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Any large or mature hamata owners?

I purchased a N. hamata back in June (or July) and it's put up 5 leaves since I recieved it one pitcher was aborted (the one opening when I got it) and the others have not opened but the buds are furry (not burnt) and inflating bit by bit every day. What I'm impressed by is that the plant has doubled in size since I got it (I thought it would grow in smaller increments).
Do any of you have large hamatas? How large do the leaves get? I heard the pitchers will get to about 12". I'm just wondering what this guy will look like in a few years, cos they aren't easy to fidn images of online and they aren't in any of the nep books I have. Just the one pic in savage garden... If ya got photos please post em!

Mine is reaching 6" across (not including tendrils) and I'm just curious if they continue increaing rapidly in size or do they have seasonal variations in growth? Do warmer days slow their growth? And of course-how long before I'm getting 12" pitchers?
You like a photo so here is one (not main I took it in England few weeks ago).

Hey Josh, my Hamata is the same size as yours with the new leaves it has put out. Hamata as lots of people say appears to have a voracious appetite. So feed it lots! 1 ft pitchers? Hmm....it will be awhile! I expect the upper pitcher will be larger than the lowers. My pitchers are about 4 inches tall at the moment. But anyhow that'd my info about it.
Thanks for the shot Arie!

Yes, NG the one remaining pitcher from when I recieved it is still strong after eating one 1" japanese beetle, and several houseflies. and countless fruitflies over the summer. The humidity was all screwed up in my first DIY enclosure (I made it with wooden walls - Duh-wood soaks up water...!

Now the tank is a cloud forest and the pitchers are forming. Have any pitchers formed and opened from new leaves since you bought yours? What have you got yours planted in?
I have mine in a 10" pot of pure US LFS meaning it has lots of twigs, reeds and roots in it a very coarse fast draining mix (not particularily attractive but functional). I have put living sphagnum ontop to give it a nicer appearance, I see now taht some liverworts have colonized the soil after I eradicated the oxalis.
Hi Josh, I have had 1 pitcher aborted and 1 has formed now but is only an inch tall as it probably has been affected by my cooler night temps. (40-38F) No big deal though Hamata is very vigorous and should not be a problem with growth rate!
Mine is planted in the orginal mix it came in which is Coco chunks,perlite,and a touch of LFS I think* Anyhow I had to repot mine as the roots were coming out the bottom and now just put all the old mix in with the roots and have it surrounded in pure living sphagnum. Looks very good and my mix is also very fast draining with the original mix in place it REALLY helps air it out!
What are you doing to achieve temps that low? Is it on purpose that the temps are getting that low or are you just leaving a window open and it naturally falls that far?

How big was the pot it had to be moved from?
Also, how long was the recovery rate after you repotted yours? Did you bare root it or just move the plant with the soil?
I ask because I bought some 8 or 10" square plastic net pots and I'd like to transffer the hamata into one of these. I won't be bare rooting it just moving the soil mass from one pot to another, but since it's starting to inflate the pitcher buds of three leaves I don't wanna interrupt anything!
My hamata seems to be growing quite fast as well. One odd thing with new growth the leaf opens at the base and works it way up! On all my other Neps the leave unfurls at the top first.


Define warm days in slowing growth...

As far as plant metabolism is concerned it will increase as temperatures increase until a point is reached that the warmth is too great and negative effects outweigh the positive.  What is this level for hamata.. ?? got me..  It probably varies from grower to grower as well.  Things like light levels, humidity, air movement, feeding etc can affect a plants tolerance/acceptance to other growth factors such as temperature.  Personally I like to have my plants in the 80-85 range during the day for strong growth.  My plants are in fairly high light, get lots of air movement with good humidity and are well fed.  You will often here Rob talk about pitcher ratio.  Basically how large are the pitchers compared to the leaf size.  I think this is a good way to compare since there are so many factors which affect leaf size and pitcher size.  I could grow large hamatas quickly by putting them in dense shade but the leaves would be soft and fleshy and the pitchers (if they formed at all) would be tiny most likely.  Not to mention the plants would damage easy and be highly prone to rot.  A good rule of thumb is to shoot for a 1:1 ratio.  Pitcher the same size as the leaf it formed on.  Naturally this is not possible on every species as some just don't make big pitchers no matter what.  However I do use pitcher size as a better guide to plant health than leaf size!  In my experience a plant that has steadily increasing pitcher size is getting stronger and larger.  Even if the leaves are not.  In some extreame cases I have had plants actually get smaller for a period of time while at the same time show increasing pitcher size.  Eventually the plants began increasing in size and by the time they were as large as they had been originally the pitchers were much much larger than what they previously had produced.
Hi again Josh,
I just slipped the pot away and just put the soil "clump" in the other pot and filled the open space with living sphag. I moved it from a 2 and 1/2 inch pot to a 4 inch pot. I have no shock on the plant. The temps are that low becasue we ahve fall up here already, don't we Tony?
I am gonna move them bakc in though as it is getting too cold for them now probably and will have to convert to the ice bottles yet again for winter cooling.
  • #10
Thanks Tony!
I am growing mine about 12" under 175 watts of power compact flourescent lighting (made for salt water reef aquariums) I am thinking of adding 160 watts more (of regular flourecents) to the enclosure just because I have the fixtures laying around doing nothing. As I said the new leaves hadn't made pitcehers yet due to the humidity I figure because now the tendrils are extending and the buds puffing up very nice.
N. hamatas will make pitchers as large or larger than leaves in bright light? You only use real sunlight for your plants though correct? I'm confined to terrariums due to my condo...
  • #11
I took a pic for you showing leaf vs pitcher size.  Pitcher is roughly 2x the leaf length (not counting tendril)


