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Thread: How to rejuvenate an aging Nepenthes?

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    How to rejuvenate an aging Nepenthes?

    Around 15 years ago, probably, I gave my mom a rooted cutting of a seedling plant of Nepenthes burkei x truncata (purchased in 1995 as a seedling from Tom Kahl). The plant grew and pitchered beautifully in my mom's kitchen window for years--a North-facing window in the SF Bay Area. The pitchers were sizable (8 inches?) and chunky, and while not spectacular it was a was a very attractive plant.

    I've cut the plant back at least a couple times. Recently it seems to have shifted over to upper pitchers (I assume). Sorry this is not the best angle:



    The plant itself has gotten big, diameter-wise, and is not pitchering at the moment. My mom is complaining it's borderline too big, and I expect it wants to get bigger, not smaller. So I have few problems cutting it way back. Unfortunately I don't have good measurements on the size of this plant.



    So the goal here is to get back a plant of smaller diameter, with big, presumably lower pitchers. I assume somehow getting it to produce basal shoots is ideal.

    Here's a closeup so you can see how it's been cut back in the past, with the current and previous directions of the vine indicated 1, 2, 3 chronologically. The original stem (1) lies nearly horizontal, and it's almost surprising the roots are in the soil.



    One option would be to give my mom a rooted cutting and do "whatever" to the original plant. I have a couple rooted cuttings left, and I guess all of (3) has grown since I took those.



    So "whatever" could involve cutting the plant back as far (or farther? than before), or somehow trying to grow it up--perhaps it would make a decent parent for pitcher size and overall vigor if it were given conditions for blooming (sex unknown)?, try to put it outside (the parents don't strike me as the best bet for my cool, but frost-free climate). I'm open for suggestions and open to all options.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    N. burkei and N. truncata are both considered intermediate species, the former leaning toward highland, so cool conditions are probably tolerable if they don't experience frost. N. truncata especially is famous for being tolerant of just about anything. Being Nepenthes, though, if average humidity stays below 40% outside you may see pitchering or leaf burn issues, but otherwise it's worth a shot. If you can allow the original plant to keep growing I would, if only to find out the sex, and if the main growth point is allowed to hang down somehow you may be able to encourage it to produce a basal, which will free up the main vine for whatever pruning you feel you want to do.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
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    Thanks, hcarlton, for the advice. I'll try the plant outside, and replace my mom's with either one of the rooted cuttings or a different species/hybrid.

    I love the graphics from the Weatherspark site https://weatherspark.com/averages/31...-United-States These are at our airport, which is a little over a mile away, closer to the SF Bay. I probably get a couple degrees warmer than them in both summer highs and winter lows. Over the last 3+ years here (4 winters) there has been no frost in my local area, even though 3 of those winters were colder than average, and many in the area consider last winter's December freeze (in most areas) to be the worst since the "freeze of the century", in 1990. I think the problems outside would likely be a lot of days in the winter with lows around 40 and highs below 60. Also summer heat waves (90s for 1-4 days) where humidity might drop into the teens for a few hours.






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    I have the plant in my possession, and I'm going to ease him (or her) outside, at least for the Spring/Summer/Fall (it's definitely Spring here already). I replaced it by giving my mom a plant I got from Jurow (thanks Josh!). I bought a beautiful plant. Hopefully both the N. burkei x truncata and its "replacement", N. platychila x robcantleyi, will do well.
    Last edited by RandyS; 02-25-2015 at 01:21 AM.

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    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    From the looks of it, it seems that the "new" growth was coming out of an old stem, which isn't quite the same as a true basal. A basal would come even lower from the plant, out of the substrate and from the root wad. A lower basal could be encouraged by having the substrate immediately around the base of the plant be more humid. If there were moist moss or peat around it, that could help produce a basal that was even lower to ground and even less "mature" looking than a new growth point that might start up the vine a ways.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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    Dexenthes,

    Absolutely. I meant to suggest that the current growth was in no way basal, but was looking for ideas as to how to get it to produce something that is--and is a smaller rosette, with the fatter lower pitchers. Thanks for the suggestions. Since it's going to go outside for a while, I will want to do what I can to keep the moisture level up. That's especially important this year--normally rain helps out, so watering is less of an ordeal this time of the year. This year--it pours for a few days, then nothing for weeks. And temperatures have been well above normal.

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