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Thread: Encouraging the formation of basals

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Encouraging the formation of basals

    So while bebopping around on the web, I happened upon the ICPS site which I had not visited in years. I came across the following advice for encouraging Nepenthes to form new basals:

    "If it is a long stem it may be better to encourage the plant to grow a new basal rosette. You do this by laying the pot on the side and letting the long stem go out horizontally or, even better, hang down. In a few months the plant should sprout a new basal rosette an you can remove the whole climbing stem."

    Does anyone happen to know why this would be effective?
    Has anyone had experience in doing so? (Inquiring minds and all that ....)
    Last edited by DragonsEye; 03-06-2016 at 08:32 AM.
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    It probably has something to do with auxins etc?

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    I don't have experience doing this, but I will attempt it soon and I'll let you guys know. As for my guess as to why it works, the plant probably "realizes" that it isn't as stable or it thinks it has fallen over and grows a basal in an attempt to reorient itself similar to how bamboo(or was it sugarcane) will grow new shoots from the side if it falls over.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    It has a lot to do with auxins and other growth hormones the plant produces. The ones that suppress basal production are produced at the growing point, and oddly appear to follow gravity; plants with stems climbing up allow the hormone to drain down through the plant, and don't produce basals until they get very long and the distance dilutes the hormone too much for it to be effective at the base/root system. Those bent down level with or below the pot level will tend to basal rapidly because the hormone is no longer draining into the base. It doesn't matter in this case really how long the vine is, so long as it's more than just a few inches.
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    BigBella's Avatar
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    I have regularly used homemade "keiki" pastes, with auxins and / or cytokinins to encourage cell division, in a base of pharmaceutical grade lanolin . . .
    Last edited by BigBella; 03-06-2016 at 10:24 PM.
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    I think hcarlton's explanation makes sense. Actually, auxins itself isn't following the gravity (i.e. auxins aren't sinking), but the auxin eflux protein relocates toward the bottom side of cell membrane (which drives the direction of auxin flow). If you look at Statolith section of the following wikipedia, it gives a brief explanation.
    Gravitropism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by naoki; 03-06-2016 at 10:40 PM.

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    You could also induce offshoots by simply clipping the meristem, since as Hawken pointed out, it's a factory for auxins.

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Thanks, folks. I suspected it was likely due to growth hormones (auxins)
    Though it still seems odd that the position of the vine would have that great an impact.

    Twas most intrigued to learn of the presence of statoliths in plant cells. Had not known there was a plant analog to the statoliths/statocysts found in some animals like crayfish.


    Last edited by DragonsEye; 03-07-2016 at 08:36 PM.
    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



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