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Thread: Vining burn out after flowering?

  1. #1

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    Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

    I've noticed that sometimes when a main growing vine is done flowering, that the vine starts to die while producing new basal shoots. In the case of my inermis, the whole plant died in the vining stage. I know flowering takes a lot of energy, but is this a common occurence? Usually most of my neps just keep vining after flowering often producing more flower stalks on the same vine. Some of the species this has happened to are N. inermis, N. ovata, N. aristolochioides, and N. ventricosa to name a few examples. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again,
    Joel

    Nepenthes Around the House

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    auctually i've never heard of it, but what do i know?

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    I'd say it depends on growing conditions and how high the N. species can climb. Also, plants can often flower due to some sort of stress, so I would watch them closely.

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    Joel, I know inermis is touchy when it doesn't have basal shoots or a second grow point. I had a friend with a 6-foot inermis vine. Deciding it was long enough, he cut the tip off as a cutting. The whole plant died (needless to say the cutting didn't strike either). I know this is just anecdotal, but it could indicate inermis is sensitive when there's a problem with the growing tip.

    As a general comment though, having had plenty of Neps flower, I've never had any problems with them afterwards, some have even flowered twice or three times in a growing season.

    Hamish
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

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    This sounds like the flowering is like a blessing in disguise. perhaps the plant was already near death and that flowering was its last ditch effort to proliferate before it dies.
    Try and check the stem-root zone connection. Was the stem turning brown or dried looking? I have found that if the media breaks down too rapidly, it will lose its roots and die from the stem-root zone and up the stem, even though the top looked healthy and sending out new leaves. I believe that changing the media and adding some lime particles (Please do not do this unless you know the species) or something to raise the pH. I have fiound that media that I have used lime, coral chips, and crushed/pulverized oyster shells never had this problem happen. I even planted a bicalcarata x northiana into this coral mix and the plant is totally vigorous growing than those planted in either more peat or coco bark mix.
    I currently have my inermis growing in a mostly redwood soil conditioner/fir bark mix, but added oyster shell powder to the media. Its still less than a foot in height, but seems happy as a clam! Lots of pitchers and new growth!

    Michael
    Morticia:\"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc, 'We would gladly feast on those who try to subdue us.' Not just pretty words. but words to live by!\"

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Hmm can't say I have noticed that before. I hear what Michael is saying and agree that it is possible the plant was just flowering as a last ditch effort. But if that was the case then there wouldn't be basal shoots popping up either.

    On a side note.. I wonder if your seeing those results Michael because the plants are lacking calcium otherwise. What kind of water do you use? With most people using very pure water and nonsoil potting mix it becomes quite possible that plants are defficient in minor elements, particularly elements such as calcium, magnesium etc.

    Tony

    PS Hamish.. I attempted to take a cutting off the top of my vining N. inermis also. The bottom piece promptly died without sending up any lateral shoots. I managed to root the top piece after much difficulty, with the top half of the cutting dying back in the process. It was not a happy camper!
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Tony, thanks for the second example about the inermis. I wonder if that is enough to take it from anecdotal to empirical....? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    I can say that that's not the case for aristolochioides. I've got a few of them that have lost their growing tips for a variety of reasons: being peed on by a neighbour's cat, being decapitated by a falling hanging basket and the tip dying during a spell of very warm weather with low humidity. On all occasions, they simply resprouted from the uppermost node. In one case, I had three nodes sprout, so despite a brief pause it is now more impressive than prior to its accident.

    Hamish
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

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    I can't recall having the vine die back after flowering but I certainly have noticed a decrease in pitcher size after flowering so the stress on the plant is evident. I've grown mostly lowland Nepenthes so I don't have experience gowing the species you mentioned but I thought I'd toss out a few thoughts.

    First, since the plant is producing lots of basal shoots I think it is safe to say that the roots are happy. The production of basals could be the direct result of the vine growing point dying.

    Since the roots appear happy but the vine does not, I'm wondering if the growing conditions are different in those zones? In a greenhouse, it is easy to have a very significant temperature gradient up high versus down low. This will also affect relative humidity. Is it possibly that the vine is getting too hot and dry where the roots are cool and moist? You might want to examine your air circulation.

    This would of course be a factor for any long vine but some Nepenthes are touchier than others and the flowering could just be the cliched straw that broke the camels back. Hamish's flowering as a last ditch effort theory could also be a factor.

    Rich

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