Yellow nepenthes

antechronDecember 6, 2007

I was wondering if, generally speaking, leaves that go a yellowish-green means that a plant is getting too much light? Most nepenthes I have seen have had deep green leaves but mine go a bit pale after I buy them. When a new leaf emerges it will have a dark color but after a while it lightens up, so i was wondering if it meant that they were getting too much light. Oh, also, my ventrata (i think) has pure red pitchers rather than having green at the bottom.

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open_window_maniac

one of the leaves on my ventrata turned yellow and then black and fell off

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 4:55PM
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mutant_hybrid(8)

Yellowing leaves on plants can be from too much or too little of a range of considerations. Light, nitrogen, and water are all potential sources of yellowing... although aged leaves will also develop yellowing just before blackening and shriveling up in many plants.

In this case, it sounds like light since the leaves start darker green and then fade to yellow. How much light is the Nepenthes getting? Most Nepenthes prefer dappled light like what they would get under a shade tree that holds off some of the UV radiation midday. A window where they get morning sun and bright light the rest of the day is also acceptable. I use 12,000 lumens of florescent shop lights 4-5 inches from the leaves for now.

Each Nepenthes, even among the same species, develop different color patterns on their pitchers. Light also will affect that color pattern.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 6:32PM
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antechron

That is what is wierd about it, I only have the plants under about 13,500 lumens (6-8 inches below) but the leaves have paled, the traps are now red, and the venus flytraps that I have under it are getting red traps too. i must just have something in the air? lol

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:00PM
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antechron

Oh, the lights are on from... 7:45 AM - 10:15 PM which is 14.5 hours per day, maybe they need shorter days? They are in a room with 2 south facing windows. The setup has one shelf level with the window sill and another about a foot off the ground with the ~13,500 lumens hanging above. The lower shelf is not lit very well by the window so it is fairly dark unless the lights are on. Perhaps the ambient light plus the floresents overwhelm the nepenthes? Not sure.

The plants are growing well, the (what I think to be) ventrata produces a new leaf every 5-8 days, and they are pitchering, they just aren't a healthy green.

How long does it take for a Rafflesiana pitcher to develope? The tendril has elongated but the pitcher itself is developing DEATHLY slow :) I am probably just impatient. I can't even imagine a Lowii.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 11:22PM
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mutant_hybrid(8)

The light setup sounds fine to me. Are they getting too much or too little nitrogen?

Nepenthes of different species have different growth rates, dont worry. My sanguinea takes 3-4 weeks to develop a new pitcher from time of leaf unfurling to lid opening and color development. In 12 hours of floro light it grows slower, in 16 hours it speeds up nicely to 3 week pitcher production.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 1:09AM
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antechron

I actually just tried repotting it into a peat based mix rather than a LFS based mix... we'll see how that goes. I don't think it is getting too much or too little nitrogen, It is in sphag moss. I feed it whenever a pitcher opens, that is not too much is it?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 3:56PM
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nycti

Hi Mutant,

I am interested in your nitrogen subject and now am wondering if I should be feeding my nep more. My nep is potted in 3 parts coconut husk/1 part peat (the nep mix from SNW). It is 7 inches from a shop light set up and receives 12,600 lumens of light for 13 hrs a day now, longer in the summer. It's pitchers are a nice red but I feel the leaves should be a darker green. Judging by lots of web pics the new leaves on my plant are not near as large or as dark a green as I think they should be. They are more a bright medium green and some leaves are not even as big as the pitcher growing from the leaf. The now older leaves it came with in July (Home Depot plant) are starting to yellow which I expect.

I have given it a couple of bugs since it started to grow pitchers the beginning of Nov. but should I be feeding it more? If so would frozen bloodworms be good or mealworms with the heads removed? Don't want a mealworm chewing up my plant.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
Happy Holidays,
Nycti

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 7:34PM
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mutant_hybrid(8)

Feeding insects every two to three weeks is just fine. You really do not have to feed often as the odd indoors insects will find the plants and get captured (I fed mine a large grasshopper a month ago and then just a week ago it caught its own food, a German Cockroach so I won't feed it anything the rest of winter). Feeding mealworms and blood worms is great. You don't have to behead them as once they fall in the fluid they drown within a minute.

As a side note, bees tend to be able to escape. It was interesting to watch a bee as it snuck indoors attracted to the Nepenthes smell and took its time eating nectar off the pitchers. It fell in three times, but each time revved up its hover speed and gained enough lift to escape, then kept on eating. That is probably an adaptation for Nepenthes so that if bees are the main pollinators in the area they will not all be drowned. I wished I had been able to get my camera out in time to catch the bee for some nice pics, maybe next time.

In any event, nitrogen is not likely the problem if the plants are producing pitchers and getting a few occasional insects. It could just be a natural reaction of the plants to something entirely different. Plants do tend to produce narrower or smaller leaves and yellower coloration in very intense light, but I still do not think 12000-14000 lumens would cause that since mine does not react that way.. mine has dark green leaves.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 2:53AM
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antechron

nycti - what is the potting medium you are using?

Mutant Hybrid - how many hours of light do you have your plants in?

I also think I may have been giving them a bit too much water. I am going to let the medium dry out a lot more before I water them.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 7:42PM
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nycti

Hi Ante,

My nep is potted in 3 parts coconut husk/1 part peat (the nep mix from SNW).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:08PM
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antechron

Oh, yeah, right.... sorry I forgot what you said. oops

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:46PM
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nycti

Thank you Mutant,

I can just imagine watching the bee around your nep. Nature is utterly amazing in so many ways.

I will continue with the nep as I have been and see where it goes from here.

Nycti

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 12:58AM
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mutant_hybrid(8)

Antechron:

I usually have my florescent lights on for 16 hours a day. If I lessen it to 12 hours the Nepenthes tends to grow slower. I have mine about 4 inches from the lights and its leaves develop a slight bronzy color sometimes.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 2:07AM
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antechron

is the room with your neps and their lights already lit by a window or is it dark previous to the activation of the lights?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 10:24PM
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mutant_hybrid(8)

My Nepenthes is not in a window. It just gets florescent light alone.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 2:46AM
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