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Any advice on rescuing Nepenthes ampullaria x ventricosa?

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Oct 14, 2019
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I'm no stranger to carnivores (a few drosera, sarracenia, one pinguicula), but have only had a few N.alata. This new nepenthese has been in a slow decline for a few months. I'd be grateful for any advice to help print her back to life.

Got this hybrid Nepenthes ampullaria x ventricosa from a local vendor. It was unfortunately planted in straight ground peat. So I replanted it in a 1:1:1 blend of perlite/orchid bark/promix. When I transplanted it the rootball looked like it had not even grown out past the cutting plug. It is in an african violet pot with a few holes drilled into the internal chamber for bottom watering. I use strictly R/O water, and it gets misted once a day, maintaining a 70%-80% ambient humidity. It is under a custom made LED full spectrum rig. Supplying a 380-640nm curve, with roughly 4755lux to this specific plant, on a 16/8 cycle. No nutrients, but I did innoculate it with wide a wide endomycorrhizae selection during transplant.

I know it started out living a rough life, but in my growroom it should have bounced back by now. Instead it appears to be declining further. I have to be doing something wrong. Anyone have any ideas?
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If by promix you mean this stuff: https://www.greenhousemegastore.com...KZX14ARzA3u5nWKN2xlnUd0XRcBcgXloaAjLIEALw_wcB it has fertilizers in it and that's bad. Even peat and perlite would be better than that if it's all you have. I would report it immediately into appropriate media.
Sorry I should have been more specific. It's premier's commercial sterile medium. I swiped it from work, we run a rinse-TDS, and an EC through each batch we get in. The only unknown variable in my substrate mix is the orchid bark. It was purchased from a big box store.

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... although that wouldn't indicate any insoluble additives. [MENTION=5846]adnedarn[/MENTION] is that what you are referring to? I can try to swap it out for a perlite/bark/peat blend. Poor girls been repotted so many times. Is that the only thing that jumps out at you?

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adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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Hello,
I was just going by the fact that the one said specifically it had fertilizer and fed for 3months. If yours doesn't have that I wouldn't worry about repotting. Lack of roots growth for me tends to be because it's kept too wet. You media LOOKS like it's pretty dense and holds a lot of water. If you top water how long does it take for water to start coming out the bottom? And how long does it continue to drip for? The water should flow through the pot pretty quickly. Lowland and intermediate Neps seem to be a bit more tolerant in this aspect than highland or ultra highland, but in a plant that is already having root growth issues, I would be very mindful of how wet the media is staying. I also would skip the daily spraying, it really doesn't serve a purpose to raise the humidity high once a day only to have it drop down the rest of the day.


I just tried again to find your product and found "premier's promix with mycorrhizae" Is this what you're using? (If not can you please find a link to it?) https://www.pthorticulture.com/en/products/pro-mix-hpcc-mycorrhizae/#tab:product-specification

This product is 65-75% peat, and some chunk coir in it, some coir but they claim it's been rinsed to a very low salt level, some perlite, wetting agent, and mycorrhizae. I'm not sure the wetting agent is ok for CPs or not, but the part that concerns me is the limestone added to adjust the PH. I would think adjusting the PH out of the natural acidic levels of peat moss and such would not be ideal. I've never attempted it so I'm not sure what it would do to a plant... But from what I see there if that is the media you're using, I would definitely get it transplanted to a traditional mix.
 
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[MENTION=5846]adnedarn[/MENTION] it's not something that can be found online. It's a custom blend that we get in by the pallet. I'm working for a wetland conservation firm. It's a mix that we use for sensitive cutting propagation and seed germination. When I water this nepenthes, it flows right through. I think it looks dark in the photo because there is bit of cyano forming on the surface. But this blend is pretty airy. Is it possible that bottom watering is causing the over saturation? I usually let it soak in the pot for a bit.

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I'll run a rinse pH check on it today and see what it is at.

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bluemax

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For what it's worth, because I'm not known as a Nepenthes grower - When in doubt I often repot plants that aren't doing well. If the soil is suspect I place them in medium that is tried and true and look for improvement. And in total desperation, I have many times saved plants by putting them into new soil. 'Just my thoughts.
 
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Well. After a few painstaking EC tests I figured it out. (I think) It was the perlite of all things! It has really high salt levels. Not sure how, but it must have nutrients in it.

Thank you so much for the assist [MENTION=5846]adnedarn[/MENTION] and [MENTION=8617]bluemax[/MENTION]

I've got them soaking in distilled water to leech out any residuals, then I'll repot them up into a sterile medium. Out of curiosity has anyone had any success using a clay pebble blend? Like a peat/clay or coir/clay? I only ask because I have 2 yards of it laying around.



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bluemax

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I've no experience with clay pebble blends but I do know of an accomplished grower who never uses perlite due to it often having high salt levels. I can't seem to get myself off of it so I heavily rinse it before adding it to my soil mix.
 
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It looks too dense and wet to me. Most of my Neps are in 60/40 LFS and perlite. I only water once they feel "lite", same as you would with a fern in a hanging basket. I would repot, rinsing the roots thoroughly.
 
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I've no experience with clay pebble blends but I do know of an accomplished grower who never uses perlite due to it often having high salt levels. I can't seem to get myself off of it so I heavily rinse it before adding it to my soil mix.
Unfortunately. I skipped the rinsing step. [emoji45]. I've got a new bale of perlite on order. For now they're potted up in 50/50 peat and aquarium gravel in net pots until I can get them into something more permanent. At least I know the aquarium gravel doesn't contain anything weird.
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It looks too dense and wet to me. Most of my Neps are in 60/40 LFS and perlite. I only water once they feel "lite", same as you would with a fern in a hanging basket. I would repot, rinsing the roots thoroughly.
Thanks. I think it looks dense from the fir bark in the mix. It ended up being the perlite I was using had really high salt levels.

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