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Mineral Deficiency?

Posted by steventaylor MS (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 3, 08 at 19:05

My Nepenthes went through a little bit of a rough patch and doesn't have any pitchers right now. It's growing pretty well now, the pitcher formation is just taking a little while. The leaves are looking a little yellow and have a few little spots of necrosis. I would assume this is caused by a mineral deficiency. Since there's no traps I can't really give it any insects. How would I go about getting it some minerals? I've read that Neps are more tolerant of hard water than other CPs, would giving it some tap water help? Also, do I need to move it in for the winter or will it be ok to leave it outside?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mineral Deficiency?

Some people give foliar feed on their neps but using orchid plant food is prefered and 1/4 the dosage recommended from the bottle. I never give foliar feed to my neps. But the problem you describe could be something else.

Nepenthes are tropical plants & they don't tolerate cold temperatures. There are 2 types of neps, the highland & the lowlands. Highlands grow above 3000 ft can tolerate temp dropping to 50 degress because the live in a cooler environment but lowland, those that grow below 3000 ft can be killed if the temps drops to 60 degreess.

It could be you might have plant that cannot tolerate cool temperatures. Another thing, lowlands require higher humidiy levels then lowland. Highlands like the easy to grow N. alata, N. ventricosa, N. 'Judith Hindle' & the popluar N x ventrata are easy to grow. I grow my N. truncata in my room.

Where did you buy it? Do you know what type of nep you have? It could be that it is a lowland but most likely a highland. Highland are easier for people to grow & for that reason the prefered type sold at stores.

What type of water are you using to water your nep? Tap water in time will kill you nep, since it may contain chloride and fluoride in it, not to mention salt minerals.

Now how long ago did you buy your plant? It could be in shock and moving them around the house can make them go into shock too. Each room can have different environment then the other. More humidity, more sunlight can make the difference on each room. That it is in shock can explain why it is srpouting new leaves but no traps. The lack of sufficent sunlight is also a good indication why it isn't producing traps.

Is it still growin in its original soil? Planting them in the wrong soil will evantually kill them. Avoid potting soil or pre-mix soil, evenif it contains sphagnum peat moss. Neps require a growing media that can hold moist but provide good drainage. The true and proven mix for neps is one part long fiber sphagnum moss, part perlite, and sometimes one part orchid bark. Make sure the ingredients doen NOT contain wetting agent, fertilizer, or some other substance; all that will kill your nep.

Sun light is very important to neps, they can grow in shaded light. But because they grow in the tropics,they are accustomed to receiving over 12 hours of light. So pick one that recieve most light in the day. but make sure it doesn't recieve direct sunlight or will cause burns on the leaves. Stores like Lowes or Home Depo have them groiwn in the shade reason they don't last long.

Finally water: The best water for neps is distilled water, next best is rain water or R/O purified water. Neps can tolerate drinking water but because of the mineral contents on water, it is best to allow the water to flush through the pots & not have the plants sitting in a water tray.

Hope this may help. Good luck.

RE: Mineral Deficiency?

Neps are usually give a one quarter strength mix of fertilizer spray in the spring to induce pitchering. Every 2 weeks.

RE: Mineral Deficiency?

I'm pretty sure it's either a ventricosa or ventrata. As far as tolerating cold, it really hasn't started getting cold here yet. I've been using nothing but rain water on it. I usually give a good soaking every couple of days or whenever the soil gets dry. I also spray it at least once a day. I've had the plant since about May, and it's been in the same spot on the back porch for about 3 months. I've been able to get it used to some pretty extreme sunlight and for I'd say the better part of two months it's been producing leaves like crazy. I guess I'll just give the fertilizer a try. Thanks for the help and if there's anything else you can add please do.

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