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Thread: (almost) no roots on n. inermis

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    My N. inermis pot took a tumble off the wall (it's growing in a 4" net pot hanging at a 45* angle in my highland chamber). Well the plant came out of the pot (no damage to leaves, growing tip, etc just some pitcher goo on me and some other plants). But I noticed there was almost nothing in leiu of roots! Only a very long stem had developed under the soil level but only about 4 short, hard prong like roots at the very tip and one strand with about 20 threads on it that actually looked like roots. I searched through the pot which is full of moss and orchid bark so the roots would have been easy to locate in the pot (I went through the potting mix since the plant came out anyway). I cut down the brown underground stem and exposed the fleshy yellow/green inside so some new roots could emerge easier and set up some new soil for the plant. But I was wondering if anyone else has this species and what their root systems looked like (if you've ever seen them)?

    I know N. inermis is said to be an (at least occasionally)epiphytic species, do epiphyte Neps generally have sparse root systems like this? My N. macrophylla and N. campanulata looked the same way when I received them, dark hard stem where there should have been roots. If it is true that the epiphytes generally have such tiny roots it would seem that high humidity and daily misting would be all important for these species... I think I will start misting them more often...

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I don't know if this helps but:

    Mike Catalani was talking to me about rooting Nepenthes and he showed me an N. tentaculata that never rooted or rotted and was growing in his gh with no roots for 1 year so far. He pulled it right out of it's pot and showed me no roots, well there was like 1 or 2 strands but nothing significant. And the growing point was growing, but it was slower than usual. Don't know if that is of any help to you. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you found the reason why your observations on N. inermis have been slow growing and barely increasing in size. Some Nepenthes do seem to have more/stronger root systems than others but what you describe doesn't sound right. I am not sure the cause of it. N. inermis for me has been an easy fast growing plant. Only possibility that comes to mind is it is not happy with the potting mix for some reason. Perhaps too wet/insufficient air.
    Have you repotted into the same mix or have you changed it?
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    could something be inhibiting root growth? perhaps the plant obtains all it needs from feeing in the traps and light, and it's current water uptake is enough with the roots it has, so it is not putting energy into making new ones? Or maybe it is the opposite? The plant is starved for building material and is keepign the growth point alive rather than growing out the roots?

    I have had quite a few nepenthes in my collection that were scrawny in the roots, I noticed this a few years ago when I was working at breaking a cutting away from below soil, accidentally pulled several plants out. I surmised then perhaps the plants were starving, and I increased their feeding (which is for me a risky prospect in a terrarium due to fungus) and a year later I found the root structures to be more in-line with what I expected, and could infact, see quite a bit of root up against the front glass of the terrarium.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I did change the potting mix, now it is in pure LFS. I pretty much use 25% bark and the rest LFS with a bit of charcoal as my usual mix but when I'm rooting cuttings I use pure LFS, don't water the soil as often but mist everyday and that seems to speed the rooting. I figured this was something like a cutting and would give it a very soft bed and the same drier than usual soil to see if it might spread out the roots a little more. Perhaps my plants are all too wet... I dare not uproot them on purpose to find out but maybe I'll start watering only once or twice a week on the smaller plants. The hamata and rajah pots get noticably lighter after a week of no watering but the smaller pots don't seem to get lighter as quickly. I never really went by that and just watered em all at the same time.

    What do you grow your inermis' in Tony? I got this guy from you so perhaps it would like the mix it had back at your place. The real tragedy is that it was finally starting to grow a bit faster these days too!

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    O gosh I would have to go look and see what they are potted in! Every time I mix up some mix it is a little different. I think I put them in a blend of perlite, sphagnum and coconut husk chips. If I had to estimate I would say roughly equal parts (a little less on the perlite). There was probably a handful of peat in there also. I started using a little peat to help bind it all together. I think your idea to treat it like a cutting and keep it in a moist but not overly wet mix will help promote some root growth.

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

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