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Thread: N.ampullaria and bicalcarata in water trays?

  1. #1

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    Should I put these 2 plants in water trays to mimic their unusually wet and swampy habitats, or would a moist and well-drained medium be more appropriate for cultivation? I've been getting conflicting recommendations from growers and books [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]

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    Good question! Here's what I do: I set them in trays and water over head. The excess water spills out into the tray, then I top it off at about 1/2 inch or so. I then don't re-water until the tray has been dry for a 2 or 3 days. My plants seem to like it, but I'm not sure if it's becuase I'm doing the right thing, or they're just tough plants and have adapted [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] Incidently, I am treating my rafs in much the same way. They also seem to like it.
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    The thing is, you just don't want to leave the roots soaking endlessly in water. You could technically use the tray method for a lot of neps as long as the humidity wasn't so much that the water would never evaporate. I had an alata sitting in water for three weeks straight until it got adjusted to the humidity outside, and it was in a pretty small pot.

    Schloaty's system seems to work well since the substrate gets a chance to dry out a little and isn't constantly waterlogged. Plus, he never raises the water table so high that the roots are really submerged.

    Just my opinion, hope it helps.
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

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    Everyone here has made a valid point, so I could tell you what we do with ampullaria and bicalcarata: grow them in oversized pots on a bench. We have noticed at repot time the plants that were grown a little on the dry side always have big root systems-and seem happiest. We never allow the pot to sit in water for fear of creating a rot situation at the bottom of the pot. Also, they seem to like more frequent waterings rather than sitting in stagnant water several days old. We let them start to dry out just a bit, and them totally flush the pot so water rapidly runs out the bottom. Depending on the weather and size of the plant, this can happen daily! We grow all our bicalcaratas in long fiber sphagnum moss-they just seem to like it better. The ampullarias grow in the same mix we use for all our other plants (peat, sphag, pumice, aliflor, fir bark, charcoal). Right now with the long daylight hours of summer, they are developing huge pitchers.
    Where you are located will also have an effect on how to grow your Neps. We are in south Florida.

    Trent

  5. #5

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    Thanks for all the replies. If it matters, I'm in Singapore, which has a tropical climate. I'll leave both my plants out of the tray system for a week or so and see howit goes. My ampullaria has been on the tray system for close to 1.5 mths now and it hasn't grown very much.

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