Carnivorous Plants forum: Nepenthes beginner. ID and opinions?

Views: 483, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end
Hunterdon County NJ (Zone 6b)
Chrissyd1121
Nov 8, 2017 8:54 PM CST
Any idea what kind of nep? And does it look generally healthy to you?

To make a long story short...

This little guy was seriously neglected and I'm trying to nurse it back to health. I did a lot of online research but that's all I have to go off of. Its looking much better but I'm still unsure of how it's supposed to look so I just wanted to get some opinions. Just got repotted bc I dropped the pot and it shattered into a billion pieces so I had no other choice. Every pitcher and almost all the leaves were dried and brown 2 mo ago so I cut them off. Since then it's grown lots of new leaves, even new shoots down below but no pitchers. I keep it in the bathroom for humidity reasons and have been misting several times a day to up the humidity. Since it's been getting darker I've started giving it several hrs under the T5 everyday.

General info-

Potted in mix of half sphagnum half perlite. Spent the summer outside and just came in about 3 wks ago. Purchased in May at a nice local nursery. No fert since purchased. Since fall hit I'm only watering about 2 times a week, never letting it get dry but never sitting in water either.

My questions are

1. Is this size pot okay? I noticed when I dropped it how small the root system really is but didn't want to pot too small and wanted something nice and heavy since it can get all topsy turvy.

2. What are the tendrils supposed to look like? Are these brown bc they're dried up? Or is that color normal? If they are dry, should they be snipped or just left alone?

3. In one pic you can see how one of the leaves looks all distorted and puckered. Any ideas? Haven't found a pest on this guy and most leaves look good to me.

4. I basically live in a cave, is artificial light okay? It's all I've got!!! How long under T5 and how close?

5. Everyone seems to disagree on fertilizer. Since it has no pitchers to catch it's food I feel like it needs some food (maybe not necessarily fertilizer but food) Do you use it on yours? If so, what kind? Consensus seems to be orchid fert at quarter strength. Foliar or water soluble? Osmocote pellets?

6. Do humidity pebble trays work?

Thanks in advance!!!
Thumb of 2017-11-09/Chrissyd1121/974fde


Thumb of 2017-11-09/Chrissyd1121/93189b


Thumb of 2017-11-09/Chrissyd1121/b32a72




Thumb of 2017-11-09/Chrissyd1121/3292c5

[Last edited by Chrissyd1121 - Nov 8, 2017 8:55 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1582491 (1)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 8, 2017 10:19 PM CST
Hi Chrissy,

Yes, that pot is huge. Mine are in plastic orchid pots (the mesh kind) and that wouldn't be my choice of potting mediums either. Mine are in sphagnum moss with perlite mixed in. They like a light airy medium. Some will suggest also adding pumice but I haven't found a good source for that.

Under a grow light is fine - T5's are great lights as they have the lumens without the extra heat of T8's. They prefer bright light to shade, depending upon which one you have. I can't help you with that until you get some pitchers.

I water mine daily, mostly because they are in orchid baskets. But they do like water but not sitting in water. Pebble trays are great - a much more consistent source of humidity then misting several times a day.

The tendrils at the ends of the leaves are where the pitchers will develop. When you have the humidity, water and light right, you will also have pitchers.

I don't fertilize Nepenthes at all. If they catch a bug or two, that's their fertilizer. They have green leaves, so are photosynthesizing and therefore, producing their own food, just like any other plant. It is very easy to over-fertilize any carnivorous plant as they are catching their own food and you are catching/fertilizing also. Its safest to just let them do their own thing - they won't starve to death, even without pitchers.

You are doing a good job with your Nepenthes. I would suspect aphids on the one distorted leaf so keep an eye out. That or it developed during an especially dry spell.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Hunterdon County NJ (Zone 6b)
Chrissyd1121
Nov 9, 2017 11:00 AM CST
Thank you! Now, I've read that they hate to be repotted. Is it better to repot into a smaller pot or leave it?
So those tendril tips are not dried up, that's the normal color?
Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
Food & History
Region: California Spiders! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Aquaponics Composter
Foliage Fan Herbs Ponds Birds Container Gardener Solar Power
Image
pphanfx
Nov 9, 2017 11:32 AM CST
It's doing okay at first glance. Try to give it the natural conditions it is used to. IF I had that plant, I would try to find a huge terrarium inside which I can place that pot - maybe a raised platform/stand INSIDE the terrarium from which the pitchers can hang down without touching the bottom and rotting. To achieve this, I tied string to each pitcher vine to keep them crawling along the top of the terrarium and away from the bottom of the container. You want it almost jungle-like in there -- max humidity and any sunlight you can. I have not tried it with UV lights, but I imagine they would work. I did not have to water my nepenthes for months at a time, because I created a swamp at the bottom of the terrarium (complete muck made from distilled water and sphagnum moss.. I had the terrarium next to a window with california sunlight pouring in. The perpetual humidity alone from leaving it in a terrarium just kept the entire plant system moist.

I do not think your issue is fertilizer at all. Those plants don't need it and are especially adapted for crappy acidic soils and swamps. I have had carnivorous plants thrive without ever feeding them. THe main issue for me was always continual moisture & humidity and sunlight, appropriately distilled water.
Water your plants!
Hunterdon County NJ (Zone 6b)
Chrissyd1121
Nov 9, 2017 6:30 PM CST
Cool I really appreciate the input. I wasn't sure if bc there are no pitchers to catch food on its own, maybe it needed me to feed it. I'm having lighting issues with all the plants right now. I live in Central NJ and fall has finally arrived. It went from sunny and 75 every day to cold, rainy, and dreary for the past couple weeks. And now daylight savings... It's just dark, cold, and damp all the time. Yuck!! California sun sounds like a dream right about now! Jealous! This house is like a cave to begin with, The only south facing window is over the kitchen sink and it's tiny. The dark wood paneling is not only hideous but it darkens the place even more. So I think for me artificial lights are a must for almost any plant this time of year.

