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6 year old 4 foot tall Ventrata. Looking for advice

Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
96
Location
cape town, south africa
not repoted it in years?
and you have sphag in there?
the soil is quite possible a densely compacted block atm...

Neps absolutely need happy roots to be happy. if it hasnt been pitchering and the the roots are not for nutrient absorption (which is not true) - then it hasnt been eating in years. in this case, if the soil has been bad - it hasnt eaten anything in years.

I have a ventrata growing outdoors through hot dry summers and it pitchers fine despite being in complete and deep shade.
id say this warrants a soil check
lets see a closeup of the soil?
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
96
Location
cape town, south africa
I just realised that there was a page 2 I didnt read -

why is the belief that Neps dont feed through their roots still being propagated? its simply not true.
yes, they dont rely on it when feeding through the pitchers but they are in no way incapable of it and root feeding is in no way a waste with Neps.

because I just dont manage to feed regularly, the above mentioned ventrata gets composted manure. the same stuff that goes in the veg garden and it (and many of my other larger plants) love it. there was a notable improvement in said plants after using the manure even though the vast majority of my plants trap loads of bugs throughout the year.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
I just realised that there was a page 2 I didnt read -

why is the belief that Neps dont feed through their roots still being propagated? its simply not true.
yes, they dont rely on it when feeding through the pitchers but they are in no way incapable of it and root feeding is in no way a waste with Neps.

because I just dont manage to feed regularly, the above mentioned ventrata gets composted manure. the same stuff that goes in the veg garden and it (and many of my other larger plants) love it. there was a notable improvement in said plants after using the manure even though the vast majority of my plants trap loads of bugs throughout the year.
That belief may not be still being propigated, I have been away from these forums for years, and got that info 5 or 6 years ago.

Here is a soil pic. It isn't compacted.

02b94cede8319ee85717f2d09066f4fb.jpg


I do plan to repot, but I think it may be best to wait a little longer as I am moving in with my sister for a bit and bringing it with, and once I find an apartment it and I will move again. I think maybe letting it settle in after my final move would be best before I repot it causing more stress, unless the extra nutrients would help that much.


Edit : I should clarify that I do not use peat sphagnum, only the long stringy stuff. Maybe that is why the soil isn't a compact brick. Also, the water tray I spoke of that keeps crawling bugs out is the overflow tray for the pot. I water it from the top and let it dry a bit between waterings to prevent fungus gnat infestations.
 
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Radagast

NECPS Editor
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
411
Location
New York, USA
I'm hesitant to jump in here and offer my 2 cents, since there seems to already be a plethora of comments and suggestions. However I will say this - I live in zone 5 and have a ventrata sitting in an eastern facing window. The only light it gets is when the sun comes up, and after that it is in fairly bright, indirect light...and very little light in the late afternoon as the sun passes over my house and begins to set. My plant is healthy, compact/bushy, and throwing out vines in all direction...In addition it has many pitchers. I've never repotted it since getting it from the nursery over a year ago; and yes the media looks like a compressed brick of some unidentifiable peat mixture. I constantly trim the vines and attempt to root them (some are successful). Personally I noticed more numerous, and larger pitchers when I keep a spray bottle of distilled H2O next to the plant and mist it whenever I think of it. I do not have it on a water tray - I water it maybe a couple times a week. Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
why is the belief that Neps dont feed through their roots still being propagated? its simply not true.
yes, they dont rely on it when feeding through the pitchers but they are in no way incapable of it and root feeding is in no way a waste with Neps.

+1
Its a mystery why - even when there are plenty of people who have years of experience that completely dismisses these ill-formed ideas - these dreadful myths persist and are bandied about as if Sir David Attenborough himself issued them in a face-to-face conversation! Baloneyism! Frogmockery!

Let me state this as clearly as possible: Nepenthes have fully functional root systems and can absorb fertilizer nutrients without any difficulty, as long as you choose the right fertilizer and apply it judiciously.
 
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Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
495
Location
New Jersey, US
That being said, while they can take up nutrients through the roots, I haven't seen it be necessary as long as they get food the normal way.

Assuming we're talking about growing your Nepenthes to its absolute fullest potential, then fertilizing is necessary (in addition to successfully meeting all of its other requirements). I used to spend a lot of time and effort procuring insects to feed my plants "the normal way", with very little to show for it. Then I switched to an orchid fertilizer to the roots, and voila - the plants went crazy with leaf jumps. I'm sure that almost every seasoned Nepenthes grower here can attest to this. (I do know that Sashoke's photo thread had some plants put on growth spurts after feasting on some ants, but the pitchers were filled with ridiculous amounts of prey that, while may be common in situ, aren't feasible for most people.) Whatever insects, or coffee, can do for the plant, chemical fertilizers can always do better, and often with less quantity and more efficiency.

In terms of keeping Nepenthes alive, yes, fertilizers are not necessary, but neither are insects. In terms of growing your plant to its fullest potential, fertilizers are necessary (unless something better comes along), while insects are almost arbitrary. Your statement is implying that fertilizers aren't necessary for a plant to grow the best it possibly can as long as it is fed "the normal way", which is absolutely untrue. If you were referring to just keeping the plant alive, then feeding in its entirety is unnecessary, including insects.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
96
Location
cape town, south africa
below the surface is much more important. but, if it looks like that throughout then it seems okay

- the surface dries out between watering so it wont rot as fast as the rest.

if youre not repoting it (perfectly acceptable :) )
then, id say toss some ferts into the pitchers and through the soil. seaweed based liquid fert would be best (and most forgiving in case of mistakes) and then leave it till you are ready. im not saying this will fix it but it certainly wont hurt it and will likely give the plant some much appreciated nutrition.
 
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