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Thread: N. merrilliana

  1. #9

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    No offense, but just out of curiousity, how many large, well-established, mature specimens of N. lowii have you examined, either in cultivation or in the wild, to arrive at your conclusion regarding the relative extent of the typical root mass for plants of this species?

  2. #10
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Hi there Jeff,

    Regarding all of the wonderful people who go out and observe these plants I am just basically giving schloaty an example to render regarding that plant size isn't always the factor to consider when repotting and I'd thought I'd use N. lowii as an example because of it's tiny root mass for such a large specimen growing as an ephiphyte hanging in a tree as reported by globe-trekkers. Even my little 11 cm across specimen has little root mass. I was just giving an example regarding that plant size doesn't necessarily matter. Can you see what I am trying to get at Jeff?

  3. #11

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    My previous post was simply intended to point out that it is important to be careful about making broad statements about cultivation issues, especially when such statements are based upon very limited personal or anecdotal experience, and/or a sample size of one! Moreover, the fact that N. lowii is ephiphytic does not necessarily mean that it has a small root system!

    This is not a personal attack upon you, Dustin. I am sure that you only mean well, and are trying to be helpful. However, it might not be a bad idea to state things a bit more carefully, and to base statements more upon personal experience accrued over a number of years....

  4. #12
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    No offense taken at all Jeff everyone is still learning and I am open to all responses, after all expierence and talking to people is the best teacher in this world of carnivorous plants!

    I was just trying to make the comparison of root mass and plant size...maybe lowii was bad to pick as an example. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

  5. #13
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    Angry

    Ok, I re-potted the Merri in a soda bottle. It's only a little bigger around than the 4" pot I had it in, but its over 1' deep! Looks a little weird, but it'll be worth it if I can get this sucker to grow big. I'm also chugging away at the ginger ale to get a new pot for my bical....I won't have a tooth left in my head, but the plants will be happy! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

  6. #14
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Sounds good schloaty! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Just make sure it is very well drained, sounds plenty deep enough! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

  7. #15
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    Thanks Dustin,
    If I can ever get my hands on my sister-in-law's digi cam again, I'll take a pic.
    I'll tell you one thing. $1.29 for a big flower pot is quite a bargin. They even threw in 2 liters of soda...for free! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

  8. #16

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    In the wild N. lowii can (and usually does) have very large root systems when mature. It typically grows in amongst a mixture of moss (not sphagnum) and the roots of stunted trees. It sends out runners beneath the surface and produces new shoots, sometimes several meters away from the main growing point (in much the same way as N. ampullaria). Having said that, I've observed huge old plants festooned in tree branches like tinsel on a christmas tree, that have lost their attachment with the ground due to some trauma such as a falling tree, or more usually human intervention. These massive rootless plants appear to exist and reproduce perfectly, presumably existing on the water the pitchers collect and of course, prey.

    So, it's my guess that your plants may "decide" how large the roots will grow depending upon the conditions under which you grow them.

    In our highland nursery we used to nurse N. lowii, believing it was a very difficult and slow plant. We kept the RH high throughout the day and never stressed them. The result was luscious top-growth and stunted roots. Customers would then have a lot of trouble establishing them. Then we tried quadrupling the light levels to near full tropical sun at altitude for several hours per day with a related drop in the RH surrounding the leaves. The result was hugely improved root sytems and far tougher leaves with larger pitchers.

    If anyone has read this far [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img], I would just add that montaine tropical moss forest isn't always sopping wet and humid. There are occasional droughts when things dry out quite severely (sometimes resulting in devastating fires). Old large plants with well-developed root systems may survive this trauma (drought, not fire) and younger plants usually do not.

    Sorry to be so long winded as usual [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] . I'm unusually busy at the moment and tend to lurk these days until someone draws me out with a posting I cannot resist. It usually involves some (I suspect deliberately provocative) comment by Jeff! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

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