N. Spathulata for a new CP grower?


Guest Kazr
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Hello everyone, after reading about carniverous plants on another forum I realized how awesome these plants are and decided I want to grow some for myself. I mean seriously, you would have to be pretty cool to have a bug eating monster in your house. :D

I was going to get a few Drosera (D. Capensis and D. Spathulata to be exact...), and Fly Trap then thought what the heck, why not a Nepenthes too?

So enough about my history, my question is would the N. Spathulata be a decent candidate for a new CP grower? This particular species really caught my eye when I first saw it. And of course any additional information about the species would be very appreciated too.

I have read pretty extensively for about the last 3 days on how to take care of these plants and what they need and am just wondering if this one would be right for me.

Thanks! :D

Your friendly newbie,

kazr

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N. spathulata is a true highland plant. The species is very eye catching indeed and a worth specimen in anyone's collection. If you're just starting off, and since N. spathulata can be moderately priced, I wouldn't recommend it. UNLESS you meet the following requirements:

Temp:50 at night 70 and higher in the day

Humidity: above 70% at all times

Light, soil, water, etc I'm assuming you're OK with those.

I would recommend for a highland plant for you to start off with would be N. maxima (very rewarding) N. ventricosa (cheap and easily grown) N. x ventrata (bombproof) N. sanguinea (easy) N. x Judith Finn (cheap and a pretty cultivar)

But, if you still insist on growing one, in a short while you'll have a plant looking similar to this:

P1212576.sized.jpg

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Guest WildBill

Hello Kazr -

There is a well known CP supplier who also lives in Oregon named Dean Cook of Cook's carnivorous plants. I have ordered from him many times and I'm on the other side of the country in Connecticut. I've have always been pleased by the shipments too. Sometimes he has Neps on sale on Ebay, his ebay name is "flytraps", Eugene Oregon.

I also have been really happy with plants from Tony Paroubek, of Exotic Plants Plus, in NY state. My friend Schloaty got me a N. aristolochiodes from there as a wedding present!!

Do you have a copy of Peter D'Amato's book, The Savage Garden? Maybe your library can get you a copy.

Wild Bill

New England Carnivorous Plant Society

www.NECPS.org

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Watch for Dean Cooks sales on ebay (buying is free). I think he has N. spathulata now. It costs $12.99 unless someone else bid on it. If you have plants to trade Dean will either trade plants or take off a few bucks. His website is www.flytraps.com If you live in a Florida like climate (I think you may) this plant will grow happily outside. You can tell how happy it is by the number of pitchers. The more pitchers the better.

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I hate to do this, but I'd actually disagree with Dustin, I would highly recommend spathulata as an extremely easy to grow species, right up there with ventricosa and sanguinea. In fact, my spathulata (all the one clone from Borneo Exotics) tolerate warmer temperates than most of the varieties of ventricosa and sanguinea I grow. Spathulata also seems to cope with low humidity better than many other highland species.

Hamish

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Hey Hamish, I didn't recommend it to him/her because I just hate to see someone start out with a moderately priced plant and have it die on them. N. spathulata (at least in the US) is not a 'cheap' plant, priced at around $35-50 USD. But, I do agree with you, it has given me no problem and is one of my most vigorously growing plants.

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since you are in his general area i to think you should see what Dean Cook has to offer. i have purchased 3 neps from him so far and have been quite pleased with the quality of his plants. Tony Parobek also has exceptional plants although this time of year may be a bit iffy to ship a plant from New York to Oregon. i know i wouldnt. im basically just getting started in highlands and these are the species i have started with:

veitchii "highland, striped peristrome", i purchased this as a large cutting from an orchid grower outside of Minneapolis MN, took a half hour of convincing and $70 in orchid purchases before he brought out the knife and its a female to boot

bongso, this is an awesome plant. i purchased it from Tony P. even on its fairly young pitchers it has a jet black peristrome and burgandy pitcher

macfarlanei, its taking awhile to settle in but once it does its supposed to be a fairly hardy grower. i purchased this one from Dean Cook a couple months ago along with....

sibuyanensis, supposedly looks like a large ventricosa but IMHO it looks much better from the pictures i have seen. i was told this one would need awhile to settle in but it didnt seem to care and has been growing at a steady rate sice day one.

i was told all these are going to be fairly easy since most come from more intermediate elevations that way up there highlanders. if you like spathulata and are pretty sure you can keep it alive, go for it. the best way to learn is through personal experiance. good luck and happy growing!!!

