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Nepenthes hamata issues...

Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
Hello all,
Long time lurker here. I had a few questions about one of my plants that I thought some of you may be able to help with. I have had this N. hamata for almost a year. When I received it, it was quite small and likely still relatively fresh from tissue culture. With high humidity and moderate temperature drops at night, it grew very well. I decided to repot it a couple of months ago into small chip coconut coir that had been rinsed and sterilized. Initially the plant stopped growing as expected due to transplant shock. Around this time I also did a soak in a diluted Clearys 3336 solution to combat any fungal issues that could crop up from the new substrate and high humidity. After about a month it began to grow again, although with a smaller initial leaf. Fast forwarding to now, some brown spots have appeared on all the leaves and the growth tip seems to have shrunken with leaves that appear to struggle to unfold. I was wondering if these problems could still be remnants of the transplant shock, or if this is a more serious issue such as fungal or bacterial issues. Any advice or suggestions? Thank you in advance and I look forward to getting to know you all!
Initial plant ~1 year ago:
48135711447_deb1949f8b_z.jpg


Before repotting:
48135616771_485a44ddd5_z.jpg


Current:
48135622992_df1c5d3f6d_z.jpg

48135560533_7a4b118fc0_z.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
I've had them recently ranging from 83 during the day to about 68 at night. My first thought was that this could be the issue, and what I am seeing is a slow decline in overall health so I'm currently working on a new setup that should get it down to 63 consistently during the night. I had read a few places that the drop in temperature may be more important than the actual low, so if possible I could always heat the tank more during the day to increase the differential, so long as it doesn't get to warm. I also forgot to mention that this is the AW clone one.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
I've had them recently ranging from 83 during the day to about 68 at night. My first thought was that this could be the issue, and what I am seeing is a slow decline in overall health so I'm currently working on a new setup that should get it down to 63 consistently during the night. I had read a few places that the drop in temperature may be more important than the actual low, so if possible I could always heat the tank more during the day to increase the differential, so long as it doesn't get to warm. I also forgot to mention that this is the AW clone one.

Your day and night temps are both too warm by at least 5 degrees F. N. hamata prefers daytime highs under 80F (70F would be ideal) and night temps really should be in the mid to low 50s. Nepenthes are slow to show a negative response to inappropriate temperatures, so it can take 6 months for the effects of a too-warm environment to become obvious in the disrupted growth pattern. The stressed leaves and smaller new leaf is almost certainly due to cumulative effects of growing too warm.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
4,464
Location
Greeley, CO, USA
Temperatures reaching into the 80's should not be an issue for hamata (it's not an ultra-highlander), but conditions definitely need to drop below 60F at night. Among other things that may also be contributing however: the particular style of deformity and "cratering" of the cuticle I can see on the leaves can be a sign of thrips or mite damage in some cases, and in higher temperatures fungicides like Cleary's do have a risk of turning phytotoxic, so it may be more than one issue at hand. Getting temps lower will remove the fungicide issue risk as well as put the plant where it wants to be though, and a bit of neem oil once a week for a few weeks will take away pest issues.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
Thanks for the advice guys. I've taken steps to reduce the temps and am currently applying some neem oil to take care of any pest issues. Have any of you ever used coconut chips? The guy on Facebook who grows hamata as a windowsill plant highly recommends using it but I'm starting to wonder if the medium isn't drying out a little too much between my wateringS every other day. Perhaps my plant was a little too small for the transition when I repotted it.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
171
Location
Nalasopara (near Bombay/Mumbai)
This, sadly happens to my plants often. Usually in summer. And I agree that it is likely that it could be a temperature issue. However, one thing I'd like to add is that I live in lowland proper and still manage to grow intermediates and highlanders with misting and sun protection in the worst of the weather. I don't have a lot of highlanders yet, but the few I have go through stuff like this on arrival or on and off after repotting or in really hot weather (remember we are talking of rarely going under 25C even at night - your situation isn't so bad). Stress and less than optimal conditions, basically. What I can say is that they get over it when weather improves. And if they can get over it here, they probably should be able to do it in your climate too, even if not as cold to be "perfect".

How I help mine recover (though in my temperatures, highlanders sometimes don't):

Misting, misting, misting. High humidity, and the mist cools. I have misters coming on for 5 seconds every 15 minutes usually, and every 5 minutes in peak of summer. That much misting. It becomes a rainforest here. But not long enough durations to stay wet for too long. (My test for "too wet" is that the floor of the balcony shouldn't have water puddles. It should dry during the intervals. The idea is to add water to the air for some "flash cooling" rather than hose the plants down - those in the spray of misters get wet leaves, but dry out soon enough. No water running off plants stuff.)

