Caring for Nepenthes Seedlings
So I started a variety of nepenthes seedlings, and one variety, a mirabilis, had a huge germination rate. So now, in a 4 inch pot, I have 50+ plants andywhere from newly germinated to an inch in diamter. They are sown in LFS, and I plan on transplanting to a humidity dome with a tray system. When should I transplant them so as to prevent overcrowing and loss of seedlings? Any suggested media? And pointers? I've done this before, with mild success, but am a perfectionist and want to be able to share as many plants as possible in the future.
Also, first two people to offer and advice, or just a wish of good luck, I'll send a seedling when the whether warms up, shipping on me.
most people choose to replant when they are around the size of a dime.
Being very careful, I would gently remove the media from the roots and gently separate them so as not to damage the roots. I prefer to germinate and grow seedlings in a peat/sand mixture, to ensure that the seedlings are able to easily obtain moisture. It may also make it easier to separate them in the future.
I would let them get larger than an inch before separating them, however. There isn't really a need to until they are clearly crowding each other out, as their root systems are not very extensive.
Last edited by Bio; 03-04-2015 at 09:52 AM.
ditto what the others said
transplant when needed. since you have to do the whole pot together - those newly germinated ones will be hard.
I use forceps.
for seedlings, I now use a mix thats much denser than normal because they go in bags (dome in your case). this means you can set the moisture level when you start and then drainage isnt a problem. IMO, its dangerous to put them into too a loose a mix because they may end up with poor soil contact.
another thing I do that helps is - when removing them from the old pot, I toss them into a liquid fertilizer.
this serves two purposes; they are used to ~100% humidity so they will dry out quickly if just left on a pile on the table. and, they get a food boost to help with the transplant.
I have always heard most people say that you should never really transplant Nepenthes seedlings when they are under an inch or so.
However, I have recently been separating and replanting many Nepenthes seedlings - most of them under an inch large. I find that if you are simply exacting with a paper clip or some kind of fine metal implement you can really gently divide even incredibly small seedlings. I have been transplanting seedlings that have now more than two leaves and are less than a centimeter in diameter! So far I haven't lost any of these plants after replanting, whereas while I was letting them grow and do their thing with each other, one by one the weaker plants were starting to die off or stay stunted.
My advice is that if you are a zen ninja about it, you can definitely replant the plants safely into a new medium and pot without much stress or heart-break. I imagine this is especially true for a relatively hardy species like N. mirabilis.
What medium do oyu use for the super small ones? I agree with a previous poster, media contact is important for such a small root system.
I've been using a mix of peat, a small amount of sand, and scattered sphagnum, mostly peat though, the problem is mold can start growing in a high humidity environment on a mix that is mostly peat.