Nepenthes ampullaria & light levels


Greg Allan
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Having recently obtained Stewart McPherson's wonderful two volume work on Nepenthes, I plan to expand my Nepenthes collection. I have a heated terrarium in which I grow tropical Byblis and petiolaris Drosera. It is lit by four tubes. Would Nepenthes ampullaria or indeed any other lowland Neps succeed in such conditions? I think that temperatures and humidity would be fine, but I am concerned as to whether light levels would be too high.

Cheers,

Greg

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I'm not sure eactly how strong 4 tubes are since I'm only starting out with artificial lighting now, but where ampullaria and some other lowlanders like rafflesiana and bicalcarata are concerned, they seem to be able to take a lot of light, even up to a good number of hours of full afternoon sun an still do well. This comes from both the lowland neps I'm growing at home and some that I've seen in the wild. I quite doubt that too much light would be an issue, especially if temps and humidity are okay and the Byblis and Drosera are happy(not fried).

However, do note that in some, ampullaria in particular, a sudden strong increase in light levels can lead to leaves getting burned quite badly, so if the ampullaria was growing in shade all this while, you might want to somehow increase the light levels gradually.

Just my 2 cents.

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all my nep cuttings only seem to burn if exposed to sunlight, not to artificial light. It doesnt matter how high the light levels are from the artificial lights, ive never seen them burn (unless they touch the lamps of course). I think the UV fraction of sunlight causes burns, and artificial lighting virtually has no UV light.

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Hi Manders, et al.

Just curious as to whether your amps show any particularly strong colouring under your high light levels? I have a young, seed-grown plant from the Cyclops Mountains, Papua (1200 mtrs) under two four-foot tubes and the leaves are a persistent, solid, pure deep-red colour. The pitchers are the palest green with just a hint of red spots. Is this red clolouring of the leaves normal, or just the result of the high light levels?

Cheers

Andy

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Hi Manders, et al.

Just curious as to whether your amps show any particularly strong colouring under your high light levels? I have a young, seed-grown plant from the Cyclops Mountains, Papua (1200 mtrs) under two four-foot tubes and the leaves are a persistent, solid, pure deep-red colour. The pitchers are the palest green with just a hint of red spots. Is this red clolouring of the leaves normal, or just the result of the high light levels?

Cheers

Andy

Hi Andy,

The leaves on mine haven't gone red at all under the envirolite but bleached a little where they are too close, otherwise dark green, these are mostly be and mt clones.

I also have a couple of small cyclops mountains amps with green pitchers and small red spots but also green leaves, keeping those under 40w of flourescents though and maybe not the same plants as yours, think the altitude on mine was reported to be 400 m. Got them off ebay a few years ago.

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I have seen the colouration thing with some of my amps from Wistuba (Tayeve, Irian Jaya). As they get past ~20cm diameter they seem to loose the red. Eventually the new leaves tend to have that ephemeral bronze colour before turning green. By contrast a couple of younger plants from BE (Nabire form) have stayed solid green when under the 20 cm mark. Like Mark I have bleached older plants a couple of times with envirolites but they do seem to adapt quickly.

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all my nep cuttings only seem to burn if exposed to sunlight, not to artificial light. It doesnt matter how high the light levels are from the artificial lights, ive never seen them burn (unless they touch the lamps of course). I think the UV fraction of sunlight causes burns, and artificial lighting virtually has no UV light.

Hi Reaper!!! You should try with LED's and you can see how a Nepenthes, even Heliamphora, can be burnt with artificial light. :sun_bespectacled:

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Hi Reaper!!! You should try with LED's and you can see how a Nepenthes, even Heliamphora, can be burnt with artificial light. :sun_bespectacled:

i actually grow must of my nep cuttings under a homemade LED construction with high power CREE Q5 LEDs. Only have 1 plant with a burn spot, but that one touched a LED

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  • 4 months later...

I have a N. Ampullaria 'Brunei red-speckled' from extreme-plants and I've noticed that it doesn't like very high light levels. For a couple of years it didn't make any pitchers (18 W cfl @ 15 cm from the plant + another @ 30 cm). Then suddenly it started to make pitchers to every leaf and the only thing I did was increase the distance from the light. There are several "burn" spots on the leaves also.

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Wow 250 W fluorescent. How many tubes are there or is it one cfl? In my case the light levels seemed to affect the pitcher production although based on your experiences that's not it. Oh and earlier I had the tubes about 5-10 cm from the plant and now at 30 cm.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry for replying to myself but I've done a little more research on the light-levels and type. A while ago I changed the other cfl tube from aquarelle to arcadia original tropical. Within a week, ampullaria pitchers started to dry out - first the hairy "wings" (I can't remember the word for them) and then the whole pitcher. Other nepenthes' pitchers started to dry their lids also. So I changed it back to aquarelle and it seemed to stop the shriveling. The distance from the tubes and the plant is about 30 cm (1 ft).

Since then ampullaria has grown new leaves and pitchers. Again, I decided to change the other aquarelle to Osram Fluora (plant tube). First couple of weeks seemed ok, no shriveling or drying out. But then the most recent pitcher (opened a week ago) started to dry out. The ampullaria is from Borneo, which is a "shaded forest" so could it be that there is just too much light? I know many of you have found out that ampullaria likes high light levels but... Also, the entire time I've had the plant there's been "burn" spots on the leaves. And the weird thing is that the oldest ampullaria pitcher (at least a year old) which is on the ground level is fine and the leaf is without the burn spots. So shade is required?

I also found a thread on another board about the spots and people suggested a few possible causes:

1. over-watering

2. fungal infection

3. wrong kind of soil

4. wrong humidity or temperature

I think over-watering may be the most likely cause because I do water them often so that the soil is always wet. Although there seems to be some connection to the light levels also. What do you think?

Here's some recent pictures:

N_ampullaria_burn1.jpg

N_ampullaria_burn2.jpg

N_ampullaria_burn3.jpg

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