Just to clarify... I potted it in half and half sphagnum / perlite mix. Someone said they wouldn't use the mix I have it in but recommended a sphagnum/perlite mix. Do I have the proportions wrong?

I've seen ppl recommend a terrarium before. Apparently it's the only way some ppl can keep them alive. It's def been looking a lot healthier since I did my research and upped the humidity. I just made a pebble tray for it this afternoon so we will see if that makes a difference. Now that it was mentioned, that's prob exactly what happened to the funky leaf. The weather has been unpredictable lately. From one extreme to the other overnight including humidity, temp, rain, wind, sun intensity. So the sudden drop in humidity prob did it. I mean, it could have been aphids, it was outside. I saw one cricket on this pitcher plant this summer. Besides that it has been totally insect free. And I'm a bug nut! I'm always inspecting my plants bc bugs are my worst nightmare!!!! So this little guy is one of my faves bc it's never been a problem (knock on wood).

Since it is a vine... should I give it something to climb, pitchers or not? Will that make it happier?

Do they need a dormancy period? Is it necessary or recommended for any reason? If I keep conditions right, it will not go into dormancy... Correct? So (if conditions are just right) will it pitcher all year round? Just curious. Also i don't want to think conditions are wrong bc there are no pitchers when, in fact, it is just sleeping for winter anyway.
Its been so long since it had pitchers I didnt even think about them hanging down when I potted it! Well I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there. I have those macrome (sp?) netting plant hangers I can use if needed. Hopefully I do need to worry about keeping the pitchers up sometime in the near future!

Phew.... Sorry for the novel!! Any input is super welcome! Idk anyone who is into plants and I def don't know anyone who knows a damn thing about a pitcher plant!
Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
Food & History
Region: California Spiders! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Aquaponics Composter
Foliage Fan Herbs Ponds Birds Container Gardener Solar Power
Image
pphanfx
Nov 10, 2017 1:00 AM CST
Oh I've loved carnivorous plants since I was a kid -they were the only plants that interested me. The trick is not to be fancy or creative with the soil or be overly attentive.. These aren't like cucumbers & peas, where you're maximizing soil, pruning leaves, picking off every single insect, bathing them, pampering, singing to them. These are swamp-dwelling killers. Literally, just give them a hot, sunny & humid, swamp or bog and that's it.

I learned that the hard way since childhood. These don't like attention at all. They are used to living in unlivable conditions. Don't even feed them. They tend to thrive once you do the basic spaghnum moss, humid container, sunlight, distilled water. They can take unbelievable amounts of heat and lack of attention once you get them set up in those containers. They're so basic that they're the hardest for people to learn. And, if you're lucky, sometimes that moss will actually start growing again, creating continual new layers of bedding for the plant..

Vines. The main benefits of guiding the vines is to maximize sunlight and prolong the life of the pitcher by keeping it from surface contact with the ground. The only thing I found that was necessary was to keep the pitchers from sitting on the ground in the "swamp" i created at the bottom of the terrarium. There is no dormancy period I'm aware of, but I can't recall if the change in light conditions triggered flowering. It always had pitchers over a 2 year period I had the terrarium, usually about 1 or 2 extremely beautiful ones at any given time.

I think you're okay with perlite, no substantially adverse effect, but it wasn't necessary at all. I'd do 100% spagnum or 50/50 spagnum/peat, personally. What you want is for that moss to start growing on its own to recreate that natural bedding and acidic condition. create a swamp-like environment. Those mosses are already highly moisture retentive and loose. But with what you've got... If you can move that into a large container terrarium to create that dripping-wet humidity inside that's at least going to get it closer to its naturally ideal setting.
Water your plants!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 10, 2017 12:07 PM CST
50/50 moss-perlite is perfect. The terrarium idea is one I have seen used before but, if you can't maintain air circulation, the plant will rot. Also, they take a lot of space. Misting and your humidity tray should do the job.

Your plant is looking great, considering how it looked when you started with it. Be patient, you will have pitchers.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Cat Lover Bromeliad
Container Gardener Region: Ohio Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse
Image
ljones26
Dec 11, 2017 5:09 PM CST
For my nep, I keep it in a greenhouse in a tray of standing water with stones in the bottom! I have four N. alatas, and they are doing very well! My one was in the vining stage for almost an entire year, but last month it just exploded in pitchers! I never ever fertilize, and I use a soil from a local greenhouse that they make without any fertilizer added.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Dec 11, 2017 7:27 PM CST
My nepenthes are in a small container, sitting in water always and by our kitchen sink area where there is a window that allows it to get some west facing light. I have not repotted them since I got them, so it just continues its vining growth and making pitchers. I used to struggle keeping them moist, so making them sit in water really helped a lot since our area is so dry.

I don't use fertilizers either and I only use distilled water for them. So far they thrive well.
Hunterdon County NJ (Zone 6b)
Chrissyd1121
Dec 11, 2017 10:52 PM CST
It was looking like it was getting ready to pitcher and..... Nope! Vining up a storm, green and healthy leaves but no pitchers since the ones it came with dried up. So frustrating!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Dec 12, 2017 10:06 AM CST
Just be patient Chrissyd, as long as it is doing new leaves, then it will eventually make pitchers. I would be more concerned if the plant is drying out totally and no new growth coming about at all.

[Last edited by tarev - Dec 12, 2017 10:11 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1601840 (11)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Carnivorous Plants forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Cestrum 'Orange Peel'"