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Help with N. Ventrata - new growth turning yellow

Joined
Sep 22, 2021
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2
I am hoping someone can help identify what the problem with my Nepenthes Ventrata is. A lot of the leaves are turning yellow, including some of the newer growth.

As a bit of a background, I have had the plant for a little over a year. The plant sits in a south window, since there is a building directly across, it gets maybe an hour of direct sun per day, and mostly has bright shaded light. Since this is an office plant, and because I don't always work from the office, I have automated everything for it. It gets a very small amount of distilled water daily (the automated pump runs for about 6 seconds every morning at approximately 10:00 am providing maybe 30ml (if that) of water every day. it had small lights on timers for 12 hours a day. It was outgrowing its pot (roots were growing through the bottom of the pot) and the plant was outgrowing the little terrarium that I had it in (it was quite cramped, you can see some of the older growth got disformed from growing in the tiny confined space).

On October 14, 2022 I decided that it needed a bigger tank, better lights, and to be repotted. the lights I was originally using were the cheapeast LEDs off amazon, and I wasn't sure they were doing anything. I purchased the biggest lights I could fit in the top of my tank, I would think approximately 15 watts of power for them (5 watts each for 3 lights). The pot is about triple the size of the previous pot, and I used a substrate of long fiber sphagnum moss, perlite, and coco husk. I bought the substrate premixed from a reputable source. Since the roots were growing through the old pot, I carefully cut the old pot off so as not to disturb the roots as much as possible. I put the old substrate and root ball into the middle of the new substrate. As part of the repotting, I gave the plant a small amount of maxsea (mixed a tablespoon of fertilizer in 4L of distilled water - then I gave the plant approximately 2 ml of this mixture in the substrate). The temperature in the tank has been kept around 23 C, and the humidity somewhere around 90% or higher. There was not a ton of airflow in the tank, but the humidty stayed high and the plant seemed to like it. Initially, the plant exploded with growth. I got 4 new leaves in a couple of weeks, with approximately an inch of new stem between each one (previously I was getting an 1/8" if that between nodes). I have had to bend over the main stock to stop the plant from outgrowing its new terrarium (any suggestions on how to make this tank taller?). None of the new leaves pitchered though.

Recently, the plant has had a number of leaves start to turn yellow, including some of the new growth. Since I live in Canada and its now winter, I figured that this may have been a light issue. (Especially since the amazon led grow lights don't seem to have ratings published about anything other than power consumption). As a result, I purchased a small 20-watt 2700k (red and blue) grow light which I have since mounted in the tank. This light has been in the tank for approximately 2 weeks now, and doesn't seem to be helping (perhaps even making it worse).There does appear to be a bit of red in some of the leaves so I'm not sure if maybe its getting too much light?, The leaves aren't getting red dots to indicate sunburn though. The newest leaf in the main stem seems to be unaffected. As a side note, it has slightly increased the temperature to approximately 25-27 C in the tank depending on the time of day.

I was also thinking that maybe it was getting too much water. I was giving it the same amount of water as I had given it before I repotted it, but the original substrate did not retain moisture quite as well as the current mix (not sure what exactly it was, a lot of husk and not moss, it was very well draining and didn't hold moisture very long at all). There was often a lot more water sitting in the saucer and instead of evaporating daily it would start to accumulate to the point where I had to dispose of excess every couple days. I have since planted some N. Alisaputrana seeds and put T into my water system to split the amount of water to the two pots. I have also placed a small saucer upside down under the pot of the N. Ventrata so that the pot cannot sit in any accumulated water. Additionally, since the humidity had been so high and there wasn't a lot of airflow, I added as small 120mm usb computer fan to the lid of the tank (although I am finding it hard to keep the humidity up when using this).

I'm not sure what is wrong, and I don't want to lose my plant. Is it getting too much light? still not enough? Was it getting too much water? Will the current setup fix that or do I need to do something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,897
I would think that the yellowing is overwatering. A trickle feed of water every day is too much. Especially in a terrarium, you'd want the media to be able to dry out for at least a few days between watering. As for the lights it's probably not enough given that you've gone months without pitchers. 20 watts is not a lot of power. I use a few lights drawing 200 watts.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
2
I would think that the yellowing is overwatering. A trickle feed of water every day is too much. Especially in a terrarium, you'd want the media to be able to dry out for at least a few days between watering. As for the lights it's probably not enough given that you've gone months without pitchers. 20 watts is not a lot of power. I use a few lights drawing 200 watts.
Thank you for the reply!

I realize that I could have been clearer above so for the sake of clarification, the plant has gone just a little over a month without pitchering (but has produced 4 new leaves in that time). The first of those leaves (and the oldest of the new growth) is turning brown and dying. The second is turning yellow on the edges at the end. The third is green, but has aborted its pitcher. The fourth (and newest) leaf looks really good. Additionally, there is probably 45 w of lights. I kept the original ones and added an additional 20 w light.

How much would you adjust the water? In following your suggestion I cut back the water. I have currently set it to 14 seconds every 3 days (not sure on the exact amount of water, but it seemed to flow through and pool in the saucer a bit, I will see if it evaporates in the 3 days and perhaps adjust if necessary) but am open to other opinions.

Thank you!
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,897
Watering will depend on your media composition and local humidity. It's best to feel it out rather than adhering to a strict schedule. If the media can dry out enough where it it noticably lighter than when it is freshly watered that's probably fine.
 
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