Gareth Davies

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Everything posted by Gareth Davies

  1. This species is indeed in cultivation. Some of the people who found it brought back some seeds and sent them to growers. I've got a couple of plants from my portion of seeds, and I'm going to part with one, pm for details.
  2. I've got a few spare amps if anyone needs them... drop me a pm....
  3. Any idea which one this is, Mark? One of the BE ones? I've found boschiana a complete sod to grow at usual highland temperatures. I've now designated it a lowlander (18C min) and it's finally started to grow properly.
  4. And I can confirm I have two rooted plants of the father plant now- both growing happily! Trying to root the vine sections didn't work, but as the stems sat there refusing to root, they put out side-shoots, which I detached and they rooted in about 2 weeks.
  5. I've tried pushing it and pushing it with lowlanders, but even when things sit at 20C constantly for around 4 months over winter, there's losses. And I can confirm that keeping a whole greenhouse at 20C all winter is not for those who want to have a constructive discussion about their energy bills with their partners. I got as far as an intermediate/ upper on an ampullaria this year though (at approx 90cm tall.)
  6. cz plants buys in from both Borneo exotics and Wistuba. I've been very disappointed with cz plants this year, poor communication (my order was ignored for week), and eventually, I heard that 75% of the plants I ordered weren't even in stock- it then took weeks to get a refund. Wistuba is 100% reliable, but is only shipping for the next couple of weeks, and I've found it's much easier to establish small plants in Spring than it is when we're heading into winter...
  7. I think the national collection of Neps- at Chester zoo- in the uk has one. Or at least I know they HAD one.
  8. Hmmm, so no pressure at all on me to root these cuttings! Mark, I can't find the link I sent you either with those photos, but I think we agreed they looked about right. Can I offer this photo as an example of the sort of giant sanguinea we're talking about... I'm a bit worried about copyright on this one, it's not my photo, it's Alastair Robinson's from facebook, so if there' s anyone reading and wants me to remove this, just let me know.
  9. I've been trying cuttings of these in both lowland and highland conditions. Sometimes lowland conditions seem too warm to root these potentially intermediate things- sanguinea seems to do fine whatever conditions I throw at them. I hope our giant sanguineas turn out to be genuine big'uns... I've got quite a few that range in colour from red, to orange and green, no pitchers larger than about 10cm so far... but then they're only just starting to accelerate in growth now...
  10. Regarding its origins, one possibility is that its father was one of the giant sanguineas... not sure if any of these are in cultivation yet (although some of us have small plants from Ricardo's seeds of what we're hoping might be the right thing.) However, I've seen photos of sanginea pitchers from recent expeditions where the pitchers must be around 45cm.... I'll keep my fingers crossed for the cuttings, they're going to live in my ICU over winter, giving them plenty of light and warmth. Can't believe so many cuttings have just died on me... the shame....
  11. Bit embarrassed about this Mark, but from the several metres of vine of your putative "macfarlanei x Giant sanguinea", I still haven't got a single rooted plant. About 8 cuttings have new shoots, about 5 of them still look solid at the base, 2 even look like they've swollen and split a bit as if about to produce roots.... but frankly these are rubbish results from so much vigorous growth you sent me!
  12. I do feel that buyers are a bit harsh on the ebay Nep seed sellers. Ricardo (albermarlesounds) doesn't collect all the seeds himself- he knows a number of people who collect seeds for him when they can. Not all of them are Nep experts. Personally, I think that buying seeds that have been collected in the wilds is a good gamble, certainly better odds than the national lottery. Yes, I've bought naga seeds and got talangensis before- but then I've bought naga another 5 times and got naga 5 times- with plenty of variation- for just a couple of pounds per seed pod. Considering the huge range of Neps many of us have grown from ebay seeds, and bearing in mind that he rarely sells more than around 20 pods per year of each species so isn't exactly stripping the wilds of seeds- I think pretty much everyone wins; and complaining about occasional screw-ups and the inevitable hybrids that pop up in seeds from the wild seems a bit mean.
  13. That really is very impressive... where did you find such a beautiful clone? And grown superbly. veitchii isn't the easiest of species, so extra kudos there. (*Bursts into tears of envy*)
  14. As Mark says, an alternative to all my faffing around is just to buy the more expensive tubes. In my case though, I'm just incredibly stingy and I've already got half a dozen of these basic autovents on my greenhouses, so for the sake of 15 minutes work and a few broken drill bits (15p), it equates to decent savings (ie more money to spend on Neps). Another thing I wanted to do was have vents on my lowland house that only open around 37C, so in the example in the photos above, I actually cut off way more than 2cm of the rod. Hopefully this way my lowlanders can get lots of time in the mid-30s through the summer days, but not hitting 47C like they did last year- frying the growing points of everything that had been hung high up in a "hanging basket".