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Well, I have decided to get the Spathulata. I figure that if I do get some experience with another less expensive plant I won't be able to buy the Spathulata later because of lack of room.

Thanks again for all the responses and help!

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Another good compromise, if you like the look of N. spathulata but are a bit worried about whether you can give it the conditions would by to go for a spathulata based hybrid.

As Dustin said, maxima is a good easy plant so something like a N. spat x max would be great. There were some pictures of this hybrid on the photos forum a bit back (Chesera I think). I also grow this hybrid and would strongly recommend it.

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Khasiana's the real bombproof Nepenthes. It will withstand frosts! Next, i'd recommend sanguinea, ventricosa, and alata as the newbie plants. Maxima, burbidgeae, and fusca have also proved (to me at least) to be valid windowsill candidates. I have also grown macfarlanei, ephippiata, and even a macrophylla on my windowsill. Poor macrophylla, when i moved it in to my greenhouse, it overheated, and it died, so i guess it grew BETTER on my windowsill than in my greenhouse.

Stathulata, i was told at least, is an excellent windowsill grower. I would recommend starting out with a bombproof Nep like khasiana first though, as it is cheaper AND harder to kill. Alata, ventricosa, sanguinea, fusca, burbidgeae, macfarlanei, ephippiata have all fit the cheaper catagory for me too.

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Well today I went around some places getting moss, peat and soil and the long fibered sphagnum I bought doesn't say it is sphagnum on it but the people at Home Depot told me it was. Also I couldn't find any silica sand, but my mom had some sand around the house and I want to see if it is the right kind. Image below. ;)

http://spinolio.hypermart.net/kazr/sandandmoss.jpg

On the moss packaging it says it is Green Moss, and harvested from the north west.

Just making sure because I do not want to end up with dead plants. Thanks!

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From what I understand, Green Moss is lethal to CPs, although North Americans would need to confirm... Also, sand is not a good ingredient for a medium for Nepenthes in cultivation - the medium needs to be loose and airy, which is why sphagnum is so popular.

Hamish

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if your going to look online for the long fibered sphagnum look for New Zealand or Chiliean, its really good stuff. i have no personal experiance with green moss but i wouldnt risk it.

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Silica sand will be almost pure white.

I have been looking locally for coarse pure silica sand for years with no success. The locally-sold sand-blasting sand is silica sand from Monterey, but I find that it is too fine. Anyway, I visited Dean Cook a few weeks ago and noticed he had a dazzling white silica sand. He said it is the sand used in hotel ashtrays and he got it from a janitorial supply. Who woulda thunk it?

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The only silica sand I've been able to find is called Silica Gel, and it is apparently used for dried flowers. Would this be the right stuff to get for Drosera? All my plants arrived today and I have been searching every store I can think of to see if I can buy but all I have been able to find is the gel.

Sorry for all these questions, but I want to get this right. :)

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Kazr, I find LFS in the Home Depot near me...Yours might just have been temporarily out. If you do go back to HD, look for a clear bag of light tan colored dried moss. And it WILL say spagnum moss on the bag.

as for easy highlanders, well, I agree with what most people above have said... I would like to add, though, that you may want to concider N. spectabilis. This plant rocks. I've only had it for a few weeks, and have two new pitchers. Just a beautiful and rewarding plant. Mine is growing in a tank, though, and I haven't experimented with it's hardiness. Someone else would have to comment on that.

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The only silica sand I've been able to find is called Silica Gel

Silica gel isn't sand as such, but a powerful drying agent used for sucking moisture out of things. You find little sachets of it when you buy electrical equipment, with the sensible warning 'Do Not Eat'.

Avoid. :x

Steve

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