Nepenthes spectabilis 'giant form' rehabilitation.


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This is the proud plant my N. spectabilis 'giant' once was:

 

specabilisgiantold.jpg

 

This is my N. spectabilis 'giant' in its current, less spectacular state.

 

spectabilisgiantrehab.jpg

 

I had to trim it down for transportation, I really had no other choice. It shocked for a while, maybe 2 months, and failed one grow point when it was about 3mm long, but I think the second grow point it is starting is going to take. It had been growing in its pot since about 2010 and had about 5+ feet of vine when it was trimmed, and I think I left more than enough plant to let it get reestablished.

 

As of this month I have started foliar feeding it with Maxsea 16-16-16 via a spray bottle at 1/8 tsp per gallon concentration. I was going to let it go au-naturale (as i normally do with all my Neps, at least if they are healthy), but after it failed the first small grow point right after breaking the surface, i decided to help it out some. However, it did fail the first grow point during the period it should have been in shock, so i'm questioning whether or not I need the foliar feed.

 

That's about the whole story. I've got it to pitcher successfully in roughly the conditions I have it in, so I believe I should be able to bring it back to its former glory.

 

I'm guessing I shouldn't expect any pitchers for a minimum of a year or more...

 

Anyone have any input they feel like bestowing upon me, or am I actually doing a decent job of rehabilitating this guy?

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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One of the problems may be the water... they don't like to be sitting in water  as it can cause root rot.

Also, the growing medium don't seem to be adequate, but you should wait somebody else's opinions regarding it...

Hope it gets better...
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One of the problems may be the water... they don't like to be sitting in water  as it can cause root rot.
Also, the growing medium don't seem to be adequate, but you should wait somebody else's opinions regarding it...
Hope it gets better...

 

All my plants have been acclimated to the standing water over the last four years or so as I often have to go out of town for a day or two. They've been growing in my care and pitchering without root rot for that amount of time without any trouble. I also have pretty low humidity here, so the extra water actually seems to help mine out. The soil is just whatever it came from stock from California Carnivores, and I replanted it in one big chunk into pure LFS. It's just been in that pot for a long time so dust and what not has settled on it (my place is really dusty, it's old... lol). Since my plant has been acclimated to that amount of water, I feel like it would be a bad idea to lower the water level while it's in recovery. The pic may be deceiving, I always keep the amount of water in there under 1/2" and let it go almost completely dry before watering. My N. truncata 'pasian' and my N. ventricosa, as well as my N. sanguinea 'pink' have responded well to this kind of treatment for quite some time, so I don't think it should be too much of a problem.

 

I can already see a new growth node sprouting though, it's got a clear foothold started, so I think this guy is gonna make it back to its former level of glory. Thanks for the input!

 

Edit - apologies for photo quality but here's the new node that is starting! :D

spectabilisgiantnode.jpg

Edit 2 - On the vine in back you can see the original failed growth node if you look carefully.

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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Hi,

 

Maeros is right. If the soil is always water soaked like a sponge then it's not good and the roots will rot.

If you still want to keep the saucer method, use a more opened medium - add more perlite - and allow the soil to dry sometimes.

It works for me for the windowsill Neps, the water does not stand for more than a day and the soil gets dry in between waterings (once a week)

 

Greetings,

Fabrice

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its amazing how long Nepenthes will struggle to survive in less than ideal conditions. They can survive for long periods with no roots whatsoever.

I suspect its too wet, not got enough light and the temperatures are a bit off. Some more info would help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow, I did this months cycle of foliar feeds and that new growth point I posted earlier failed. I lowered the water levels a little for the N. spectabilis 'giant', but that isn't helping.

 

My plan is to stabilize it and stop foliar feeds. My other purebreds and hybrids react well to the regimen as recommended by Peter over at California Carnivores so I thought continuing it would be okay.

 

It still has some vine on it and the roots have not been disturbed further. I'll get a decent picture up soon I just don't have a decent camera at the moment.

