lesthegringo

How wet should they be?

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lesthegringo    73

I've been wondering over the last few months whether I am over watering my nepenthes plants. Any water they get runs out the bottom, but how damp should the substrate get? A couple of plants I received potted came with substrate that dried out very quickly, which resulted in a few pitchers drying out. These were from commercial growers, who must know what they are doing.

The humidity in the house is high, so I don’t have to worry about that, so what do you guys think the best way to go is? Keep just about moist, or let it dry out then wet it, keep prety moist....? Lots of my nepenthes have very vigorous sphagnum growth, if that helps tell you how wet it is

Cheers

Les

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Neil Cornish    12

Are you growing the plants in hanging baskets? If your medium is good you shouldn't really be able to over water a Nepenthes. I find that after watering the medium is still damp the next day and dry the day after but it is a bit warmer up here. I'd happily water my plants every day but sometimes I forget.

 

Regards Neil

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Yossu    168

If it helps, I've been wondering the same thing. I have two N. Bloody Mary under my lights, where they are in a humid environment, but are sitting above the water level (the pot is on top of an upside down plastic cup which is taller than the water is deep). I water them a few times a week (basically when I remember), and they are growing beautifully...

 

160427NepenthesBloodyMary.jpg

 

That picture doesn't really do it justice, it has more pitchers, and they are a really bright red. It's also had a major growth spurt since then, due to me fertilising it. The medium is often dry, as I don't remember to water it as often as I should, but it doesn't seem to matter.

 

Having said that, I have a large N. Ventrata (Alata x Ventricosa) hanging in my kitchen, and the pitchers are looking very sad indeed. They have dried up around the top, despite regular watering and misting.

 

Does that help or confuse? I'm good at the latter  :laugh2:

Edited by Yossu

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Tropicat    72

Is it better to keep Nepenthes in hanging baskets, or a pot in a tray or another method? What do you guys think?

Edited by Tropicat

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manders    572

I think it depends on how you can make best use of your space.  I have some standing in trays and some in hanging baskets.  Hanging baskets are convenient because its easy to trim off the stems when they get too long and hang down, equally sometimes its fun to let them climb high up into the greenhouse roof and let the pots stand on the floor.  I dont think it matters to the plants.

if the pots are large and deep there is not usually a problem standing them permanetly in water, especially if the weather is hot and the plants are actively growing.  Over winter drier (but still damp) is best.

Some species react differently, some are absolutely ok if the compost really dries out (e.g. If the plant wilts) others really hate it (and die) so unless you know for sure best not to let them dry out.

The roots dont seem to mind being permanently wet or stood in water, provided the water is not anearobic (like most plants, and even epiphytic orchids), (mirabilis will tolerate stagnant water), so compost that allows plenty of oxygen down to the root area is a good idea (ie compressed rotting dead spaghnum is perhaps not so good).

i still have some of those asda nepenthes in the original plastic containers and the roots are totally happy growing straight into the water.

Some of my happiest plants are in large self watering containers (water resevoir at the bottom), watered once a month or so, large containers = stable conditions.

 

Edited by manders

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lesthegringo    73

From my experience over the last year, I think that in warm conditions adult plants are pretty tolerant of perhaps overwet onditions as long as the excess is allowed to drain away or as Manders says, in a deep enough pot to keep the pooled water away from the roots. Seems preferable to the potential of them drying out too.

When it comes to seedlings I think slightly drier is better, I'm pretty sure that I lost quite a few seedlings through them being too wet. While the substrate on which they germinated seemed less important,  most of the ones that have done well are growing on live sphagnum, which keps the roots moist while allowing excess water to drain right away.

Les

Edited by lesthegringo
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manders    572

Thats an interesting point about the seeds Les.  I've had a lot of losses due to fungus gnat larvae in wet peat, that probably wouldnt be a problem with spaghnum.

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flycatchers    23

Reawaking this thread I am wondering whether some of the Nepenthes rot issues I get where the stem rots at the base and the whole plant looks dehydrated is more caused by drying out rather than being too wet? An issue I constantly suffer from is finding plants dried out (to the point of wilting) Early on I used to think with neps that it encouraged a better root system. But now I wonder if the drying out actually damages the stem and allows it to partly die and them rot slowly takes over? Of course if I am wrong and I increase the watering they may rot anyway!  But I do know that in sarracenia that I have accidently dried out, the rhizome often ends up going brown woody and dead, so it might be at least one of the reasons...     

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lesthegringo    73

So a few months on from my last post, I am now convinced that the live sphagnum method is the best for the seedlings, at least the ones I have managed to grow. The ones on sphagnum are way ahead of the ones on other media, although to be fair the sphagnum is actually growing on the same media, it just acts as an extra layer separating the two. It seems to make sure that the humidity and wetness levels are good and constant. I would say that losses of seedlings is probably equal between the two media, but some of my 18 month old seedlings are 8cm across in the sphagnum, and only 1 to 1.5 in the other media

For me, if I were to do it again, it would all be on beds of sphagnum

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