my ampullaria thrive in undrained pots full of lots and lots of wet, sopping sphagnum. The soil you have certainly looks to be too well-draining and alkaline, so placing in a sphagnum-based mix is certainly a good idea.
    I fertilize my plants via the pitchers, but knowing how Nepenthes are I would bet foliar and possibly soil fertilization would be acceptable, save for the possible algae buildup on the soil (Maxsea helps sphagnum grow, so soil fert with this mix would be best).
    As or coffee, I give my plants some every 6 weeks, so if you've done so recently, certainly hold off a while for that, until the plant is established and has good roots again.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
    There is far more to everything than meets the eye.
    Growlist

  5. #5
    theplantman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    973
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by NatchGreyes View Post
    Yeah, that's my thought, repot in lfs. I'll have to go buy more of that tomorrow.

    I'm somewhat surprised that this is the only plant having an adverse reaction to the potting mix. Then again, perhaps I should not be. Both bicals and amps habitate peat swamp forests, which have a much lower pH than most Nep habitats. Despite the partial mix in of lfs, I don't think that would be enough to offset the slow, alkaline leech of the Seramis. Considering the size of the pot, I'm guessing the pH is closer to neutral than deeply acidic, as bical would have in the wild. Additionally, the mix isn't nearly as well at water retention as lfs. Generally, I'm not sure this is a problem, but I'm sure the bicals I have have a better uptake of water due to being in lfs (or a mix that is mostly lfs).

    Just a quick question, though I know that you've told me before, how are you applying the fertilizer? Usually, I do foliar, and I've seen good results with that, but I'm not sure if I should also try for root induction in this case, too.

    FYI, coffee pH is around 5, putting it nicely in the acidic range (though you can brew it in ways to make it less acidic). I generally only coffee dose established plants, but I did so in this case because I was trying to stimulate growth.

    I'm pretty good on the temps. At least, I have been. It's spring-ish, so it's a bit harder to control them, but things should stay fairly warm.

    Thanks for the help,
    -N
    It's good that your temps are in the right range. That eliminates a lot of variables. Repotting into a "standard" Nep mix will eliminate many more. Hopefully you can cut out enough possible causes that the solution will make itself apparent and the plant will begin growing.

    Some other stuff I thought of:
    --The newest leaf has no spots. I am going to assume if that nice green leaf has been there for 3 months, if you had rust it should be affected by now. It may or may not be rust.
    --Some nutrient patterns affect old leaves but not new leaves. Also, your newest leaf is really small compared to the others--that indicates to me that the plant is definitely stressed by something.
    --If you do have rust, it could be spread by overhead water or splashing. Make sure when you water, you drench just the surface of the soil. No foliar sprays of anything. No water touching the leaves. Just hydrate the root zone.
    -- Don't cut off the browning leaves because if this has anything to do with pH/nutrition your plant will need the stuff locked away in those leaves. The brown stuff is already necrotic and won't come back to life, but what you are hoping for is that you can adjust your conditions and get the new growth to develop normally.

    I don't mean to hate on lava rock/clay pellets/seramis or coffee, but I am cautiously advising you to eliminate them for the time being because they introduce variables. They are all great products and all have horticultural implications. The tannins in coffee may have antiseptic properties--who knows. When you get the plant healthy, feel free to experiment. I do so all the time, but usually in small increments (ex. use LFS with a bit of lava rock, but not all 3 ingredients together and eliminating the LFS completely).

    For Nep fertilizer:
    --I recommend http://www.jrpeters.com/Products/Jac...Peat-Lite.html. It's good stuff and you can get small tubs for like $6 online. I have grown plants from over 50 different families in it... including all the CPs I have. I don't branch out with other kinds of foods because this works so well. I'm afraid to switch after how great it performs, so my experience with Maxsea and other stuff like that is limited. Miracle Gro also works.
    --The key to chemical fertilization is (1) assuring your growing conditions are perfect beforehand. If you have improper temps or unclean water you can cause mineral buildup, or if your light levels are off you don't get a decent growth rate. If pH is off you can get toxicity. (2) Get a decent set of measuring spoons down to 1/8 tsp. Always measure your fertilizer. I have never burned any plant by using the appropriate rate. Throw away any spoons you get from the fertilizer packet and use your own judgement. If you stay under 1 tsp per gallon (of clean, pure water!) you will never kill a CP with fertilizer.
    --I root-feed my neps. Foliar feeding does work. However, some nutrients (iron) absorb well into the leaves but others (Calcium) do not. Everything gets uptaken by the roots however. Also, on a bical if you are not root-feeding it in decent quantities it will quickly start to starve. You can't get enough fertilizer to the plant with foliar feeding. This is the monster of all Nepenthes and the largest. It usually lives with an entire colony of ants--thousands of individuals and absorbs all of the waste they make as well as their corpses in the pitchers. It needs to feed above and beyond most other Neps.
    --After a transplant or repot, use half-rate feed. 1/8 tsp per gallon is good.
    --You do get algae or moss with root feeding. However, for this small annoyance you (1) save money by not having to buy the plant again if it starves and (2) get a lot more growth, pitchers, and cuttings to trade off.
    Last edited by theplantman; 04-25-2014 at 07:52 AM.

  6. #6
    pmatil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    251
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Bical x Amp too. It's currently in LFS/perlite (about 1:1). From what I remember it was a very slow grower when I got it bare-root last year. I kept it in a bag at least for a month or so but still it grew soooo slowly, like one pitcher in the first 6 months. Now it certainly grows faster but still slower than my other neps. A couple of pics:




    Also, you mentioned the fangs... my hybrid has no fangs at all.
    Looking for N. Campanulata hybrids. Also would like to grow some nepenthes from seed. Growlist/pic thread: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Pete-s-plants

  7. #7
    NatchGreyes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    592
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pmatil View Post
    I have a Bical x Amp too. It's currently in LFS/perlite (about 1:1). From what I remember it was a very slow grower when I got it bare-root last year. I kept it in a bag at least for a month or so but still it grew soooo slowly, like one pitcher in the first 6 months. Now it certainly grows faster but still slower than my other neps.

    Also, you mentioned the fangs... my hybrid has no fangs at all.

    Well, the grower I received it from said it was sold to him as a straight bical, but it became apparent that it was a cross with amp. My guess is that it is possibly N. bical x (bical x amp). I say this because of the absence of fangs in most crosses with bical. You can't make it out well in my picture, but where yours has a little nub of a fang, mine has two definite and fairly long fangs. I'm not sure how the genetics works out though, so I'm keeping it labeled as bical x amp, as those two are definitely in it.

  8. #8
    Nep'tard Chris_Himself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    308
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you're inquiring about possibly fertilizing, I'd use MaxSea only during the middle of your growing season. Being an LL I think anytime is ok. Go 1/4 to 1/2 strength depending on your watering schedule. 1/2 for outdoor, 1/4 for indoor.. every two weeks. You could also use a really mild seawood fertilizer at full strength. Once Bical starts up, very little can stop it..
    Nepenthes Outdoors in CA

    Growlist

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •