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6 year old 4 foot tall Ventrata. Looking for advice

Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
I have had a Nepenthese Ventrata for 6 years now. For several years it struggles and didn't grow much. It started vining a few year ago, and a year ago I trimmed off some tiny sucker vines and some dying yellowed ones, and it took off. It has 3 vines, the tallest is 4 feet. I have it propped up on a makeshift trellis made of bamboo skewers bound with twist ties lol! It still only produced a few pitchers (like 4) and 3 are half dried up after a few months.
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I live in Minnesota, and though we get humid weather in the summer it gets really nasty so we use the AC a lot. Humidity usually in the 50's. Over the winter it can get down to around 35% though.

I have it planted in a mix of perlite, sphagnum moss, and orchid bark.

First off, short of putting it in its own tank or room what can I do to help it grow more pitchers rather than the tips just shriveling up. Secondly, is it okay to let it vine out like I have? Thirdly, if letting it vine like I have is ok, can I get suggestions on how to manage the vine? Can anyone recommend some sort of trellis, and provide tips on how to train the vine without hurting it? Lastly, post up any other suggestions on plant care that I missed that might help please.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
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If its not pitchering, odds are the humidity is too low, but it also looks like a plant that is starved for light. Low light = no pitchers.
 

ErrorEN

Your Real Mom
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
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408
Location
Morgantown, WV
What direction is that window facing? And has it ever been repotted while it's been in your possession? I somehow doubt low humidity is the case, when I lived in bone-dry Anaheim,CA I had a ventrata that was pitchering like it was going out of style.
 
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
207
Mist it once a day, as well as increase light. I had a maxima that refused to pitcher even in the humid CT summers, but once it started getting misted it went nuts and grew all of the tiny could have been pitchers into full sized(for a a baby, it's bigger now) pitchers.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
Light is absolute max. South facing window gets lots of sun. Picture was taken in the evening. At times I had to move it into less sun in the past as it got sunburned.

I haven't repotted it in years. I was always told that they only use their roots for taking up water so I didn't think I had to worry about nutrient depletion.

I also thought I should add that it has always produced very few pitchers. This past year it has done a lot better than it ever has. I think maybe it's finally adapting? I also put it outside on nice days from time to time to eat. I put it on a metal table on concrete to reduce the number of crawling bugs that might come along, and also the water tray makes a good moat. I shake it down and check the top moss layer before bringing it in and no bugs have been brought in yet, and it doesn't have any infestations. A few years ago it fought off a few recurring red spider mite infestations with the help of some neem oil. My parent's Hawaiian Ti tree plant was harboring them. Finally killed then all off 2 years ago.
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2015
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Most neps don't like tray method they like their soil on the dryer side of damp. But that's my experience atleast. It may be the light maybe u could suppliment witg artificial light like a cfl light system. Misting would help greatly and you may wanna keep it outside if your able to cause moving it around may be giving it a hard time acclimating to where it is. U may wanna check on the fluid inside of the pitchers it does have and maybe fill them up a little bit if they are empty or low and toss a few bugs in their to help it get some energy from food if it isn't catching much of its own prey. I'm sure others will have good information for you as well all i can do is share what i do :) Goodluck
 
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Also u can try snipping the vine and potting the cutting up to root and they will basal off into new plants. And the main vine will produce more offsets aswell. Usually you chop 2 to 3 leaf nodes Down for a cutting.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
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My ventrata started pitchering like crazy once I started spraying/misting it by hand every evening before I go to bed. I'd start with that. Just soak it with clean water from top (or as high as you can reach, looks pretty tall) to bottom and keep it up for a few weeks. See what happens.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
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Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
So, should I cut down that really tall vine? Would that get it to put out more basal leaves. From my experience trimming vines didn't produce more basals. The only growth I ever seem to get on this plant is vines with long gaps between leaves. It seems most plants I see on here are not long vines and the leaves are clustered together rather than spead out along a vine.

Also, it has only been outside 3 to 5 times over this past summer, not very often. A few times earlier in the summer when it was in the 70's, and yesterday with it in the 70's. (was hoping it might catch some yellow jackets. )
 
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Jun 12, 2015
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Yours are spaced apart not due to "vining" prob because lack of light. They grow more compact with better light. Some will eventually vine and produce upper pitchers in time but i think yours is light starved not actually vining to produce uppers which could explain why your basals are turning into vines instead of compact growth. But that's my guess.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
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Isanti, MN U.S.A
Okay, well I am moving out in a few days. Been living with my parents until I finish college, but just got a paid internship to hire position. I will be living with my sister and brother in law until I get an apartment. My sister has a big south facing bay window, and I will try to get an apartment with a south facing window. Once I have my own place I can start supplementing my plant's light. I have used daylight CFLs in the past. Is there any LED bulbs that are good for growing yet? Also, it has been in that pot for 6 years. Should I repot it?
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
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And if the pitchers aren't newer or filled with fluid or producing their sap to attract bugs they prob won't catch them especially if they are old dried up dying off pitchers that are all crinkley and whatnot at the lid and the perisome (atleast thats what's happened in my experience), do u have a photo of the pitchers? Try feeding them yourself with some flies or ants and make sure theirs fluid In the bottom of the pitchers to trap and drowned their prey cause if their to dry they'll just crawl out..
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
And if the pitchers aren't newer or filled with fluid or producing their sap to attract bugs they prob won't catch them especially if they are old dried up dying off pitchers that are all crinkley and whatnot at the lid and the perisome (atleast thats what's happened in my experience), do u have a photo of the pitchers? Try feeding them yourself with some flies or ants and make sure theirs fluid In the bottom of the pitchers to trap and drowned their prey cause if their to dry they'll just crawl out..
All but I pitcher has the top half dried up and crinkled, but they are 4 or 5 months old. The youngest one is still good. All have liquid and it ate a box elder bug I wounded and fed it a couple months ago after it tried hitching a ride into my house, and it eats gnats that come through the window screen (not fungus gnats. I know about those buggers and how to prevent them).