 

My Nepenthes are as follows (all from left to right):
The back rowt: N. spectabilis 'giant', N. ventricosa N. truncata 'Pasian highland'.
Front left trayt: N. singalana 'belirang', N. spatulata x ramispina, N. sanguinea 'pink'.

Middle tray back is a N. veitchii X platychila, and a N. burkei x hamata in the back which are both pitchering, in the front are N. maxima (the clone formerly sold as N. eymae) and a N. Rajah x mira.

Front right tray is a N. glandulifera x burbidgeae and a N. stenophylla, both of which seem to be doing well.

 

Out of all of these, the N. ventricosa, N. truncata, N. sanguinea, N. veitchii X platychila, N. burkei x hamata, and N. glandulifera x burbidgeae are all pitcerhing. The N. stenophylla and N. rajah x mira, and N. singalana 'belirang' are too early to tell but seem okay and are growing.

I'd like to emphasize that these pictures kind of exaggerate the amount of water these are in and that they have pitchered in those kind of conditions before, so I really don't think they are too wet..

 

I can't do much about the light levels. It might not be enough to get full coloration out of all of them but it's enough to make them pitcher, and it's enough to get some sundews (not in picture, they're over to the left) all dewey.

 

I don't know what do do at this point. :/

Nepenthessetupfull.jpg

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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Okay. I have an another light  I'll set up today. I was iffy about changing the water levels because it had pitchered in the same relative levels of water before and I thought it would put it through addional shock, but if you guys say so then I'll lower them.

 

nepenthessetupfull2.jpg
Okay, I added another light. It's kind of a jerry-rigged setup but it'll do. And from now on i'll keep the water levels lower for my Neps. And I'll stop doing the foliar feeds on the N. spectabilis 'giant', but the other Nepenthes are responding well to it so I'll keep that up.

 

I... think It'll be ok? I just hope that the N. spectabilis 'giant' isn't too far gone to salvage. All my other plants have responded well to the conditions they're in thus far so the extra light should be good for all of them.

 

I can't really get rid of the water trays because my set up is pretty open, but still indoors, so when i water it can get everywhere when it comes out of the bottom. I'll leave it on the drier side though.

 

Edit - Over on the left side there are some sundews, a bladderwort and a butterwort but... we're not talking about those little guys. They seem to be fine so far and the added light won't be bad for them.

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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I can't really get rid of the water trays because my set up is pretty open, but still indoors, so when i water it can get everywhere when it comes out of the bottom. I'll leave it on the drier side though.

I can totally understand that, but it shouldn't be a brick wall. When i was growing my nepenthes on a bathroom windowsill last year, i stood all my pots in trays (you have to really) but it doesn't mean the plants have to sit in water 24/7. I would top water the pot until the tray below was full and leave for a few minutes for the media to soak it up. Then empty the water tray out completely and replace the pot. I only did this once a week and my plants romped. Additionally, i gave them a light foliar misting with Orchid Myst once a month. Top watering flushes salts and minerals out, whereas the tray method sucks them up. Basic information i know, but i still can't understand why you're not doing all the common recommendations.

I also think the mix in that pot looks too compacted and could do with a fresh 'looser' mix. Spectabilis is obviously not at all happy so something has to be done. At least change the mix and leave this pot out of water for a while, even if you insist on leaving all your other plants that aren't suffering in water. But if you aren't going to make any drastic changes to that pot, then i suppose you can't expect the plant to change either. I don't know what else to say to you.

Edited by Welshy
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I can totally understand that, but it shouldn't be a brick wall. When i was growing my nepenthes on a bathroom windowsill last year, i stood all my pots in trays (you have to really) but it doesn't mean the plants have to sit in water 24/7. I would top water the pot until the tray below was full and leave for a few minutes for the media to soak it up. Then empty the water tray out completely and replace the pot. I only did this once a week and my plants romped. Additionally, i gave them a light foliar misting with Orchid Myst once a month. Top watering flushes salts and minerals out, whereas the tray method sucks them up. Basic information i know, but i still can't understand why you're not doing all the common recommendations.

