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Hello

 

I am wondering what is the best and easiest way to grow Nepenthes cuttings in water and I am also trying to find a post I once saw on a forum about rooting Nepenthes cuttings in water where Polystyrene was also used to help prop them up.  Have you seen it or do you know where it is?

I think the only practical way to grow them in water would be to have a lot of them in the one tray of water and have the cuttings fairly close together with perhaps an inch between them.  Do you think this would be all right?  I just hope it will not spread disease between them.  The tray could contain about 50 cuttings.  I had them in separate containers before but it is more time consuming to maintain the water levels.  I did read that the water needed to be changed often but this is not practical and I cannot see why it would be necessary so long as algae is prevented.  I did have that problem.  However, this time I will try to stop light getting in which the Polystyrene should do.

Also,  I wonder if it would matter if the base of the cutting rests on the bottom of the container or if it would be better suspended above it?

Regards Richard. 

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I might suggest an alternative which I find a bit simpler, which is to use a gravel tray of wet live sphagnum, no algae, no need to change the water and the cuttings can be simply inserted into the spaghnum. I don't like planting permanently in live spaghnum but rooting seems to work great.

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Hello

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  Sphagnum is expensive.  I do use it on many of my cuttings where I wrap some around the cutting and pot in peat and perlite in 3 inch tubes.  I have dozens of Ventrata cuttings that will take up a lot of room if I do this and it may not be worth using Sphagnum for them.  Also, I wonder if a cutting dies in Sphagnum, can the Sphagnum be used soon after for another cutting or could the dead cutting spread fungi or bacteria in it?

 

I heard people use water and they say it works well and it may work out easier if it does not have to changed much, so I thought I would try that as well.

Regards Richard

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I have a Maxima X Sibuyanensis that has vined out some six feet, and I was going to try the arial layering technique where you make a cut in the stem then wrap a ball of live sphagnum around it, held in place with string or a cut up plastic bag. 2 - 4 months later there will be a root system that allows the stem to be cut below the original cut and planted.

 

Cheers

 

Les

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Richard, live spaghnum is pretty easy to grow and spreads quite easily, just keep it wet in a tray.  I started of with a small portion and a few years later have several trays of it.  I dont worry about cuttings rotting, most dont in live spaghnum, but the few that do dont seem to spread anything through the sphag to other cuttings.  In fact i tend to think the spagh may have some anit-bacterial quality or maybe just the acidic water inhibits some funguses/bacteria.

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Richard, live spaghnum is pretty easy to grow and spreads quite easily, just keep it wet in a tray.  I started of with a small portion and a few years later have several trays of it.  I dont worry about cuttings rotting, most dont in live spaghnum, but the few that do dont seem to spread anything through the sphag to other cuttings.  In fact i tend to think the spagh may have some anit-bacterial quality or maybe just the acidic water inhibits some funguses/bacteria.

Don't want to side track off the main point of this thread, but I'm interested in what you do to your sphagnum. I have a washing up bowl (never used for washing up by the way!) full of the stuff, which I keep about 1-2" of water in the bottom. It's sitting in my greenhouse, but it doesn't seem to grow. I take bits as I need them, but I haven't seen any real growth.

Any tips? Thanks

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I have seed trays with a bit of peat at the bottom then scatter chopped sphagnum on it, then put them on the floor under the shelving my nepenthes and sarracenia seedlings are on. The water drips through onto the tray, and the sphagnum just grows. It does prefer the cooler temperatures though, and partial shade is better to prevent it bleaching.

Les

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Yep, pretty much as Les says. Although I suspect Manchester may have less sun than Melbourne, so here I find it grows a bit faster with good light or even some direct sun. A spray with very very dilute fertiliser can help occasionally. Other than that just kept it very wet. Don't expect bamboo style growth rates but in a year or two it should fill out a few trays which I find more than enough.

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Yep, pretty much as Les says. Although I suspect Manchester may have less sun than Melbourne, so here I find it grows a bit faster with good light or even some direct sun. A spray with very very dilute fertiliser can help occasionally. Other than that just kept it very wet. Don't expect bamboo style growth rates but in a year or two it should fill out a few trays which I find more than enough. High humidity helps.

26612259820_596c64b5c0_z.jpg

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I have seed trays with a bit of peat at the bottom then scatter chopped sphagnum on it, then put them on the floor under the shelving my nepenthes and sarracenia seedlings are on. The water drips through onto the tray, and the sphagnum just grows. It does prefer the cooler temperatures though, and partial shade is better to prevent it bleaching.

The red stuff I have is looking fairly pale. I don't know if it's bleached (unlikely in Manchester as manders pointed out), or just not doing well. The green stuff has gone a very dark colour, which also doesn't look too good.

 

Yep, pretty much as Les says. Although I suspect Manchester may have less sun than Melbourne, so here I find it grows a bit faster with good light or even some direct sun. A spray with very very dilute fertiliser can help occasionally. Other than that just kept it very wet. Don't expect bamboo style growth rates but in a year or two it should fill out a few trays which I find more than enough.

How do you define keeping it very wet? I have been keeping an inch or two of water at the bottom, and spraying the top to stop it drying out. That's without the peat of of course. Do I need to do anything more to keep it wet?