It almost caught a paper wasp but it caught one leg on something by chance and pulled itself out. It does seem like the rim of the pitcher isn't as slippery as I would think it should be. Seen a few bugs walk on them when the pitchers were still in their prime and not slip a bit.
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2015
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You could repot it, check the roots see what's going on down their could be not draining well enough or too moist..etc..etc..
A mix of sphagnum, orchid bark/wood chips, perlite free of chemicals/fertilizers would work well. Try a orchid pot and suppliment with a 250 watt CFL bulb in a lamp for a while just put it anywhere my neps like strong indirect sun light. But my HLs in my tank dont mind the straight on cfl light that's on them. Mist yr plant every so often and water when soil seems too dry the sphag should help u kno when to water by the way it looks. Also id chop back the vines 2 to 3 leaf nodes per cutting and snip the bottom leaves on the cuttings in half

Like this: (top of vine) >---\---\-- (bottom of cutting) sorry crappy diagram and the middle cuttings you take can aswell, the top cutting will grow as a new plant the middle cuttings sections will produce basals between the leaf nodes(looks like you could take about 7 or so cuttings of the main vine) and pot the cuttings up in sphagnum moss and bag them up and in a few weeks they'll root. The original plant will basal out between the remaining leaf nodes and stem on its stalk.
 

SubRosa

BS Bulldozer
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Apr 11, 2013
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There are lots of people here with considerable experience growing Nepenthes. I would suggest a bit of research into the posts of someone offering advice. By clicking on the name of the person posting, a drop down gives you the ability to see all of the posts a person has made. Much can be learned about a person's abilities in this manner. I would strongly suggest you do this before making any irreparable changes to your plant.
 
Joined
May 1, 2014
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I'd repot it. They don't use their roots for taking up nutrients usually(looking at you, N ventricosa that eats fertilizer) but it's good to make sure the roots are well aerated and well drained.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
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Location
Isanti, MN U.S.A
There are lots of people here with considerable experience growing Nepenthes. I would suggest a bit of research into the posts of someone offering advice. By clicking on the name of the person posting, a drop down gives you the ability to see all of the posts a person has made. Much can be learned about a person's abilities in this manner. I would strongly suggest you do this before making any irreparable changes to your plant.
Yeah, I will do more reading before chopping the vine. I have cut it down in the past when certain vines were dying ( from damage from that spider mite infestation ). I find using a sharp shear only used for soft material works well, as well as wiping the blade with rubbing alcohol before cutting, as well as swabbing the stem around where the cut will be made. Haven't had any troubles using that method. First figured that out when making and rooting cuttings of a "lucky bamboo " (actually a dracenia) plant of mine. That one you have to pluck most of the leaves and root it in water. The tip kept getting infected as well as around where I plucked the leaves and scraped the stem with my fingernail. The above sanitation procedure along with swabbing the scrapea with rubbing alcohol solved the issue and the rubbing alcohol didn't bother the plant.

Also, good idea to research poster's past post as most threads seem to be about pics and other unhelpful (to me) things. Maybe we should have a sticky with a directory of links on nep care.
 
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Joined
Dec 25, 2014
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New Jersey, US
I'd repot it. They don't use their roots for taking up nutrients usually(looking at you, N ventricosa that eats fertilizer) but it's good to make sure the roots are well aerated and well drained.

I must disagree. I've fertilized my Nepenthes solely through the media to very noticeable and dramatic results. Nepenthes roots are far more tolerant of higher nutrient levels than most other CPs, and people have proved time and time again that the roots do provide a significant venue in which the plants assimilate nutrients - just look at seasoned growers who regularly feed their plants through the roots to superior results, or even people like Siegfried Hartmeyer who actually mix Osmocote into the media itself.
 
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Jun 12, 2015
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U can try swabing the cut areas with sulfur powder that will help kill infection and help the area stay sterilized for the most part, if and when u decide to cut the vine down to make cuttings. I would deff do some research before and after involving anything with your plant this site is a great place for gaining and sharing knowledge :)
 
Joined
May 1, 2014
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I must disagree. I've fertilized my Nepenthes solely through the media to very noticeable and dramatic results. Nepenthes roots are far more tolerant of higher nutrient levels than most other CPs, and people have proved time and time again that the roots do provide a significant venue in which the plants assimilate nutrients - just look at seasoned growers who regularly feed their plants through the roots to superior results, or even people like Siegfried Hartmeyer who actually mix Osmocote into the media itself.

The fertilizer it eats isn't Osmocote or anything. It's hyper concentrated fertilizer meant for peppers that has a residue on the ground, and the plant puts roots out the bottom of the pot to get to it. That being said, while they can take up nutrients through the roots, I haven't seen it be necessary as long as they get food the normal way.
 
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