Netjer

Which Nepenthes to Buy?

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I'm looking at adding a nepenthes to my collection but am not sure exactly which species to go for.

I'll be growing it in a fairly sunny windowsill (my choices are either large South-West facing window or a smaller South-West facing window), with the latter getting less light during the morning and day but a few hours of direct sunlight towards the end of the day. From what I've read so far it sounds like the ideal would be a hybrid of lowland and highland species so that it doesn't have quite such specific humidity needs, so with that in mind I've found two which are available to me in the UK which seem promising:

  • N x ventrata - The hybrid I've seen most often recommended for beginners, seems like a good candidate for someone such as myself to give nepenthes a try.
  • N ventricosa x sibuyanensis - I've seen this recommended as a hybrid for beginners by Hampshire Carnivorous Plants and the pitchers on it are much more aesthetically pleasing to me, but that isn't such a big consideration as whether or not it will be able to survive in the environment I'm producing. Looking at the altitudes the parents grow at it looks like it may not quite be as tolerant of a wider range of environments?

Any thoughts on which of those would be more suitable or any other suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks for reading.

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Hi!

I’ve had a Nepenthes x ventrata and it is a very very strong plant... it grows well inside... the only problem is that it has a very fast grow, so If You have only a little windowswill you must cut it every year... it can become 3 m tall;-)

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Of all the Nepenthes I owned until now, the easiest (even more than the typical garden center N. x Ventrata) has been the N. Ventricosa red I purchased last year.

 

I think it is one of those that Hampshire Carnivorous plants sells with the BE code 3772. The adult pitcher pic they uploaded doesn't match though, it looks like a trap from the N. Ventricosa Madja-As form (that in my experience it is a more fussy plant). The traps are more red with some speckles.

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Other Nepenthes I've had success with on a windowsill are N. truncata (very easy grower but can be hard to get hold of, and isn't always that cheap) and N. maxima. I grow N. veitchii on a windowsill too but it doesn't pitcher too much, I think the humidity is too low.

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So, bumping this up. Any thoughts on ventricosa x hamata? I know they're both highland species and hamata has a reputation for being harder to grow, but reading up on this hybrid I've read a lot of things to say that they're actually not too fussy to grow. It sounds like it takes more after the ventricosa (which applies to the peristome as well unfortunately, as the darker colouration of hamata is stunning). 

Any thoughts on viability as an indoors plant?

Edited by Netjer

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I wouldnt recommend ventricosa x hamata, even with ventricosa parentage it still has certain needs and its pretty expensive compared to others. For about that price or a little more you could get one of the nepenthes collections instead.

Personally I dont like the pitchers of x ventrata, I think the alata takes away too much ventricosa. Cheap and very easy as a windowsill grower though.

Ventricosa x sibuyanensis is pretty nice, mine has just opened a new pitcher with a warm pink upper, orange bottom and a baby pink peristome.

I'd recommend ventricosa, sanguinea, x rebecca soper (very fast grower), NC001 or NC4126 (x bloody mary is very fast in LL conditions, will grow in highland but hates the cold), NC006, NC009 (3 great easy plants there), ventricosa x glandulifera (both easy parents), robcantleyi x (aristolochioides x spectabilis) (nice fast hybrid),  x bill bailey, ventricosa x robcantleyi (should be easy and matt told me last month hes sold ones with 30cm pitchers)

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Thanks Zerbirus, I really appreciate the suggestions! I very nearly bought the ventricosa x hamata earlier but I think I'll wait until I've got more experience behind me. 

I think I've narrowed my options down to four potential plants:

N x Bill Bailey - I love the peristome on these, with singalana being one of my absolute favourite nepenthes. 

Ventricosa x sibuyanensis - These seem easy growers and looks pretty good.

Talangensis x glandulifera - Nice looking plants and apparently easy to grow. 

Spectabilis x ventricosa - Spectabilis is stunning and with a more ventricosa-esque peristome these are gorgeous.

Of all I think I'm leaning towards Bill Bailey. Anything in particular to keep in mind with this particular hybrid as a windowsill plant?

Edited by Netjer

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N. Hamata is not that hard, it is just a highland that requires good humidity.

But for a beginner I wouldn't recommend it or any of its hybrids, as Zerbirus said Hamata hybrids are more expensive and it adds extra difficulty to the Ventricosa parentage.

 

I managed to make a Ventricosa x Hamata grow as a house plant under LEDs, but it needed almost 3 months to acclimate to the lower humidity and grow new pitchers. In contrast, my Ventricosa Red produced pitchers starting from its second leaf under my care.

 

 

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Not really, singalana and ventricosa are both easy growers,  I have both of them but not the hybrid. Talangensis x Glandulifera is nice, mine is still in the rosette stage. Talangensis needs a lot of light but thanks to glandulifera it makes it easier to grow, the same as the ventricosa hybrid but its not as nice as the x gland cross.

edit: I agree with whitefox with the acclimatisation of ventricosa x hamata, i wish i had eased mine in gentler last year. 

Edited by Zerbirus

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I have two Spectabilis x Ventricosa, they grow slower than the pure Ventricosa but similar to x Rebecca Soper. Nice dark speckles, a yellow peristome with red stripes and the pitchers that face to the Sun get a red flush on the edges.

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2 minutes ago, Whitefox said:

I have two Spectabilis x Ventricosa, they grow slower than the pure Ventricosa but similar to x Rebecca Soper. Nice dark speckles, a yellow peristome with red stripes and the pitchers that face to the Sun get a red flush on the edges.

Mine arrived a few days ago so im still acclimatizing it. Spectabils hybrids are generally easier too. I'm hoping for a nice red and yellow striped peristome with mine.

