marcello catalano

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marcello catalano last won the day on March 21 2014

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  1. the spiders should be Misumenops (not sure if the only species that inhabits Nepenthes is M. nepenthicola), whenever we cut pitchers for our line photos and we bring them back to the hotel, eventually we get 2-3 spiders sleeping with us in the room :)
  2. hi guys, maxxima, your plant is smilesii, no worries, the hair is visible even in the first pictures... the pitchers are a bit more squat than usual, but that can often be the case... color patterns are far too familiar, as much as the flower spike appearing so soon at the rosette stage...
  3. Hi there, that's definately a hybrid with N. gracilis
  4. before your perspective becomes too narrow, let me remind you something: in Europe and US we spend relatively high prices on these plants, and that's very attractive for SE asian poachers, but most of us also care very much about conservation, so that maybe just a handful of hidden, ashame people buys poached plants and they are not even proud of that. BUT in SE Asia, most growers/forums/communities/facebook don't really care about the poaching thing, poachers are totally free to poach and sell at very low prices, nobody will say anything, it's just something that doesn't hurt their sensibility that much, in fact poached plants are more appreciated because they are cheaper than those coming from BE or EP. Hey, of course there are exceptions, our long discussion on this topic in the western forums found also numbers of GOOD guys in SE Asia that share our way of thinking, but those good guys can confirm that unfortunately they are not the majority. So, agreements are not going very far. If I have to look at what happened with Thai poachers since 2004, I can say that: 1) once the market is flooded with the species in question - and that happens relatively quickly - the poaching stops; 2) hybrids are fortunately becoming more fashionable - because yes, very sad, it's all a matter of fashion - and that means that the pure species in the wild are being left alone much more often; 3) fortunately the Thai species are not so attractive, do it didn't take long for the fashion to stop; 4) what me and Trong are doing now, since 1-2 years, is to flood the market with hundreds of free plants - that we got from seed, less than a spike was enough - so that, morality a part, growers just say "hey, why should I buy the plant from the poacher for 2 dollars when I can have it from Trong for 20 cents?". There are not millions of growers, so once you have given away a few hundred plants, the market is actually saturated. The problem is that a Nepenthes colony on the average is made of 200 plants... Given all this, for every species a good plan should be made to see what the main danger is and how it can be avoided... Klossii? Take a spike, give 1000 plants for free (just shipping price) and the poaching is over. Who's brave enough to do that and renounce to the money?
  5. Hi, a part from the loss of compost through the holes, I just think that long fibered dead sphagnum mixed in equal parts with perlite would be a much better mix, even if just for safety I would avoid right now to put living sphagnum on the top, until the plants are large enough and their growth is under control. Don't worry too much about very small symptoms like colour and size of the pitchers, these species are VERY slow, you can only have a good idea of how things are going (and why) after 1-2 years, it's not a matter of months, unless they are clearly dying. Also because our european seasons are hugely different from what these plants are used to: you're worrying about the color of a pitcher right now, but you might have to fight an invasion of spidermites and yellowing pitchers in august (I know your set-up is prepared to that, but you never know...).
  6. Hi everybody, I know this should be in the sale section, but as it regards all regions in the world I wasn't sure of what sub-section I had to use. Plus, being the thorelii seeds involved, it's kind of an event. Yes, Trong - who traveled with me and collected these seeds while with me, while I was involved in other tasks like taking photos etc - put his stuff for sale at ridiculous prices, for the sake of conservation in cultivation. Please don't ask me anything else, ask him, the link is on facebook: Thanks, Marcello
  7. Hi Gareth, intermediate indeed, and also don't keep it too wet, I think if sphagnum in the same pot is thriving and the plant is not, then it's too wet. Mlong, both chang and bokorensis are better treated as intermediate plants too.
