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Thread: N. ovata cultivation

  1. #1

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    As the topic says, I am looking for special cultivation tricks for N. ovata. I do grow a small seedling (out of TC I do believe) since january and the plant has already increased in size but still refuses to pitcher. I do grow it under the same conditions as my other highland Nepenthes with humidity above 80% and temperature drops in the night to 15deg or less. I had to place it in a less brighter spot after showing burnt spots on the leafes under higher light levels. I did not fertilize this plant by now but will soon be forced to start it, because the leafes clearly lack nutrients.

    Any tips from anyone growing this species are appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Joachim

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Hmm no pitchers and no nutrients in the leaves. I do not grow this species but it is recorded as a typical highlander. Ask Tony (he'll probably reply here). He has VERY nice Ovata and with nice pitchers! Maybe it just needs a boost in root develpment with some supplemental nurtients? Maybe it needs some fertilzation.

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    I have grown this species for a number of years now, and find that it is a bit tricky.
    Charles Clarke has told me that it grows in the wild in large, wet clumps of sphagnum moss.
    To date, however, I've grown it in a more conventional mix, using peat, charcoal, and bark
    in the approximate ratio of 1:1:1. In this mix this plant has grown well and pitchered for
    me; however, I do think that growth could be better, and am working on trying to refine
    my understanding of what this species needs.

    I may try standing the pots containing this plant in water. Although it seems unorthodox,
    I've found that this works quite well with some species of Nepenthes which require a very
    wet environment. For example, have had much greater success with tentaculata grown in
    this way, than in the more conventional manner (i.e., in freely-draining pots of pure moss).
    I suspect that this may hold true not only for tentaculata, but also for some similar species,
    such as hamata, muluensis, and murudensis.

    BTW, regarding fertilization, you might want to apply a weak solution of fertilizer exclusively
    to the leaves of your plant, using a cotton swab, or other means, to avoid growing slime in
    and on the compost.

    Hope that this is some help to you!

  4. #4
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Can't say that I have done anything special for them. They are in a mix of fine coconut husk chips/NZ sphagnum/perlite. at maybe a 1/1/1 ratio (roughly). There is lots of air at the roots but there is lots of moisture also. (I have begun trying a little sphagnum peat into my general mix now.)

    I have plants from Germany and Australia. The ones from Germany were very small and have increased in size slowly. Just now they appear to be growing in size a bit faster after beginning to reach 3" roughly (7-8cm). The ones from Australia were around this size already when I got them and some of them are reaching 8" across (20cm). I havn't noticed any difficulties with pitchering so can't help there. My greenhouse fluctuates quite a bit. Humidity is generally fairly high and I would estimate that on average it is running around intermediate or slightly lower temperatures.

    Jeff your probably right on standing pots in water. I would imagine this would really depend alot on what your own growing conditions are and potting mix as well, so would perhaps be hard to duplicate for others. I have noticed that the coconut chips I use stay very wet and act like little sponges. The Nep. roots are able to go right through them easily as they are fairly fiberous. I rarely use pots of pure sphagnum as I prefer Chilean or New Zealand and on a large scale it is very expensive to use as a sole potting mix.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #5

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    Dustin, Jeff and Tony,

    many thanks for your replies. I got this plant from Heiko Rischer and so it will for sure be from one of the german TC sources and should be the real thing - what I am not able to judge yet. It is still quite small measuring about 6cm across and it is as slow as Tony mentiones. I'll give it a go in pure Sphagnum moss which is easier to keep quite wet without risking to stand the pot in a water tray. To your list, Jeff, I would add N. glabrata which also seems to grow better in pure living Sphagnum.

    I do normally flush the pots very well after applying foliar fertilizers so I don't get trouble with algea and slime build up. Especially Sphagnum moss dislikes those fertilizers very much and may break down in very short time.

    Joachim

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    Hi Joachim,

    It seems from what I've read that you've already had some good advice aboout growing N. ovata. It's not a particularly demanding species really. I just thought I'd add that burning spots on the original leaves are nothing to worry too much about. Often, if a Nepenthes has come from a TC source in a temperate country, it has not ever experienced the intense light levels that it may experience in habitat. If you give it more light, the older leaves may well (actually should) burn somewhat, but the new leaves will adapt and you will have a far tougher and more attractive plant as a result. Often, you can tell if you are growing in too low a light level by the ratio of pitcher height to leaf-blade length (although nutrient levels and root diseases can play a part in this also). Short hard leaves and large pitchers that last a long time are great. It is possible to get this ratio up to 1:1 for most species. If you do achieve that, you've got everything right in MHO. Soft floppy leaves and/or small pitchers can result from a number of causes, but low light levels probably top the list as one of the most common mistakes Nepenthes growers make as far as I can tell. Of course, one of the complications of providing really high light levels artificially is not to lower the relative humidity as a result. Dangling a 100W incandescent bulb just above the plant is probably not a good idea! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    Whatever changes you make, make them as gradually as possible. Nepenthes are actually very tolerant of quite a wide variety of conditions and can adapt, but not suddenly.

    Good luck!

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

  7. #7

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    Rob, thanks for the comments on my first plant out of TC... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    The hardiness of a plant out of TC doesn't really depend on the area it originates from, it is only a question of how the plants are grown after deflasking. I think you have seen Christian's plants and from what he told me of your comments, they are not much softer grown than yours [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    I do grow mine also quite hard and this may also be a reason for N. ovata not pitchering. BTW the plant has no burnt leafes, they lack a bit in colour and the older ones get yellow and die back after a too short period of time.

    Joachim

  8. #8

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    Joachim,

    Just hoping to be of some help in that I thought you mentioned some burnt spots on the leaves and was wondering if you had purchased the plants ex-vitro from someone who had grown it soft and the burning was a result of you abruptly giving it more light. I now get the impression you took it out of sterile culture yourself, in which case I agee with you, it doesn't matter at all where the in-vitro plant came from, it would have been grown under fluoros for the in-vitro stage.

    As to why your plants are not pitchering, that's puzzling. I don't know you but I get the impression you are not a newcomer and therefore the basic errors can probably be ruled out. Ah well, I guess if it's healthy and hungry, it's going to pitcher sometime [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Christian's plants looked great when I saw them several years ago, and were much harder than mine at the time. That was in the mid summer, how are natural light levels in Germany in the winter I wonder? Since seeing Christian's plants and doing quite a bit of rebuilding of the nurseries, I've managed to triple the light levels without too much overheating and drying out in the middle of the day. The improvements are dramatic. I'm now a fan of high light levels for most species provided some basic precautions are taken.

    Cheers,

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

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