  15. This might be a slightly obscure thread, but I'm not the only one who's got frustrated at the limitations of autovents for Nep growing. Even when we set them to open at the highest temperature available, they start opening up around 22C, letting out all our valuable Nep-growing heat. However, there's a way of adapting the standard cheap autovent opener for use in a Nep greenhouse. I'll run through this as a DIY project for anyone who's interested. Tools needed: - hacksaw with fine-tooth blade - power drill with pack of 10 2.5mm HSS drill bits. DIY skills needed: - ability to use a drill. - ability to use a saw without cutting your hand off. I'm going to assume we're starting with no knowledge at all about autovents, so it might seem horribly patronising to some people- but hopefully helpful for others. Let's get started. First, detach autovent from the greenhouse. Then unscrew the metal rod from the threaded collar: This gives us a partly disconnected autovent Now, pull out the pin that connects the metal rod to the body of the autovent. Here's a closeup of the end of the pin, which is inserted into the hole that runs through both the body of the vent and the metal rod. Pin removed: Now pull the metal rod out of the body of the autovent Here's the rod detached from the body. Next step: cut some of the end off the metal rod with a hacksaw. (Easiest if you have workmate-type bench that can hold rods. The question is how much to cut off. IN THEORY, when an autovent is instaled in a greenhouse, we can adjust them by turning the handle on the rod, screwing it through the threaded collar. One turn of the rod adjusts the opening temperature by 0.5C. Now, that corresponds to about 1mm... so if we chop off 2cm from the end of the rod, it should make a difference of about 10C to its range. Instead of an opening range of about 15-25C, it should open about 25-35C, which is more realistic for Nep growing. Ok, now for the hard bit. We have to drill a hole through the new end of the rod. This is why we need a pack of 10 2.5mm drill bits, I broke 3 when I was doing this earlier on today. So, I'm never a big fan of health and safety, but this is one time to use safety specs. Assuming you don't have a dedicated metalwork shop, this isn't easy at all- not sure what the rod is made of, but I'm guessing stainless steel. So- it's impossible to drill straight into it. I don't have a metalwork shop either, so here's my bodge solution: First, clamp the rod in a workmate-type bench, then use some sort of clamp to hold a piece of scrap wood or plywood firmly in place over the metal rod. Then drill through the wood onto the metal rod: the wood will mean you can hold the drill in place without the drill bit skidding everywhere over the surface of the rod. Once you've made a dimple on the rod, you can take the wood away and drill the hole without it: install the drill bit into the drill as deeply down as it'll go, hopefully leaving only 1cm or so showing. That'll make it much less likely to break. And we're nearly done! Now just reverse the process of disassembly: push the rod back into the body of the autovent, lining up the new hole we've just drilled with the hole in the body and push the pin back in. Screw the threaded bit back through the collar. Reattach to greenhouse. Nep-growing autovent: done!
  16. Christer- sadly, mine is way too young to tell- I've had it barely 12 months now. I think it'll be at least another year before I have any idea whether or not it's the real deal. Knutah- I bought this before from Andreas, and it simply failed to thrive as a highlander- it just had all the symptoms of being too cold. Ever since this new one arrived, I've kept it with my lowlanders, which means minimum 18C (in winter, that's 18C exactly for about 5 months). The theory is that this species grows in the wild from lowland to highland conditions, but the Wistuba clone in my hands won't put up with my highland greenhouse. Apart from that, humidity is whatever the greenhouse is at, no idea, it's probably all over the place- I don't use any special humidifiers- and light is what the uk weather chooses to give me. So that's pretty dark all winter. But not as dark as in Norway, I imagine.
  17. My experience with Wistuba's faizaliana is that it's not happy as a highlander at all. More like a lowland-intermediate.
  18. Ok Dave, no-one else has bitten, so I will. You reckon that there's more than one species currently going under the name of hamata? (Not including hairy red.)
  19. So- the exact opposite to my approach then! I wonder if the critical thing for these species is keeping good air circulation around the stem. As I was saying, stem rot seems the killer for these species.
  20. Ok, I'll let you off the naughty step punishment if you PROMISE to be good next time and harvest pollen for the freezer! I'd put veitchii in the same group as truncata and robcantleyi, which is that they have specific requirements... mainly, being kept intermediate not highland in winter, and pretty dry. I've found all of them very vulnerable to stem rot. Cool, damp highland conditions can be fatal. It might be that they're all epiphytic and not used to the sorts of wetter conditions we can give other neps. I've actually started bringing all these species into the house and keeping them on a spare bedroom windowsill all winter- with better results. All are tricky species to get right, and a healthy flowering veitchii is a rare sight indeed. I've got a LONG way to go before my Wistuba veitchii reach anything like the size of that plant of yours.
  21. It's so rare that we see a mature veitchii, it's such a hard species to get right. I think that plant puts you in the premier league of growers. Although I have to bite the carpet and scream that you didn't harvest and freeze all that pollen....
  22. Marclello, I had been wondering why I have been struggling so much with kerrii. I'd assumed as a IC species, the more heat I gave it, the better it would do. I can see now why it's been going downhill. I'll go and move it somewhere cooler, right now! Thanks for the tip!
  23. I was looking in the greenhouse yesterday, and would like to offer some experimental evidence. One of my Nep vines had bent over in a nice S-shaped arc.. the growing tip was below the level of the soil, but the stem had made a nice curve in the air. New shoots grew from the top of this curve, and I didn't get any new basals. I have no idea whose case this supports.... I tried reading through this thread but got horrendous flashbacks to my states of semi-consciousness during undergraduate plant science lectures.