What are these "coco chips"?
You know you are a nep nut when...
What are these "coco chips"?
You know you are a nep nut when...
i think we are getting mixed experiences with the soil type. A friend of mine had his northiana growing in the standard mix of peat, perlite, sand, sphagnum moss and orchid bark and it was not growing!!. he then added some aquarium gravel and the plant start growing better!. Possibly the alkalinity in the soil increased a little.
I have read somewhere, i think Rob's site that perlite in the long term may be detrimental for neps due to the fact that it releases fluoride into the media.
You left out aliflor and pumice. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
We use coconut husk chips as part of our Paph and Phal mix (orchids, not a cp). I've thought about using it with Neps, but have hesitated because of the washing. I give two complete soakings of the chips-two complete changes of RO.water- before using them with the orchids. I wonder if this is suitable for Neps.
Also, what proportions of peat and coconut are used?
If Tony is using coconut husk chips, I would like to hear his input on this too.
Yup, gotta soak them 2 times with RO or distilled overnight preferably. I tried a mix without saoking and the palnts were not affected.....go figure. I throw in a handful or 2 of peat to clump the mix together.
Nepenthes - hail to royalty
I have done pretty well with my N. northiana from 4" to 14" diameter in about a year with 5" pitchers. I too had the same questions about alkaline soils but everyone said that was BS. So I just potted mine in LFS (which is now live). The following photos are a couple months old so the plant is a bit bigger now:
It lives in a lowland chamber that is 85-95*F during the day and 70-75*F at night with humidity between 80-90% at all times (condensation on the glass at night). It is under 240 watts of flourescents and all sides of the tank are covered with reflective foil which not only causes the light to constantly bounce around but also helps retains heat inside the tank.
Beneath the plants in the chamber is a big sheet of lighting grid/egg crate grid that is set ontop of PVC pipe running lenthwise across the floor of the tank and this way I can water the pots and the water which runs out sits in the "false bottom" pool and as it evaporates this makes the constant sticky environment true lowlanders love
words, very nice plant! I have no experience with lowland neps, just wanted to compliment swords, lol,
Grosse Pointe, MI
Wow, very nice swords [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]. Do you think I could grow my two northianas in conditions with 50-80% humidity (highest at night), temps 65-85F (highest at day, lowest at night), potted in sphagnum moss and watered with distilled water. It is in a shady part of my grow room, under a 1000 watt metal halide. Can it grow satisfactory under theese conditions, or do I haveto make changes [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] ?
I make sure the humidity is no less than 80% RH during the day, 90-100% at night for any of my Nepenthes (lowland or highland) for adequate pitchering and pitcher lifespan on each leaf. The highest humidity possible (while avoiding saturation) is of prime importance (next to bright lighting) in my opinion. For lowlanders I feel the leaves, to see if they're slightly warm and "sticky" or tacky. If yes then I'm happy with the temp/humidity levels.
If you have a large growing area (showerstall size or larger) why not buy a ultrasonic cool mist humidifier to raise the RH to higher levels? They only cost $30-$50 at almost any pharmacy and work very well with any number of add on devices (timers/humidistats/etc) to control their fog output.
I do not think your N. northiana would be happy with temps that cold at night. The plant is said to grow from "sea level" up to only 500 meters in altitude. this limits it's natural habitat to the very hot and steamy lowland climate of Borneo's Bau district in Sarawak. The humidity range of the Sarawak state is at it's lowest reading of 60% RH in direct sun on a clear day and increasing to 90% at dusk. Most days however are cloudy or overcast and not clear, and the humidity is more in the 75-80% range at noon and rising to 90% before the almost nightly rains. (from National Parks of Sarawak book). And Nepenthologist (?) Charles Clarke states (in Nepenthes of Borneo book) that at no time during a year of study did the high/low thermometer left in the lowland wilderness drop below 72*F.
I try and mimic my Neps natural conditions as close as I can so they will hopefully grow fast since they are in their prefered conditions but not stressed by the rigors of life in the wild. So I don't know for sure how they would perform outside these kinds of conditions but many people say N. northiana is finicky so I would not try it unless I knew I would be satisfied after going through all the work and price of acquiring and growing it.
Your temps sounds more like intermediate and would be good for non-definate lowlanders (too cool for them) and non-definate highlanders (too warm for them). Things like N. clipeata, campanulata, burbidgeae, maxima, truncata, *eustachya, alata, veitchii, fusca, etc. would probably agree with those conditions. Species that either have a more intermediate altitudinal range or have a very very wide distribution in many different habitats. It's harder to try and choose things that will all be happy in one middle of the road setup.
I like the look and feel of coco chips. I soak them and change water for more than two nights, though. I noticed that with these, and orchid bark, that after soaking, the coc chips smelled like pine-sol. I did not like that, so I kept changing the water every couple of days, and I finally noticed it stopped after several weeks. Now it smells clean, but not pine-sol clean, lol.
When adding peat to a mix, a little portion sort of "binds" the mix together, so it does not seem like a bunch of chunks, but one light, fluffy mix. I hope someone can explain that better than I just did. I use peat with bark or coco chips, perlite, NZ or chilean sphagnum and charcoal.
On the flouride aspect of perlite, "I think" (note the quotes) that the build up can happen if you use water with flourides. I don't see how that would happen with RO water(can't squeeze blood from a turnip and all).
Can worms, open, everywhere.
That's my first attempt at modern poetry. I'm so confused now. I guess I'll try what trent says: hey, don't argue with a guy who's been to Sarawak. Not to mention the weather information.
I can barely find it on a globe, and I know where to look.