N. khasiana weirdness
I've had this N. khasiana for a while now. It has always been a good grower, but lately it's been acting a little... weird.
First, it started making smaller leaves with less space between the internodes, but the pitcher size didn't decrease:
I assumed this was the result of high light (it grows, like everything else in a SSW-facing window w/ supplemental fluorescent light).
But then, along with the small leaves, it threw out this crooked pitcher:
The pitcher wasn't growing against anything else, so there's no obvious cause of the deformity.
To top it off, here's the growth point:
The newest leaf seems extra-curly.
I've checked for pests and can't find any evidence of spider mites, thrips, etc. Summer heat? But it made it through last summer sans problème and it hasn't even been that hot here in New Haven. The other Neps are fine.
Last edited by anramitaco; 07-02-2015 at 03:45 PM.
(1) What's your media?
(2) How long has this plant been in your care?
(3) How do you feed, what fertilizer do you use on it, and do you have a nutrient analysis for it?
I'm trying to figure out what's it's running out of. I have my suspicions but it'll help to know this stuff.
Definitely not mites or thrips. Or pests of any kind, really, as far as I can tell.
Last edited by theplantman; 07-02-2015 at 04:10 PM.
(1) LFS and perlite (about 50/50)
(2) 3 years
(3) my Nepenthes catch plenty of insects on their own, but I also feed very lightly: once/month with Better-Gro orchid fertilizer, at a strength of 1/4 per gallon. I flush the pot well at the next watering to prevent build-up.
Here's the nutrient analysis:
Thanks for helping diagnose this, Kevin!
My N.diatas does something very similar just prior to flowering. It's the only plant I've flowered out so far that does this. I always know there's an impending flower when 2 consecutive leaves go all wonky like that.
I notice that new plants that come in from nurseries do produce such weird leaves or pitchers. Humidity is more constant and high there but although my growing area is humid too (80% and above on average), the fluctuation within a day can be between 60-90%.
Could be on to something, I just recently had a vent x spec do similar before flowering
Originally Posted by Cthulhu138
Thanks. So maybe it's just fixin' to flower.
sorry for poor quality pic , but I think you can see the internodes have tightened up, and curly deformed leaves, I also suspected pests
I'd bet money that it could use a bit of calcium. Chlorotic meristems can happen with iron deficiency (not curled leaves though), but since you are supplementing Fe it's not that. That was my only other possible option. Meristem problems like you have (especially curled leaves) are typical of Ca deficiency. Reproduction (flowering, setting seed) also places a moderate need for Ca on the plant. Your plant may be in the very early stages of running out. 3 years is a long time to go without a Ca supplement, especially since you are increasing the growth rate (and thus need for Ca) by fertilization. With just one blend of fertilizer, it could very well have run out. Neps need modest quanitities of Ca. I am by no means an expert on all Nep species, but the ones I do have grow through the roof. I have not grown khasiana personally, so feel free to take this opinion with a grain of salt. I did a bit of googling to find out what the Khasi Hills are made of geologically, and wasn't quite able to determine, but there appears to be a fair degree of limestone mining in that area. I'd suspect N. khasiana comes in contact with Ca-containing substrates in situ, but again, other folks may be more familiar with this plant's natural substrate than me.
Originally Posted by anramitaco
So, if you decide to go this route, there are a couple harmless ways to solve the issue. IMO the best one would be gypsum. If it's in a 6" pot or smaller, I'd dissolve 1/8 tsp of gypsum in hot water, wait for it to cool, and then saturate with that. I topdress dry, but it takes much longer this way. Gypsum takes ~2 weeks to begin fixing the deficiency. It's not very soluble in water, not very mobile within the plant, and has to migrate from the root tips all the way up to the apical meristem. The added S will benefit your plants too, especially if they have not also received that in 3 years. It's probably good to supplement this once or twice a year. It may leave a slight mineral crust as it dries, but the rate I gave will in no way be harmful. Gypsum doesn't jack up pH or have any toxicity for Neps.
Another option is to incorporate a second liquid feed into your regime which contains at least some Ca. Just having it there in low doses is better than leaving it completely absent. I like stuff made by JR Peters, but one grower whose experience and quality of plants I respect uses Neptune's Harvest. This provides a lot of the stuff that your current regime is lacking, and I think by using it every so often you will noticeably benefit your plants. They already look superbly grown because you feed, but for long-term health you can never rely on just one product exclusively. You can root-feed or foliar feed to get Ca into the plant.
Last edited by theplantman; 07-03-2015 at 12:26 PM.
Whoa! Thanks for the thorough reply, Kevin. I think I'm going to go the second route and incorporate another fertilizer, which should benefit all of my plants in the long run.