 

Thanks to both of you. I'll try putting some on top of peat and see if it makes any difference.

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Hi

I was informed sphagnum needs acid conditions to grow well after I told a friend how I unsuccessfully tried to grow it by hanging it in the greenhouse on some gutter guard.  I thought this would be an idea to save space as I thought it would grow on both sides of the gutter guard.  So I think it would need something like peat moss under it.  Also, some sphagnum is dead when you buy it and does not grow.

It will take time to grow enough so in the mean time so I thought I could try something else like striking cuttings in water.  However, I read that the water needs to be changed often and this would be time consuming so I wonder if there is something that could be added to the water or if pure water could be used so it would not have to be changed often. Algae should not grow if I could stop the light entering the water.  I wonder if a fish tank aerator blowing bubbles in the water would save having to change the water?

Regards Richard.

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Yes an inch or two of water works. I don't have peat underneath mind but I might try that next time.

Interesting, sounds like you're doing something similar to me. I wonder why mine isn't growing?

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So I think it would need something like peat moss under it. 

Seem to be different opinions. Going to try some with peat and see how it compares.

 

Also, some sphagnum is dead when you buy it and does not grow.

This was definitely live  :sarcastic_hand:

 

However, I read that the water needs to be changed often and this would be time consuming so I wonder if there is something that could be added to the water or if pure water could be used so it would not have to be changed often. Algae should not grow if I could stop the light entering the water.  I wonder if a fish tank aerator blowing bubbles in the water would save having to change the water?

I've not had any problems with algae or the like. Sometimes the water smells slightly, but not much. Other than that, I find the water evaporates before anything else happens to it.

Hi

I was informed sphagnum needs acid conditions to grow well after I told a friend how I unsuccessfully tried to grow it by hanging it in the greenhouse on some gutter guard.  I thought this would be an idea to save space as I thought it would grow on both sides of the gutter guard.  So I think it would need something like peat moss under it.  Also, some sphagnum is dead when you buy it and does not grow.

It will take time to grow enough so in the mean time so I thought I could try something else like striking cuttings in water.  However, I read that the water needs to be changed often and this would be time consuming so I wonder if there is something that could be added to the water or if pure water could be used so it would not have to be changed often. Algae should not grow if I could stop the light entering the water.  I wonder if a fish tank aerator blowing bubbles in the water would save having to change the water?

Regards Richard.

 

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Hi

When striking cuttings in water, how long have you been able to leave the water go without changing to fresh water while still getting a good strike?   I read it should be changed about once a week but this is not really practical.  I wonder if anyone has managed to get a good strike if they only change it every couple of months or not at all perhaps by using a method like i suggested in my last post.  In a terrarium it would take a long time to evaporate and would rarely need topping up.

Regards Richard.

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Bubbling air through the water should work very well and stop it getting anaerobic, this is the basis of some hydroponic methods, roots can stay wet permanently provided they have plenty of oxygen. No oxygen kills the roots on many species.

btw hanging spaghnum up probably wont work, most species of spaghnum are either bog plants or grow in places with essentially 100% humidity and lots of rain.

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Hi

 

I wonder if the bubbler will aireate all the tray of water if it is a shallow tray.  Perhaps it may need to bubble in a few places in the tray and also do you think that such a set up would save having to ever change the water until the cuttings strike?

 

Regards Richard.

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I don't have any water at the bottom, it just runs out through the holes in the tray, so the Sphagnum stays wet but not soggy.

 

As for using it for air layering, the advantage is that the air can circulate around the cut, and the sphagnum keeps it moist enough for the roots to grow.

 

Cheers

 

Les

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Yep, pretty much as Les says. Although I suspect Manchester may have less sun than Melbourne, so here I find it grows a bit faster with good light or even some direct sun. A spray with very very dilute fertiliser can help occasionally. Other than that just kept it very wet. Don't expect bamboo style growth rates but in a year or two it should fill out a few trays which I find more than enough. High humidity helps.26612259820_596c64b5c0_z.jpg

Your sphagnum is definitely more bushy tham mine, yours looks more like a cushion whereas my trays full are longer more straggly looking. I assume that this is due to the fact that the sphagnum I have is the New Zealand type. It also never blushes red like other types

Les

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Here's some of my sphagnum trays, with Utricularia Reniformis growing in some of it. It looks bushier in the photo than in real life, also note the bleached out tips which are a combination of it drying plus the sun.

 

20160514_075909_zpswop3wuw4.jpg

Edited by lesthegringo
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I have several types of sphag, but I do notice no matter which type it is the places that get less light the sphag is less dense and bushy and grows more open and stringy, almost like its etiolated. If I try and move it from low light to higher light directly, it just bleaches and dies. I have to slowly acclimate it to the brighter light to get it to grow dense and bushy.

 

When I do cutting I too prefer the live sphag method as its essentially maintenance free. I just stick the cutting in there are wait for it to grow. If I have enough live sphag on hand I'll just pot it up in whatever pot I plan to have the plant in long term and set it aside and let it do its thing. The problem I've had with the cup of water method is remembering to change the water. Even when keeping the water fresh I've still  lost some cuttings to rot however.

Edited by Flip_Side_the_Pint
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