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Thread: Poor growth

  1. #1

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    Hi, need some help again.

    Situation: Plants not growing- not increasing, or even decreasing in diameter.
    Truncata bought from MT in april, has produced 3 leaves, all of which are equal in size. pitchers have increased about 1cm every leaf
    Rafflesiana BE-99 bought in late June, bare-root. Has been decreasing about 2cm for every new leaf produced, pitcher size, no change.
    Merriliana, same from BE, leaf size decrease about 1cm, 1pitcher produced.

    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...n/1b0cec67.jpg
    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...n/91f182c4.jpg
    ( numbering shows order in which leaves grew )
    My growing conditions: I live in Singapore, tropical climate, humidity always above 65%, lighting is about 4hours direct sunlight, 3hours 50%-shaded sunlight, about 4-5 hours more shade. Potting media: cocopeat, LFS, perlite, charcoal, vermiculite, with very small amount of 'high peat content soil '

    Singapore is 1 degree north, MT is 2 degrees north in Kuching.
    MT supposedly uses 30-50% shading with 3-4 hours direct sunlight, I followed likewise, except the neighbouring houses block off several evening hours.
    Humidity is never lower than 65%, nothing seems to be wrong with my potting mix except maybe slightly richer in nuitrients... I am quite worried because I put this off at first, saying acclimitizing... but now it seems its starting to get quite bad already. I need some help, especially from those who frequently import plants, is it really necessary to fertilize them? since I do not use fertillizers at all. I heard about superthrive to help bare-root plants develop root system, whatabout 30-10-10 foliar fertillizer solutions, are they a must?

    oh, and the plants usually feed (literally) themselves, so I do not. Nitrogen or nitrates come from the amino acids from proteins from the prey right?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    From the coloring of the leaves, it tells me that not only NPK is lacking but some very important micronutrients as well. Magnesium is very low and when using LFS and cocopeat they become hogs for that nutrient. I would change your media first of all. Since humidity is high, use a small grade orchid bark, add perlite and a soil conditioner of a material like redwood soil conditioner. Keep the mix bland but porous. Since it appears that your plants may have lost some roots due to your media, I would use Superthrive on a weekly basis with fertilizer solution. After your plants have become adjusted and starts to show signs of growth, start using Epson salts in your fertilizing regime. Add a teaspoon of Epson salt to your solution of about five gallons fertilizer/Superthrive mixture.

    During the hot summer it is ideal to fertilize weekly as new growth occurs rapidly. Water with plain water in between and allow plants to dry out to be come adjusted to water stress.

    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!\"

  3. #3
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Fertilize? I wasn't aware we were suposed to do that to Nepenthes, or any CP's for that matter. Thanks for any info.
    JB
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    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

  4. #4
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    While I agree with Michael that nutrients are important, I don't think that is the main crux of your problem. I think your main problem is mix which is too wet and leaf spot fungus. I would unpot and check on the roots. I suspect there is not much left. Poor root systems will lead to unhealthy small leaf growth which will show symptoms of malnutrition.

    Edit: It is really hard to get an unfertilized healthy plant to show minor and micro nutrient defficiencies even potted in soilless mixes and watered with very pure water. Generally they just grow and increase in size slower. But when the problem is corrected it is like an explosion of growth waiting to happen. And even then it is usually the addition of major elements (NPK) that make the biggest difference. Plants with root problems however show nutrition problems quite frequently because they are unable to absorb elements needed for growth.

    Deffinately need something chunky in there. LFS/Perlite/charcoal or bark or coconut husk chips or something/ 1:1:1 and maybe a little of the coco peat. Skip the vermiculite and high peat soil stuff.

    Superthrive .. no comment

    A little misting with some dilute 30 10 10 might help give it a little boost, but go easy on it. Try not to hit the center of the emerging leaves as they may burn.

    Let us know what you see after examining the roots.

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

  5. #5

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    If the fertilizer is in dilute form, just lay it on. Growing tips don't seem to mind. Do you think I have the time to make sure that a set up like these get their newest growth wet?

    BTW, these four inch pots are being grown in full sun against a wall.

    I usually keep larger size pots at the lowest portion to get the draining fertilizer solution and inevitably, they grow even faster than the upper rows.


    But I somewhat agree with Tony, if you have an enclosed set up, it would be advisable not to fertilize as heavily if you were outdoors like me. But terrarium growing would still benefit from fertilizers even in the dilutest form. If not for the NPK, but calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, etc. alone. These micronutrients are lacking in insect matter in sufficient quantities to make an effective diet. Recall that many nepenthes grow on soils which can stunt other plants due to high concentrations of these minerals, yet the nepenthes thrive in an otherwise inhospitable soil.


    M
    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!\"

  6. #6

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    Great settup Michael! whatcha growing there?

    I would agree with Tony.

    1.Roots too wet. ... repot with more open mix, and let it dry out more between waterings.

    2.Evil red fungus... systemic fungicide. Has probably spread to all your neps whether its visible or not, so may want to spray them all.

    3.Possible mite infestation too. They are usually responsible for spreading evil red fungus.

    Take care of those first, then worry about fertizer.
    Robin [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (RainforestGuy @ Sep. 05 2005,2:08)]Recall that many nepenthes grow on soils which can stunt other plants due to high concentrations of these minerals, yet the nepenthes thrive in an otherwise inhospitable soil.
    M
    Sorry Michael.. I totally disagree with you on that one. I bet you would find the mineral content fairly low even on those few species that grow on ultramafic soils or inbetween limestone crevices.

    While I agree a very dilute fertilizer solution won't pose a problem for growth tips.. What happens as the fertilizer solution is sitting on those tender leaves and the water evaporates from it? It's no longer a very mild dilute solution. I can tell you from experience, you can burn new leaves if the plants are not flushed overhead to wash off the solution before it evaporates and the salts crystalize. It is not always just the brand that causes it.

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

  8. #8

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    Root problem? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_k_ani_32.gif[/img]
    That was the last thing I wanted...disturbing the roots again!

    Ok, maybe I should confirm first, the red stuff on the leaf...they are fungus and not burns? I always thought they were caused by plant adjusting to light levels!
    And to treat this, the only way is fungicide? Must this be diluted more than usual too?

    How about potting mix, let me get this straight, is cocopeat, even 100% cocopeat, airy enough a mix for most plants? Or is it advisable to use LFS with perlite only.
    I dont want to get this wrong again, so just bear with me, is a mix of cocopeat, peat, perlite, charcoal, LFS ratio of 2:1:1:1:1 suitable?

    besides these, I dont have much else, but I just read up about "cocopeat hogs" (not sure what that is supposed to mean)

    I have not yet checked the roots, but I want to be sure of a perfect potting mix before I transplant, because I feel there has been too much root disturbance already, 2 transplatns with 3 month interval is quite bad right?

    Thanks

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