(2" leaf with 4.5" pitcher)
Yes mine only receive sunlight although I really should put some artificial lighting in as our winters are dreary and days are shorter compared to what the plant would receive in the wild.  I should think that your plant is receiving good light with the powercompacts and the distance from them you mention.  I am happy if I can hit 1:1 on the pitcher to leaf ratio.. Here it is a bit more like 2:1.  Spose this just shows that when you buy plants, size of the plant is not always everything  

  • #12
Great, I can get a discount on those 4 ft 4 tube flurescents fixtures from a friend for my gh in winter and spring.
  • #13
Hi Swords,

I am a large hamata owner(about 300 pounds) but I am definitley not mature, lol

I have a hamata I have had for two years in a plastic bag. I have watered it twice in two years. Kind of interesting(it's like the plant in the plastic bubble) and it probably gets warmer in such a micro environment under the lights in the little bag. It only has 3" pitchers but it looks nice. I am honestly afraid to take it out, so I will do further experiments on new plants on more conventional growing.
Tony had interesting comments on pitcher to leaf ratio. If you have seen pics in the wild of , say, N. sanguinea, the leaves are shorter than these large, mature pitchers.


  • #14
Heres a photo of mine. Got as a small tc speciman in 2001.



  • #16
Oooh!  Oooh!   N. hamata!  Fabulous species and always great to see pics of it.  It's such a fast grower which is rare for a spectacular highlander.  I have to sell most of my best  plants
   but always keep one or two back to love and cherish, just can't resist it.  Here's a couple of not very good pics of mine, but sadly without the > 2:1 pitcher/leafblade ratio of Tony's (yet)!


  • #17
Fantastic Rob!
How big are the pitchers on this one? It looks as though they could be 6-8" but that may be the perspective of the smaller plants in the background.
I'm wondering how large the pitchers can actually get in cultivation. I've read 12" (Savage Garden) but has anyone actually brought a hamata to maturity in captivity yet?

I am curious of it's eventual pitcehr size because some of the mature plants I've seen in person (at the orchid hop who are growing through the rafters) which have purportedly "humungous" pitchers when mature are not exactly as big as the books state sometimes. I have seen a mature (flowering) veitchii and a mature (flowering) clipeata. Both had pitchers surprisingly smaller than I expected (not really "small" of course but not large as I expected) Perhaps this was the greenhouses lighting as the plants were definatlye not languishing. But on the other hand you could cut a mature truncata pitcher and club someone to death with those things!
  • #18

no it's the perspective!  The pot is 5 1/2" in diameter so the pitcher is about 3" at the most.  This plant is about a year out of sterile culture, it's a fast-growing species for sure.

Size of pitchers isn't necessarily related to the age of the plant.   Mature plants grown in soft conditions can have quite small pitchers, this can be observed in the wild as well as in cultivation.  Size and hardness of pitchers in relation to leaf blade length is more down to growing conditions than age of the plants (within reason).  Yep, Tony, you're right, it wasn't long before I was talking about this again!  
My hobbyhorse.

You mentioned N. clipeata.   The pitchers on this ncompact plant of N. clipeata on display in a museum lobby in Tokyo had 12" pitchers:


And ooohh!  Look at that pitcher to leaf ratio!!!  The total height of the plant wasn't much over 12", pity the photo doesn't show that.  If I was judging a show and was presented with that plant I'd award it first prize and then probably steal it!  

Interestingly the same grower was displaying a N. ampullaria with the largest pitchers I've ever seen in cultivation.  Lots and lots of light whilst maintaining the other factors within bounds would be my guess.  Well fed too by the looks of it!
  • #19
Wow Rob! Now that's what I expect from a clipeata! Did the grower tell how it was grown? Indoors under artificial light or greenhouse, or...?

The big clipeata at the orchid shop here is maybe 6 feet in height (flower stalk was another 24" or so) but the pitchers were not 12" maybe 6-8" but these plants only get natural minnesota light (which is weak most of the year) and something called "450 watt PL Lighting" which looks to be pretty much worthless, at least in a greenhouse application. I think if the shop would switch to 1000 watt halides instead they might get more impressive results with their display neps. Of course, it's still nice to go see and feel a plant as tall as me!
  • #20
Being next to Tony's N.Clipeata's I feel short.