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Thread: Pitcher feeding

  1. #1

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    Dear All:

    I am glad to be back after a week without my computer.
    I would like to ask the experts a question regarding Nepenthes pitcher feeding.

    How much time one must wait to feed your plant??. Would one have to wait until the previous prey completely disappears from the pitcher to avoid rotting the pitcher??. How is one supposed to know

    I look forward to anybody's reply. Thanks

    Agustin

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Prey won't completely disappear from the bottom of the pitcher. The exoskelton of the prey will usually be left behind. You can usually start to feed them as soon as a new pitcher is opened fully and "hardened off" to the environment.

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    Hi Nepenthes Gracilis:

    Thanks for your answer, the next question is how long one must wait between feeds.

    Thanks again

    Agustin

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    I'm sure my plants are rather on the hungry side in comparion to in the wild but I feed each pitcher that appears to be still functioning (not drying up or darkening) each time a new pitcher opens. So roughly each pitcher monthly to bi monthly. I feed the biggest cricket(s) to the newest pitcher and successively smaller crickets in the older pitchers.
    I should probably add different prey items to their menu but crickets seem to do very well and the plants do catch gnats/fruitflies and things that happen to get in the terrariums.

    One tip I can give you is to not feed anything that will not be completely submerged in the pitcher fluid that the plant secretes. Do not add water to the pitchers to make the prey submerged as this is their enzymes and acids that will work on the prey. Pitchers on my plants tend to hover around 1/6 full of fluid naturally. I think that the pitcher fluid rises about a week after feeding and then goes down to the normal level after another week or so but this may be an illusion, I haven't marked any pitcher to actually test what I think I've observed.

    Pitchers of most plants that are over 4" seem to do fine with adult crickets. For any pitchers less than 4" I feed juvenile crickets and from 2" down to 1" in size I feed pinhead crickets. Any pitchers less than 3/4" don't get fed anything but the gnats they may catch because it's too hard not to overfeed such a small pitcher.

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    Thanks Swords, a very insightful as well as helpful reply

    Agustin

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    swords's Avatar
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    No problem! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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