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Thread: Anyone attemped growing nepenthes

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    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Hi

    Has anyone attemped growing Nepenthes (highland or lowland) in a hydroponic environment as this is an experiment I would like to try with my nepenthes ventricosa (highland). Somehow I think that it would not work with the highland and I would like this clarified.

    From what I gather the average home hydroponic system usually consists of a few basic parts:
    *a growing tray,
    *a reservoir,
    *a simple timer controlled submersible pump to water the plants
    *and an air pump and wooden air stone to oxygenate the nutrient solution and provide humidity.
    *and artifical lighting unless growing it outside.

    Part of this system I have applied to growing the lowland bicalcarata with great results, except the lower part of the pot is kept submersed in water in a perlite medium rather than the whole pot. Is this right? Refer to my N.bicalcarata topic. I tried this on the bicalcarata (lowland) as a few websites mention that this species prefers a more wet condition. Would this setup be good for most lowlands rather than highlands?

    I have read that perlite is far superior than rockwool because of something called capillary action which allows the medium to take up water as fast as it loses it through evaporation. And at least every factor including pH can be easily adjusted, maintained and checked including nutrients.

    I used a systemic fungicide, 'fongarid' to keep away the fungus, every two weeks. Will this constant use of fungicide affect plant growth in the long run?

    I then apply a small amount of fish emulsion and superthrive to the water in the resevoir every month.

    Any advice would be great.

    Christian

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    HellzDungeon's Avatar
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    hmmm, idk if u could do this with highlanders, as they need a more airy soil mix than lowanders, and all neps are prone to root rot if standing in water.
    on the other hand, im pretty sure u can grow N. Mirabilis in a hydroponics system, they can tolerate more wetter enviroments, and naturally grow in wetter conditions compared to other neps. one more plant u can prob be succesful in growing hydrponically is Darlingtonia. they are found naturually growing with thier roots in moving cool water.
    i hope this helps,
    Best Wishes,
    Hellz
    Nike SB is Bananas

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I had thought about this befor but was told it is pretty hard because of several factors which I don't recall at the moment. I thought it would work too, given the inorganic medium and wet codition but yes they are also prone to rot as well. I would be careful. Go ahead and try, let us know the results.

    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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    One thing you have to understand is water grown roots are much different then soil grown roots,water roots are much spongyer and are ment for growing in water and can absorb oxygen from the water and usualy can`t grow very well in soil,conversely soil roots are made for loiving in soil and will DROWN and rot off in water they just cant absorb enough oxygen. I think a hydrophonics system would work great as long as you used a unrooted(or rooted in water) cutting to start with no trace of soil that would rot and "sour" the inorganic media. I don`t think any Nep would rot as long as you use a cutting with only water roots.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

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    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Hi hellzdungeon,

    That was my main concern with the highland neps as I didn't think they would be able to tolerate the wet conditions and be prone to root rot. The species that I thought would cope best are the lowlands, i.e. ampullaria, bicalcarata, veitchii, rafflesiana, truncata....so on. My bicalcarata though has survived and with a very mild dose of fongarid every two weeks, I haven't had any fungus growth at all. And as for root rot, it seemed it hasn't affected it because it is pitchering. However, I am not certain if this is the case for all lowlanders. I will give the darlingtonia a try as well. Thanks mate. Christian

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    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Hi supermimposed,

    Yes, I was told too that it was difficult, but I gave it a try with the bicalcarata anyway as I thought I had lost it to black spot, treated it and discovered they were nectar glands. Stupid me.
    I thought the neps would benefit from a highly controlled environment. I also want to compare its growth with plants grown in soil (namely pure perlite or rockwool) with plants grown hydroponically. Do nepenthes absorb nutrients through their leaves? If they had a short, strong and healthy root system that could uptake more water and nutrients, maybe they would grow larger in a short time compared to ones grown in soil under the same conditions.
    Another way would be to grow the nepenthes in a hanging basket and allow the roots to hang freely and mist the roots instead of leaving it submersed in water. Maybe this would be better for the highlands. Any downsides to this?

    Christian

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    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    hi pond boy,

    As I mentioned to superimposed. Another Idea could be to allow the roots to hang freely WITHOUT a soil medium in an enclosure (i.e tank) And provide water in the way of misting, that way the leaves and roots can absorb nutrients without it getting water logged and being prone to root rot. I'm thinking this may work under fluorescent lights inside a tank to prevent the plant from becoming dried outside. And it can be controlled. If it is successful, does this mean the nep is in some respect ephiphytic?

    Christian

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    There are epiphytic Neps. You might read the postings by Swords. He has done some Neps in open baskets. Its the mounting topic.

    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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