Shading from direct sunlight in hottest weather.

Fertilizing. I suspect they can then use some of the light/heat to photosynthesize and grow or something. Don't know the science behind it, but fertilizer helps. Very dilute and often is better than heavy and less often. Heavy and often is a NO. Spraying works well. (Edited to add: Harder to overfertilize with spraying unless you are really idle)

These days I am experimenting with adding symbiotic microbes to the potting mix - apparently they help improve uptake of the fertilizer as well as thus get rid of any buildup in the pots - though with the level of misting I do, I'd be amazed if there was a lot of buildup in most pots. Also experimenting with vitamin B and amino acids type products for plants (we don't get superthrive here). Not yet certain of the results, though no harm done yet.

But as long as I do some pampering, this remains a phase and the plants bounce back readily.

I suppose for someone who can drop temps 5 degrees, this may be the harder way to do it and lower temps for plants that want it is probably also a more correct cultivation for their needs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
Temperatures reaching into the 80's should not be an issue for hamata (it's not an ultra-highlander), but conditions definitely need to drop below 60F at night. Among other things that may also be contributing however: the particular style of deformity and "cratering" of the cuticle I can see on the leaves can be a sign of thrips or mite damage in some cases, and in higher temperatures fungicides like Cleary's do have a risk of turning phytotoxic, so it may be more than one issue at hand. Getting temps lower will remove the fungicide issue risk as well as put the plant where it wants to be though, and a bit of neem oil once a week for a few weeks will take away pest issues.

Update to this thread. I recently noticed an insect floating around the water reservoir to my evaporative cooler. Upon closer inspection it seems to be a thrip. After my initial repotting in coconut chips, I recall opening the tank with a few minute things flying out. At the time I thought it might have been my imagination, but after seeing this adult thrip, that could have very well been the major issue all along. I have since repotted in LFS with a small amount of perlite, and overall the root system of this plant is very strong (around four inches of thick, branched roots). I am hoping that the majority of these symptoms can be reversed over time with the mitigation of these pests.
48341390157_e98b8ed6be_c.jpg

The current plan is to use Bayer/Bioadvanced 3 in 1 at the recommended doses, once every week for three weeks. Online, the active ingredients state that imidacloprid is present, but this particular bottle only lists tau-fluvalinate and tebuconazole in the mixture. I have seen imidacloprid work very well to control thrips in tissue culture as a systemic, and am not sure whether it it simply not listed or if they have excluded it from the newer mixtures, or possibly only the concentrated version. Either way, tau-fluvalinate seems to be reported as effective for thrip control, and the label still states that this product is effective for thrip prevention. With cooler temperatures in the tank at night and after getting rid of these pests, I am hopeful that new, healthy growth will return for this plant! Thank you all for your suggestions and expertise.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
4,464
Location
Greeley, CO, USA
That's not like any thrips I've ever seen (and the singular is also thrips, not thrip). Most look like moving grains of rice, tapered to both ends and very light colored, and legs are nearly impossible to spot. Also doesn't look like most of the fungus gnats I'm familiar with either.
If the ingredients on the bottle don't say imadicloprid, then it's probably not present in the mix; I believe tebuconazole is okay with carnivores, but not sure the other. May wish to test on something less valuable than the hamata. I personally use neem oil and Orthene at various times.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
Unless I am mistaken this is a mature adult thrips. The nymphs and pupae look clear and greenish but the adults are a more yellow and black with stripes occasionally, sometimes with wings. I believe these are Western Flower Thrips. I have read that some have used this Bayer product without issues, but I will be sure to test it on a leaf carefully before trying it with whole plants. I'll keep this thread updated on the results.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
96
I hope your hamata gets better. It’s a really, really nice plant. Best of luck from New Jersey
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
171
Location
Nalasopara (near Bombay/Mumbai)
Thrips are bad news. I find that some nepenthes succumb to them worse than others. I don't grow hamata, so I don't know if it is among the susceptible, but your photo looks like they might be. I keep plants that tend to attract pests where I can easily keep an eye on them and use neem or systemic pesticides (depending on my panic levels - neem is probably safer but also slower). If you suspect pests, get rid of them ASAP. I find that if you catch them in time, the plants bounce back from the immediate next leaf. But they can damage growing points and if that happens, it will take a long time, if ever, depending on size of plant.
 
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