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Thread: Cultivating neps.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I struggle with keeping Neps and Nep. cuttings alive, especially from Fall->Winter. I tossed 7 of them that had started growing and then went down hill. I do not have an artificial light and a true terrarium, but have tried creating my own version of one by purchasing a storage container with a lid. I partially fill the conatiner with water and place the plants inside, propping them up so they aren't immersed. They were kept at a SW facing window sill and the cover was slightly open. It failed miserably.

    I was turning it over in my mind, when Summer arrived, to use hanging baskets, suspended from a tree, dangling into a fish tank filled with water but not immersed. I am trying to balance sunlight, humidity, and air circulation.

    In the meantime, a friend suggested a method that is far more simple: Get two plastic deli containers. One is taller than the other and its purpose would be to be filled partially with water and to support the shallow container, that would rest on top. The shallow container would have holes poked at the bottom and contain soil media and plant (uncovered). The water level would be just below the shallow container and it would be exposed to the air. In theory, water would percolate up through the holes, keeping the media and plant moist, but not immersed, so as to prevent rot. Being uncovered would prevent mold and maximize light, whether inside (for Fall & Winter) or out.

    Whaddya think?

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    If Nepenthes are on an extremely low water table, tray watering can be practical. I would say if you wanted to invest the time into it, sure try it. Seems logical to grow Nepenthes this way. If the bottom of the pot is in very shallow water then it would wick the water slowly but evenly throughout the media.

    My.02 cents.

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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    I have successfully wintered various Neps using the tray method for 3 seasons now. This works equally well for lowlands and highlands together. I have them on a shaded windowsill facing SW. The smallest pot is 4" tall and the wateris never more than 1". The tallest pot is 8" tall and it stays evenly moist as long as I keep water in the trays. The plants are all together which assists in maintaining the humidity, and I mist daily (when I remember).
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    thats actually how i grow all my nepenthes. theres about a quarter-half inch of water in a terrarium full time. terrarium is fully sealed and i have flourescents supplying light at the top. they like it and grow like crazy.
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Seems like your going through an awful lot of trouble and I fail to see the positives. An open top container will not have much more humidity than the surrounding air if the air circulation is decent.

    Nepenthes outdoors during the Spring, Summer, Fall is a fine plan. Hang them from trees, stick them on a table or whatever. Just shield them from full midday sun and don't let them dry out! Which can happen very quickly!

    I am surprised your storage container didn't work. Perhaps it was too wet with insufficient light. I would be inclined to try again but don't bother keeping water in the bottom. Just keep the plants moist and poke some holes on the side to let a little air in. That and a shoplight or two over the top and they should be happy.

    Tony
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    Jim,

    I applaud you on your efforts to keep trying with something that works for you. There are some people who would be horrified by the carnage, but you can't make an omelet by breaking a few eggs.
    I have tried different things and had not -so-good results.
    A N. x Ventrata outside in NE did nothing, and my first attempt at growing in a large styrofoam cooler went awry(that was just a poor choice for a cover) when I tried to regulate the temps a little easier for some highland plants.
    Is your search to simply find a way to not have to water and check on your plants so much?

    Cheers,

    Joe

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    All of my casualties have occured during the Fall & Winter. I think there are several variables - inadequate light, temps in the 60's, and a change in conditions form open tray to the glorified terrarium set up, without overhead artificial light.

    Admittedly, I am very inexperienced with Neps. and am barely familiar with the concept of lowland and highland. Without a book in front of me, I wouldn't be able to tell which is what.

    I still have the bombproof sanguinea that I thought was a ventricosa, a gracilis cutting, and I think it's a cocchinea. Currently, they are all residing at a SW window sill, indoors.

    How important is misting?

    Joe, at this point, I am just trying to get what is left through the Winter. What I ended up losing were the ventrata & gentle cuttings, a ventricosa (red), and an unknown Nep. All of them exhibited signs of life and growth - for awhile.

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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Scott,
    Sorry to hear of your losses with your neps.
    So you keep your neps inside a kind of made terrarium during the winter?
    Maybe you should just let them in the open. You saw how my plants are in hanging baskets in my kitchen. That's were I grow them year round with wonderful results.


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