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Thread: Nepenthes villosa

  1. #33

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    My plant is about seven years old. It's approx. 15 cm in diameter, and the pitcher shown is
    about 5 cm in height. It would probably be somewhat larger, but it took me a bit of trial and
    error to figure out how to provide it with the environment it needs to thrive.

    Please note that you may have real difficulty with this species as it matures if you cannot provide it with overnight temperatures which are consistently in the neighborhood of 3 to 5 C, and daytime highs of no more than about 20 C. When villosa is small, it is more tolerant
    of high temperatures, but as it gets larger (several cm in diameter), it becomes much more
    finicky (at least in my experience, and I've grown several of them). Therefore, if you don't
    have a long-term plan to give it what it needs, I'd try growing something else. Not trying
    to discourage anyone, just trying to be direct and honest.

  2. #34

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    Very nice pitchers Jeff and Tony!

    From Tony's picture I would say my plant looks similar in some respects but the differences may be due to its smaller size. Tony, you made an interesting point, writing that you do fertilize your plants. How do you do this? I've also started to fertilize this special plant with a very strongly diluted fertilizer spraying the leafes about once a month. My plant did loose its pitchers alwyas few days after feeding very small insects, which in my opinion is still the best way to get nutrients into nepenthes. The N. villosa was able to use these nutrients to its best, as could be seen from the leafsize of newly produced leafes. But from the light yellow colour of the leafes I thought it still wasn't enough and well it did change after fertilizing it.

    Jeff, I'm glad the size of your plant is "only" 15cm after seven years. My N. rajah is still in shock after I told it the growth rate of your plants, you did tell me few years back on the ICPS list... ;-) My N. villosa has reached a diameter of about 7cm after two years of growth coming direct out of TC (about 15mm diameter that time). I had the impression it was also quite slow due to its two growing points, which in my opinion hindered the growth of both. At least I did cut them apart in April this year. From what I do see now from this plant and also my N. murudensis and N. macrophylla which had the same problem, I do think I should have done this much earlier.

    I do also think plants are best grown in conditions which do match their natural habitat as close as possible but especially the temperature requirements are sometimes not as easy to reach. So I am very interested in the signs you, Jeff, did see from your N. villosa when grown under too warm conditions. This would be quite helpful for me as I would at least know what to do, seeing similar signs from my plant.

    Joachim

  3. #35

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    As my plant got older, I observed that its rate of growth slowed, and it stopped pitchering,
    Leaf color was also a lighter green, perhaps even yellowish. If you observe these
    symptoms, it's quite possible that your plant is suffering from temperatures which are
    too high.

    I should also add that I've observed a similar pattern with several other highland species
    of Nepenthes which grow at a minimum altitude of 2000 m or more. Among them are
    NN. diatas, aristolochioides, and murudensis. When these are small, they are not as
    intolerant of high temps, but when they get larger, they are much less forgiving.

  4. #36
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Jeff how big would you say your plant was when you started seeing these symptoms?
    My plant is about 5.5cm across with 3cm pitchers. It is a light to medium green but villosa always looks on the pale side for me. I have had the plant for almost a year now. The pitchers are about double the size of when I got it although the plant has not increased in size a whole lot. This does not worry me too much as the new leaf now is showing noticeable increase. Plants typically get a little smaller for me initially from the stress of overseas importing/reestablishing and then adjusting to the much higher light that I give my plants than they get at the other nurseries. I usually look at increasing pitcher size on seedlings as a good indication that the plant is going in the right direction.

    What I find interesting is what happened with your plant. I have a hard time understanding why one set of conditions would be ok for smaller plants but not for bigger plants. Any idea why that is the case?

    Joachim I feed the plants with dried bloodworms occasionally. Larger plants get freeze dried crickets. I also use a liquid feed 2-4 times a month. The plants are watered nearly every day in the summer so they get plenty of flushing between applications. I use a 'peat-lite' formula. It has no urea and is primarily nitrate N. It also has minor elements and calcium and magnesium. Many fertilizers don't have sufficient calcium, sulfur, magnesium because they assume your source water will supply that. But when using the RO water they become defficient. Any good hydroponics type fertilizer would work as they are also designed to have all the proper nutrients in it. Final concentration RO+Fertilizer is about 75ppm TDS. pH is about 5.5. The plants get a good soaking. I have seen pitchers go black if too much gets into them. The plants really respond well to feeding. Ideally I would like it to be all fresh bugs but with a big greenhouse jam packed with plants it just isn't possible, so they really do need supplimental feeding.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #37

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    Don't know exactly when I started observing the sensitivity to warmer temperatures, but
    surmise that it was when my plant was two to three years old. No recollection of how
    large it was at that time, but 5 cm would be a good guess.

    Really cannot guess why young plants would be less sensitive to their environment, but
    have observed this to be the case many times.

    Regarding fertilizer, I never use it. Too risky; have heard of roots getting burned off plants with
    it. The plants have evolved carnivory for a reason, and I try to accomodate them, even though
    it is time-consuming and distasteful.

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