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Thread: Question about nepenthes feeding

  1. #9
    swords's Avatar
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    I never used to feed, or I would feed very rarely and while my conditions (light, temp and humidity) were good my plants did not make the size and color of pitchers that they do now. Since the conditions are the same I can really only attribute this to a steady diet. I feed small crickets every two weeks (I mark the calendar so I don't forget) and big ones into the bigger pitchers every other feeding (so as to avoid excess accumulation). I only use crickets because they seem to be the least "rotting" of all the available prey foods. Worms and things have a lot of fat and it's easy to rot a pitcher using them. Crickets are usually quite lean and only will rot a pitcher if it's stuck to the side instead of completely submerged.

    I must admit, feeding with insects is the worst part of growing Nepenthes but the plants respond so well to it it's a shame not to.

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    i guess this comes back to the question, will feeding nepenthes fertilizer:
    1) produce bigger traps due to the supplus amount of nutrients to sustain a bigger pitcher
    2) produce smaller pitchers because pitchers are not needed

    and will not feeding nepenthes fertilizer:
    1) produce bigger traps to be able to hold and obtain more nutrients per pitcher
    2) produce smaller traps due to the difficency of nutrients

    and will feeding nepenthes bugs:
    1) produce bigger pitchers due to the surplus of food and being able to sustain a bigger trap
    2) cant think of a reason to form a smaller pitcher in this situation as if the plant produces a smaller pitcher, less insects will be captured and it will then produce a bigger one

    and will not feeding nepenthes bugs:
    same as not feeding nepenthes fertilizer

    does anyone have a conclusion on this? i would like to know [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] . Zongyi
    What you want to do is illeagle here in Canada.
    Email does not work! Use PM or yangzongyi@hotmail.com instead.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    The large use of very pure water and potting mixes which contain a significant amount of inorganic substrate and little in the way of decomposing organic matter. Leads me to my own personal theory that in cultivation the plants are getting less nutrients than they would in nature via the soil. This makes it even more important to suppliment through feeding. Preferably in some sort of 'natural' fashion with insects and whatnot instead of inorganic fertilizers whenever possible. Remember carnivorous plants grow in nutrient poor environments not nutrient devoid. These environments are capable of growing even noncarnivorous plants reasonably well but the combination of supplimental nutrients via trapping insects gives carnivorous plants an edge to out compete the noncps to some degree.

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

  4. #12

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    If anyone read Heiko Reischer's CPN article of three years ago, he demonstrated you could use a non-organic potting medium of Seramis, lava pebbles and one other clay pearl substrate that escapes me at the moment. He stated that due to the lack of organic compounds , it was "necessary" to put Osmacote into the mix and add a little more every six months.
    I don't think the article mentioned anything about insect feeding, though.

    Regards,

    Joe

  5. #13
    swords's Avatar
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    Zongyi,
    In my experience:

    will feeding nepenthes fertilizer:
    2) + they may eventually stop producing pitchers altogether, some species are more sensitive than others.

    will feeding nepenthes bugs:
    1) They will only produce pitchers of what their species are physically capable of. You won't get a 25 cm N. dubia pitcher no matter how many insects you feed it.

    Not feeding with insects is not the same as not feeding with fertilizer since the effects of feeding with bugs and feeding with fertilizer is different.
    Feeding exclusively with fertilizers produces larger leaves and small to no pitchers in some species.

    You can feed with a very small amount of fertilizers AS WELL AS insects to get the best of both results.

    Experimentation with your own plants in your conditions is what will solve your questions. Each species responds differently to fertilizers and TYPES of fertilizers. I use Gro More's Urea Free, high Nitrate nitrogen fertilizers so that the minerals are available as soon as they are applied.
    For more technical info on the types of fertilizers available check this link out: fertilizers It is written geared towards slipper orchids but since they coexist with nepenthes in many of the same nutrient poor environments the technical information can be useful for the cultivation of both types of plants.

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