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Thread: Inorganic culture

  1. #1

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    Howdy,

    last year I was hanging up a few 2x2's in the terrarium so I could hang a couple of neps from the top, where it's warmer closer to the light. Because of weight and I got a go at a little experiment, I repotted a 15 cm diameter truncata in pure perlite to see what would happen. The first thing that cought my eye was the build-up of calcium on top of the perlite, I often get a bit of calcium in the water and have to replant most plants every 2 or 3 years. But with the plant potted in perlite, I can simply scrape of the top layer and replace it with fresh perlite.
    The second thing I noticed was a normal evolution in growth. What ... normal ? Yes normal, not stunted or better, and we're almost a year further now.

    So I started wondering, is this a lucky shot or are N. truncata not really that dependant on organic matter in their soil ? Has anybody tried this with other species ?

    Cheers,
    Fred

  2. #2
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure but , I am going to assume that it probably worked because like LFS it isn't a mineral well that will dissolve enough for roots to be bothered. Good drainage and moist around the roots. Yes the perlite really shows just how much calcium and other minerals are going in to the soil. With my tap water it turns bright yellow very fast from build-up. I have not tried that with any CP's

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I haven't tried it personally but I think others have. Even going to greater lengths composing inorganic mixes of various ingredients. I see no reason why they wouldn't work as long as they conform to the basic needs of the plant. Well aerated, drains well, holds moisture, doesn't contain anything toxic..Perlite alone meets all of them.
    The only major concern when working with such mixes is to supply all nutritional needs to the plant via feeding of some sort since very little/none will come from the mix. This means a bit more effort is needed to know what to feed and how often for long term plant health and vigor.

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

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    This is what is called Hydroponic culture, and yes it has been done with many genera.
    Peace

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    Heiko Reischer did a indepth study of this with Nepenthes(from CPN in...2000?) and he said you needed to put a little Osmocote in the mix to compensate for lack of organics.
    His mix was lava pebbles, Seramis and lycon(sp?). The last two are different fired clay pellet-type things used in hydroponics.
    I tried a similar mix once with a bunch, and ...well at the time my tanks were in a difficult to reach spot and really needed to be watered daily in that mix..and they died. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    Regards,

    Joe

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    Thanks for the pointers, all.

    I think I'm gonna try stepping the "experiment" up next August. The perlite doesn't get invaded by harmfull insects or fungi, so I'm gonna try growing a few of my other neps this way. The best advantage I get with this is that it's easier to determine when to water. If the perlite holds water the pot is really heavy and very light when they need watering. My other soils don't absorb water very well once they started drying out, i've allways got to soak them first.

    One more question:
    Suppose I watered with a leafmould-'tea', would that compensate for the lack of organic material ?

    Once again, thanks for the comments.

    Fred

  7. #7

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    I would think that would work. Or you could sprinle some Osmocote on the surface every six months.

    Joe

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    There are multiple methods to supplying nutrients just as long as you keep in mind that in a hydroponic situation they need to be supplied in a dilute manner and in a constant supply. With normal plants this just means watering with a dilute complete fertilizer solution. With Cp's you could simply feed the plants through their trapping mechanism. This would avoid problems with applying nutrients to the potting mix and promoting algae and other undesirable life forms...

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

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