  8. Hi, These taxa don't need the dry season that they experience in the wild. They are mostly easy to grow, but I would avoid to keep them in a water tray, at least until they are big enough to tolerate some standing water. Depending on your climate and your other lowland nepenthes, get them used to some direct sun (don't forget that they come from the tropics, where they grow in full sun all day long). Also, I would avoid the sand in the mix (it just makes it heavy) and the sphagnum (it makes it wet for too long, good for other species but not for these), these plants do fine with the usual mix of peat and perlite in equal parts. Kerrii is a bit of a tricky plant, the climate it comes from is more intermediate than lowland, and in cultivation it grows better during our winter and autumns, when temps are not too high, and even nicely low during the night. It also doesn't seem to like very wet soils. I've no idea of what an euch is, but if you mean eustachya, that's not from indochina. If you have other taxa from that area, feel free to ask. Oh, mind that my climate is different from yours, i know in Australia everybody grows all nepenthes in sphagnum because they would otherwise dry too quickly, a problem we don't have here. And yet, be careful with these taxa in particular, from that point of view...
  9. Lovely! I told you, just fill the pitchers with the chicken solution I explained, and you'll see the new leaves and pitchers getting twice larger than that! :)
  10. well, the perlite in question has been used for all my carnivores for ages without problems, when it was mixed 50-50 with peat. Surprisingly, not even mixes 50-50 with sand gave problems. So I made this mix of 90 perlite and 10 supersphag, hoping in great, hairy, light mix, but still with a little nutrient. The plants grew fine, until I noticed that the pichers were growing of good size and color, but with deformities that looked like radioactive! :) At the same time, I noticed little bubbles of green sticky algae growing on the bits of sphagnum. So I really suspect that the perlite dust, rich of fluoride, remained in the mix. Washing the mix later was not enough, as the dust sticks to the perlite. The sphagnum for sure didn't like the fluoride and developed algae, while the plants - whose roots had not other material to stick to if not the fluoride-rich perlite - also got plenty of fluoride, and as these plants are used to high levels of toxic minerals, I guess their response was fine leaves but with deformity problems at the pitcher level. Of course the fertilizer salts, that made the leaves of the smaller plants yellow (I only used it on some seedlings), stuck to this fluoride-rich perlite and made things worse. When I mix perlite with peat 50-50, first of all the roots can stay in the safe peat without sticking with thirst to the perlite, and then probably the fluoride has the possibility to be washed away through the peat (or sand!). Good to know that perlite can be used alone without problems, I'll try again after some proper washing :) ...
  11. Thanks, yes, my attention still goes towards the properties of the clone (that BE item is a single clone, we should see if other people share your success with this particular clone) and on the fact that my perlite probably had to be washed very well BEFORE being used, washing it later is not enough. The fertilizer only made things worse (I also stick to a "chicken soup" in the traps whenever I can, it's the best thing).
  12. I've rooted both nepenthes and cephalotus in pure perlite and no problem... it could be something with adult plants, I don't know...
  13. Hi Gareth, it does in fact look very good! When I tried using such a large part of perlite (90%) I had problems for sure related to very high microconductivity (or toxicity?) and maybe lack of nutrients. I couldn't even feed the soil, as it seemed like the salts from the fertilizer would stick to the porous perlite, whose granules were covered by roots (roots love perlite, as you know, because it's wet and yet airy, not to mention the fact that in this kind of mix, it's the only thing they can stick to!). I washed the perlite from above many times, but it didn't seem to work, it was like it was always releasing something (maybe the in-famous fluoride?). Once the peat part was brought up to about 40%, everything went back to normal (I guess, nutrients a part, that the roots were then sticking to the soil, with much less damage from the perlite, and maybe there was a pH improvement too). How do you cope with these issues?... When I use sand, I don't have all these problems... About your plant, could it also depend on the plant itself? Where is it from? We usually see plants with very small lower pitchers, so even if your plant is not vining, having such big lowers makes me think you'll get a perfectly healthy adult plant.