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Thread: New name for N. lowii

  1. #33

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    Rob,

    Glad to hear that you have returned safely, and sincerely hope that your trip to Europe was
    a pleasant one!

    As you found my remark regarding the definition of ultramafic to be of interest, so do I find
    your observations regarding the effect of magnesium upon the rate of growth of N. lowii.
    May I ask what sort of fertilizer you are using? Is it a commercial product, and at what
    concentration, and with what frequency, do you use it? Also, could you describe the rate of
    growth of your plants (i.e., number of leaves per year, or time interval between successive leaves)?

    I do not fertilize my lowii, and the rate of growth I observe is roughly 8 (even possibly 10) new
    leaves per year....

  2. #34
    swords's Avatar
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    Rob I'm still interested in the thread and would love to see your photos and read of your info/expeiments on N. lowii (I'm also working on an import permit to by the way [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] )!

    I have made a magnesium sulfate solution by diluting 2 teaspoons of Epsom salts in distilled water as a way to supply Mg to my aquatic plants (only 5ml is added to a 40 gallon tank capacity).
    I don't know what porportions would be adequate or overdose for a Nepenthes solution.
    When fertilizing with Mg and other micro-nutrients (I'm only assuming you do) do you do foliar feed only with a next day "wash off" watering? Or do you root feed/flush as well?

  3. #35

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    Hi Jeff,

    Europe was fine thanks. Great weather for a change, although a bit of a rush since it included Germany and the UK into a 6 day schedule.

    We've just completed a 6 month trial using several fertilizers. The results for the best of them are written up and will be published shortly. Possibly on Pete Thiel's CP E-zene if he'll accept it. We now use this particular fertilizer universally, but detailed measurements were only taken for 3 species plus a control. Unfortunately, N. lowii wasn't in the trial, we used N. bicalcarata, N. sanguinea and N. rajah. The results for the fertilizer containing 2% MgO far outstripped the others, including an identical fertilizer without the MgO.

    Frequency of application: once every 2 months in the lowlands and every 4 months in the highlands.
    Type: Slow release Osmacote 10:11:18 + 2MgO + TE
    Method of application: Top dressing.

    Strangely enough, I've just visited one of the best (if not *the* best) private Nepenthes collections in Germany, that of Christian Klein and he was using precisely the same fertilizer but applied in a different way to avoid killing the sphagnum on the top of his pots.

    Uh! Oh! I guess this may inadvertently open a debate as to whether root feeding of Nepenthes works. I'm quite certain it does, and have empirical data now, but you have to water from above (a lot) to prevent problems of salt build up around the roots.

    One caution: A very few species really don't like this particular fertilizer and may still prefer to be foliar fed. N. argentii is one of these. This fertilizer produces good growth in that species but with bright yellow leaves and no pitchers. Ugh!
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  4. #36

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    Hi Josh,

    We sort of posted messages at the same time, I wasn't ignoring you! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    I guess my earlier message may answer most of your questions. I'm not sure whether magensium sulphate and magnesium oxide release magensium to the plant in the same way or not.

    We've not had much luck with foliar feeding Nepenthes here. Perhaps because we water such a lot. They worked, but nothing spectacular compared with Osmacote on the roots. Careful not to overdo it though. A few pellets per pot is enough.

    Say, shouldn't you guys be asleep right now? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Rob
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  5. #37
    swords's Avatar
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    Interesting, I never thought about using osmocote or any of those kinds of fertilizers, always presuming them far too strong.

    How much do you mean by water a lot? Like flood/flush the pots daily? I do water thoroughly like that about once per week as the substrate never seems to really dry out in my enclosures and I fear rotting the roots.

    I'm always up til about 6 am as my night-shift job does not start until 4pm / 16 : 00. Someday maybe I'll get the terrarium shop open and have a normal schedule again!

  6. #38
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Hmmm.......maybe it's time to go out with the old in with the new soil mixes that is. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] I do like my living sphangum though. Rob, you use Osmacote,Madnesium and what's TE on Nepenthes Lowii to suffice it. Also what's the mix you have it in? Much Thanks!

  7. #39
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Welcome back Rob,

    NepG. that is a typo for FE. Osmocote comes in a variety of formulas and release durations.

    Years ago when I first started growing Nepenthes my first plant was a xVentrata and it was just in with the orchids. I had it potted in LFS. Plants were watered with rainwater and Peters CalMag. A fertilizer high in nitrate with almost no ammonia or urea with elevated levels of calcium and magnesium along with all other micro and trace elements. Fertilizer solution was adjusted to ph 6, give or take .5. At a concentration around 250ppm. This solution was applied with every watering. The ventrata loved it and grew like a weed.

    I think alot of people make the mistake of starving their Nepenthes. Yes they grow in nutrient poor conditions but not nutrient devoid. Even the soil contains decomposing organic matter unlike the potting mixes we grow them in. In practice I hear often of plants in terrarium that are growing in 'soiless' mix and they are never fed with any kind of fertilizer or insects and watered with pure water that has no nutrient value. My experience has been that Nepenthes will respond remarkably to supplimental feeding. In some cases doubling in leaf size with each new leaf.

    Personally I think for hobbyists growing a reasonably sized collection that feeding with bugs is the best way to go. There is very little risk of damaging the plants. Large scale collections and commercial growers where feeding each plant is impractical have the challenge of supplimenting with other means. This is complicated by different species responding to fertilizers differently.

    Today I opt for a water based fertilizer at much diluted concentrations with frequent application. Again I use one with primarily nitrate N and no urea with all macro and micro elements that is high in Ca/Mg. My RO water runs around 20ppm TDS and I raise that to 75PPM after fertilizer. Ph is around 5.5. Plants are overhead watered. I have noticed that too much in the pitchers will cause them to die. I have not seen any adverse effects on the leaves. I am also fiddling around with osmocote but find that trying to topdress with it a pain. It also seems to promote algae growth on the surface of the potting mix in my situation. To the point where you can see the little green patchs indicating where the pellet is just under the potting mix. Perhaps because my watering program is different than Robs. Again this indicates that what works for one person will most surely give different results for someone else and each has to pay careful attention to how things go with their own collection.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  8. #40
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    So now we can erase the "do not fertilize" rule on Nepenthes and add fertilize 4 times a month with this dilution of ingrediants. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I still say a good ole diuted dose of Superthrive and your set. At least I have good results with it.

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