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44 minutes ago, Zerbirus said:

Mine arrived a few days ago so im still acclimatizing it. Spectabils hybrids are generally easier too. I'm hoping for a nice red and yellow striped peristome with mine.

Talking of acclimatising neps, any advice on how to do so? I was just planning on using a clear plastic bag to gradually decrease humidity and increase exposure to sunlight. Having never had a nep before though I'm sure there are things I haven't considered yet.

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With hantsflytrap ones they'll only be in the post for 24hrs so they shouldnt need it, i never have, but yes, ive got about 20 nepenthes in open ziplock bags at the moment that have been in the post for around about a week bare rooted. It helps the roots recover too.

Ive been trying them in the bag fully for a week then pulling the bottom of the bag under the pot so the leaves are closer to the top once every few days, seems to do the trick. My talangensis, pulchra, flava, trusmadiensis and another from wistuba havent dropped a pitcher, my hamata has dropped 1 small one and starting a second on the lid but otherwise looking a lot better than before when I didnt bag them after. My robcantleyi I ordered from BE hasnt even skipped a beat doing this but it depends on the plant of course.

If your humidity is above 60% it shouldnt need it, anything less like 40-50% and they might benefit from reducing from 75% slowly.

edit: thinking about it, if they come with a lot of live sphagnum growing on top like usual from hants they'll do even better for you on a windowsill since the sphagnum creates humidity around your plant while its still young

Edited by Zerbirus

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I think humidity should be fine then. :happy: My only concern now is potential scorching as my windowsills can get very sunny, but I'll try some careful positioning (I'm thinking a position between my d. filiformis and darlingtonia may give some shade) and if need be create some sort of shield I can slowly reduce to help it acclimatise.

 

Edited by Netjer

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Well talangensis itself loves sunlight, im told a lot of sunlight is required to grow this finicky plant. I havent had any scorching of my talan x gland or any other talangensis hybrid yet where i have some other hybrids at the moment. It should be all right, as soon as you spot red dots on the leaves or some leaves are going red slowly, just give it less and perhaps over time it might start creating paler leaves with less chlorophyll to cope so they dont burn.

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Bill Bailey is on order and I've got my tray for catching water all ready and set up on my (usually) sunny SW facing window, alongside my s. purpurea and VFT. I've read a few times about the pebble method as a way to better allow for the medium to drain and to increase humidity; I think it should add a little to the setup aesthetically too.

LeZWUSI.jpg

Very excited for this plant to arrive! :biggrin:

Edited by Netjer
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So, my nepenthes is here and I couldn't be happier with it. :D It's got much bigger pitchers than I had expected and they all look stunning.

All of the pitchers are empty of fluid, which I had expected with it being in transit. I know that any new pitchers should produce digestive fluid but with the ones it already has is it worth adding a bit of water to them? I've read conflicting thoughts on this, with some people saying it keeps the pitchers healthy for longer and others saying there isn't really any benefit to be had from it.

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I do it, not sure if it really helps (those pitchers it came with will die prematurely anyways). At least it doesn't hurt them, so why not.

Which plant did you buy in the end?

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Thanks for the input Whitefox, I've topped them up by about a third in each pitcher. 

I decided to go for Bill Bailey in the end. I figured the ventricosa parentage would make for an easier plant to grow and the singalana parentage makes for a stunning peristome. I have to say I'm really pleased with it and hope it does well on my windowsill.

TURAFel.jpg

nMNOg59.jpg

Edited by Netjer
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I love the ruby red or blood red peristomes ventricosa can bring to singalana and ramispina, i prefer the hybrids of both in general.

Now to let them grow and keep your mind off of buying more in the meanwhile or it'll become an obsession. :) If you dont mind the obsession however, my hants rob x (aristo x spec) which I recommended has a nice big new pitcher.

35196910_2147858761953826_13272122266662

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I think the obsession has already set in. :tongue:

I've got space for one plant left on my sunny windowsills and I think it's likely to be either a VFT Grun or a cephalotus, but another nep is very tempting! I might see how I get on with this one and then go for something a little more unusual for my next one. 

And that pitcher is gorgeous - very nice! :D

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51 minutes ago, Netjer said:

I've got space for one plant left on my sunny windowsills and I think it's likely to be either a VFT Grun or a cephalotus, but another nep is very tempting! I might see how I get on with this one and then go for something a little more unusual for my next one. 

Cephalotus and vft like more light than nepenthes and of course a vft will require winter dormancy. Mexican pinguiculas should do well in the same environment and are great for these pesky gnats we keep getting recently as well as fruit flies. I'm sure once your nepenthes leafspans increase, that space for 1 more plant will quickly disappear so a short vft, ceph, ping, rosette drosera or alike will fit in fine underneath as time goes by.

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On 6/2/2018 at 9:44 PM, Netjer said:

Thanks for the input Whitefox, I've topped them up by about a third in each pitcher. 

I decided to go for Bill Bailey in the end. I figured the ventricosa parentage would make for an easier plant to grow and the singalana parentage makes for a stunning peristome. I have to say I'm really pleased with it and hope it does well on my windowsill.

TURAFel.jpg

nMNOg59.jpg

Nice ribbed peristome, I like it! Might consider adding one of these to my collection.

 

I want to show one of my easiest Ventricosa hybrids too, Spectabilis x Ventricosa ;)

g0JNBoV.jpg

8HCcBDh.jpg

This one popped this week.

 

These are from a basal shoot. It lost the pitchers from the main vine this winter, but it is growing new ones.

Edited by Whitefox
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I love the Spectabilis colouration on that, absolutely gorgeous. What sort of conditions have you got it growing in?

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Thank you. :happy: It is just growing outside, next to a N. x Rebecca Soper and a N. x Ventrata.

My temperature is equivalent to the hardiness zone 10a. Humidity 40~70%.

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