I also think the mix in that pot looks too compacted and could do with a fresh 'looser' mix. Spectabilis is obviously not at all happy so something has to be done. At least change the mix and leave this pot out of water for a while, even if you insist on leaving all your other plants that aren't suffering in water. But if you aren't going to make any drastic changes to spectabilis, then i suppose you can't expect the plant to change either. I don't know what else to say to you.

Alright, I get it. Everyone here is hounding me about the water levels, but I'm telling you guys the pictures are exaggerating how wet they actually are. When I water them, I water it so water just barely starts coming out the bottom, and then let the tray go dry for about a day or two before watering again. I'm keeping it drier now and Peter over at California Carnivores said to stop doing the feeds for the N. spectabilis 'giant' (the others are reacting well to that foliar feed regimen so I don't see any reason to discontinue it).

 

I have it set up with higher light levels, so that problem is solved.

 

As for repotting it? Yeah I understand that it would do better with some more soil aeration, and more perlite / orchid bark mixed in, but in the ultra-fragile state it's in I'm completely sure disturbing the roots is the last thing it needs.

 

So my plan of action: Reduced water levels - check. Higher light levels - check. Repotting - I think I'm gonna have to say no check, I really think its too fragile for that and i don't wanna beat this poor thing up further, and no more foliar feeds for the N. spectabilis 'giant'.

 

It was starting to do better though, but I think the second round of monthly light foliar feeds was that straw that broke the camel's back, so no more of that. It responded okay to the first feed, and perked up a bit, but the second one damaged it.

 

Sound like a plan? If you guys really think I should repot it, I'll take that chance, but I don't think it can handle the extra stress of a root disturbance, not right now anyway. If it makes it through this crucial point, I'll re-pot it with some more perlite/ orchid bark.

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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I doubt the spectabils will do well without good strong natural light and some sunlight. Mine used to be in a conservatory and grew really badly, it only perked up after it was placed in a greenhouse with access to very good light.

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Unfortunately good natural light isn't really an option for the type of setup I have. I have a deck outdoors where I grow some Sarracenias, Dionaea, and some hardy Droseras, but we get too cold temperature drops to keep Nepenthes outdoors.

 

For reference, my 2 foot fluorescent bars (the one on the left) are 24 watt, and my 4 foot bars are 54 watt. I added another one of the 4 foot bars (a 54 watt) to the setup, and have an additional 4 foot 54 watt bar in storage if need be.

 

I did a very rough calculation based on some fuzzy math (it's been a while since I've taken a math class, and it's 2:30 AM here, heh), but it seems like I should have roughly 2/3 more light in that setup.

 

I am keeping my N. spectabilis 'giant' drier, along with my other Nepenthes as well (despite the fact that the very low levels of standing water haven't bothered them much and I have gotten pitchers out of them before in those conditions, I might as well follow suit and treat the others the same way).

 

And as I said I am discontinuing foliar feeds on the N. spectabilis 'giant'. The first one helped it spectacularly, then the second one a month later managed to way overfeed it. If I had given it more light earlier, and only done the one foliar feed, I think it would have fared much much better.

 

For now, I think I have some healthy vine left on the plant. Time to wait and pray. If it manages to recover at this point I'll transfer it to a lighter media, but right now I really think it's too fragile...

Edit - Yeah, we recently had a bad heat wave here (at the worst possible time, too), and even though I only did two foliar feeds the second one hurt it badly, despite being helped tremendously by the first. Even though I fixed the water and light levels, things aren't looking especially hopeful for my N. spectabilis 'giant'. I thought I knew how to keep it happy since I had gotten really nice looking, well-formed pitchers out of it in the past with basically identical conditions, but the most recent growth point failed and some more of the vine died off. I guess it was too little too late, and I'll just take this as a lesson for the future. It has about 6 inches of vine left, and one more node that MIGHT sprout if I keep it stable, but that is probably the absolute last shot this plant has at survival. Thanks for your help guys!

Edited by NepXGorgicus
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