Nepenthes Pervillei...?


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Marcello, I just don't have any answers here on the perlite debate.

One thing I often find with Nep growing is that a particular mix does well for a particular grower in a particular set of circumstances. eg, perlite works well for me because I use water trays with pots standing permanently in water over summer... if someone stood their plants, potted in sphagnum, in water trays over summer, they'd all be dead from root rot within weeks.

I never fertilise mine either, could that be the difference? Instead, I drop dried mealworms into pitchers every now and then when I remember and have a spare half-hour.

Could different sources of perlite make a difference?

Also, I understand that pervillei gets more difficult when it starts vining... so I don't want to get too complacent. Mine is just the BE clone, nothing special. As you know, its reputation is that it's picky about making pitchers, and yet I get one on each and every leaf.

To be honest, I don't understand what I'm doing right.

I'm starting to wonder if the reason why I can't grow villosa is that I've been insisting on using perlite in the mix... my latest experiment was to add peat chunks to the mix and I've noticed the plants have rooted amazingly well into the peat parts, even though the more interesting top part still looks terrible.

Another observation- some species hate perlite and seem to refuse to root into it... burbidgeae and lingulata for example... I realised I was having problems when I found plants were rooting into the 5cm of moss on the surface and not going any deeper.

I feel Nep growing is an art, with trial-and-error being the most important part....

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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).

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I wonder if your perlite is pre-contaminated, or if there is somthing in our water that the perlite holds, I have got contaminated basalt before where I couild actually smell the salt within it, and after soaking it for 2 days, then baing it in a mesh bag and dumping it into a flowing creek at dads it still smelt like salt, my guess is it was from a beach and not washed well enough.

Or maybe it has to do with a bacteria that mature plants need/like and that can not maintain a healthy population on perlite.

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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 :) ...

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