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Help with Nepenthes Seedlings

Joined
Apr 3, 2017
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29
So, this is going to be a bit longer but I believe there might be a need for some backstory.

Last year in July I ordered some seeds for D. aliciae from the ICPS seed bank. After I received my shipment I found an extra envelope in the order saying "Free, N. ventricosa seeds, 7 months old, sow asap." Knowing a bit about Nepenthes I knew that the viability of their seed steadily decreases as time passes. I looked up a simple soil recipe that used peat, since I didn't have LFS not expecting to get Nepenthes seeds, and sowed them and covered the tray with a lid. After keeping a look out like I'm sure everybody does to see if seeds germinated. Much to my surprise, the Drosera seeds that I bought never germinated but the free Nepenthes seeds did, quite a few in fact, maybe 20 of them.

So my first question is in the attached picture, are the seedlings smaller than they should be for almost being a year old? Thinking about the artificial environment they were in I'm not sure it wasn't ideal.

71e84112922bc2e66bbed1ce4ac671b1.jpg


The second question is what should they be growing in? I don't know if the soil they're in now is any good. What's the photo period they should be getting? Right now I'm at 10 hrs. I turned it down a bit because it seemed like they were getting "bleached out" if that is even a thing. What temps? The lights are kinda close to them. It gets up to about 80 while they're on even though they're LED tubes. I put ice packs around the pots at night for a temp drop. Didn't do this until about 2 months ago though. Didn't know to even do it. Humidity? They were under a clear cover which I would assume would be close to 100 percent. Thinking that they might have been cooking in there I have since removed it and it's about 60 or so where that are. Any other information would be appreciated. These are the first Nepenthes I've ever grown so I have no idea what I'm doing really, lol. I appreciate you reading this long post. If you need any other info, I can certainly give it to you.

Thank You!


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Clue

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Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
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Location
SF Bay Area & Davis
The coloration and small size suggests a nutrient deficiency. For a fast-growing species like N. ventricosa, I'd expect the seedlings to be larger at one year old - your best bet is to do some regular dilute foliar fertilization or otherwise feeding them through the pitchers (which might be difficult at such a small size); the forum archives might be helpful to pore through for fertilizer suggestions. Unless the media is showing strong signs of going anaerobic, it probably doesn't need to be changed as long as they aren't kept too wet. Best of luck!
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2008
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SF, CA
The seedlings look fine to me, a year out or so. If you want quick growth, go for tomatoes instead of Nepenthes.

I would, though, give them a longer photo period, somewhere in excess of twelve hours.

The LFS compost is perfectly fine; so too peat based mixes with sand or pumice . . .
 
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Joined
Feb 22, 2014
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1,496
Location
Oregon
I know I said this elsewhere already but I'll repeat it here among this discussion: The only time I've seen pale leaves on seedlings like that is due to too much light. I'd go for a longer photoperiod (most Nepenthes tend to get around 12 hours year-round in the wild) with less intense light. Some fertilization wouldn't hurt either if you have something like Maxsea handy. I've seen some very promising comparison pictures of fertilized vs non-fertilized Nepenthes seedlings.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
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Ok, thank you everyone. I will increase the photo period and raise up the lights. I do have Maxsea that I have been using a small paintbrush to "paint" the fertilizer on the leaves. I have a medical grade syringe and needle that I used to put it in small Sarracenia pitchers. If I can get the needle into the Nepenthes pitchers, I'll put some in them.


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Joined
Jun 6, 2008
Messages
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Location
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Ok, thank you everyone. I will increase the photo period and raise up the lights. I do have Maxsea that I have been using a small paintbrush to "paint" the fertilizer on the leaves. I have a medical grade syringe and needle that I used to put it in small Sarracenia pitchers. If I can get the needle into the Nepenthes pitchers, I'll put some in them.


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At that age, the plants are more likely to benefit from foliar feeding and I would avoid fertilizing the pitchers, since it's far too easy to futz up their chemistry . . .
 
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