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Thread: Nepenthes hamata issues...

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    Nepenthes hamata issues...

    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:


    Before repotting:


    Current:


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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Day/night temperatures, please?

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    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.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafgeek View Post
    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.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    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.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
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    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.

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    Vidyut's Avatar
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    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 by Vidyut; 07-08-2019 at 02:37 AM.
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

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    Vidyut's Avatar
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    If it is a brief spell or temporary stress or new plant, I also water + spray with cool water in emergencies. Cool. Not cold. At most 5-10C cooler than ambient temperature.
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

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