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How do the little guys do it?

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I was wondering those of you that have seen nepenthes in situ, how are the seedlings germinating and reaching maturity in the wild do you think?

 
The reason I ask is because it seems I have to be quite diligent with my tiny seedlings and about every two or three weeks carefully remove any of the various sphagnum mosses and small weeds that may have grown over and crowded the small new seedling. Especially my tiny slow growing ones like the SG macros, villosas, and lowiis. How would these small nep seedlings grow and out compete the surrounding vegetation when they're so slow? Also in the wild they would have a lot larger variety of plants trying to out compete them. Not just the 3-4 different types of moss I have growing around them.
 
Thanks for any input,
Jess 
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Its a numbers game, many germinate but very few reach maturity. Many will be unable to compete with other vegetation and be choked out while some will get lucky and germinate in favorable conditions. We think the mortality rate for seedlings in cultivation is high but its nothing compared to in the wild.

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Which is why I don't agree with the wholesale removal of seeds from the wild, especially on rare species. Every pod counts.

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One thing I would say is that I suspect that nepenthes seeds in the wild are somewhat faster growing. And when they do land on a decent location take rather easily.

I well remember a photo on another forum in Hawaii with seedlings having self sown, germinated and reached a decent size in a shed rain gutter...

In the wild, many nepenthes are opportunistic and colonise ground where not much else grows, cliff faces ec, or are epiphytes and grow faster than other plants due to a carnivorous habit.

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Yeah, I always thought they probably do grow faster in the wild, too. For example, my N. kinabaluensis is almost 4 years old and its barely the size of a quarter. I can't imagine a wild one being that small for that long without some wildlife or weather related happenstance taking the seedling out....

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Yep, thats pretty slow...

I have the same problem with orchids. 1500m up a mountain in the tropics and unshaded light levels are 250,000 Lux. High humidity, low but constant supply of fertiliser in the rain.

You cant reproduce that in our climate for sure, six months of little to no light, put them in the sun after that and theyll burn, or put them in a terrarium with a few measly kLux of an electric light.

And then a lot of people plants neps in nutrient free mixes, spaghnum and the like and then get surprised when they get a boost in growth by adding coffee or some other fertiliser source, i mean duh!. Thats just not how it is in the wild.

Edited by manders

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