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**need help** with mirabilis var echinostoma

I rcd one about a week ago but it's not doing so well and need some friendly advice to help it recover.

it is just starting to show some brown spots and most of the leaves are "droopy".

I have a lowland terrarium with a small bical and raff var elongata in it and they are doing fine...however the nepenthes mirabilis var. echinostoma is a larger plant age wise. From talking with the previous owner the only difference in our terrariums is temp.....so I have taken steps to both reduce temp and I have increased the amount of time the air circulation fan is on to see if that helps it but i don't want to change things too much to risk upsetting the little ones.

here is my usual info:


hum: 80%

temp: 94 F

light: 10k lumens 6500k t5ho for 12h.


hum: 80%

temp: 80

light: none

watering frequency: as needed but usually once every 2-3 days.

substrate: 1:1 spaghum peat/perlite

air circulation: 90cfm 120mm fan on timer...comes on total of 4 hours a day.

ill have some more solid night-time temps tonight.

the raff and bical seem to enjoy the conditions.

that's all the info i can think of atm. lmk if you need anything else. just want to add i don't have anything to measure ph or anything like that.

1 more piece of info: way my terrarium is setup is there is 4 inches of water in the tank and a tray that brings the plants above water then another clear tray the plants sit in...there is no water in the try it is simply a means to prevent cross contamination should I overfill the tank accidentally.

I have reduced daytime temp to 90f and will try for a goal of 85f.

I have heard the plant likes it soggy; is that true? it was advised i drop the temp to 85....any other suggestions?

Is what's happening "normal" when buying, repotting and attempting to acclimatize a med sized plant? longest leaves appear to be about 10 inches.

According to internet searches I am providing it with the conditions that the species likes....only other thing I can think of is maybe my light intensity is too much.....perhaps I can put a plastic lid over the plan'ts spot in the terrarium to diffuse the light to it some.

Lastly, say i make the right change to either temp, light intensity, humidity or whatever. How long will it take to notice that I am doing something right to get it on track?

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Mirabilis have pretty thin leaves, and tend to take things a little personally, in my experience. The brown spots, are they light brown or dark? It may be humidity shock from the transit. Do you have pictures?
They are light brown and a different pattern from what I am used to seeing. On the other 2 the browning was always dark and at the tips when the got pissy about being shipped and put in the terrarium...this one is very light brown and in the middle of the leaves with a pattern that reminds me of rust on metal.

i have a couple thumbnails in the link but nothing of substance...ill work on that though.
What they say over there sounds right. I can't view the pictures there, I'm not a member. From what it looks like, it looks like the plant is being cranky. Make your adjustments and give it another week. ;)
working on a pic u can see. how is this?
Sssssorta. I can see that there are discolored areas, but not enough detail to see of there is a pattern on them, or texture, or any other clues.
Looks to me like a typical Nepenthes mirabilis pouting where they look sorta "deflated" (make sure it has water of course). And yes, you'll probably loose many of the older leaves, that's just mirabilis's attitude to change. They don't even like being moved around in the same terrarium once they've settled into a particular humidity and lighting arrangement and found their happy place. Just keep it warm, humid and well lit and in time you should start getting new leaves and pitchers.

I would not bother putting fans on my Lowlanders at all they get all the air exchange they need when the tank is opened and misted every so often. Play with ventilation to allow condensation on glass but not enough to allow fungal growth in soil, for me that's about a 95% sealed lid. They don't need any kind breeze like highlanders , think more along the lines of a hot steamy sauna to please the lowlanders.
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alright new daytime temp is 89f and humidity is 83% that's the best i can do easily atm.......I have also noticed an error I was making as well.....i believe this plant to be much more thirsty than the smaller ones.

this plant has about 100x more roots than the smaller ones and it is physically bigger so it stands to reason it probably needs to be watered more frequently.....I have bumped it up to once a day. I'm kinda leaning on that to be the major underlying cause of my problems but probably wouldn't have thought of it until it was worse off without the help.

thanx peeps. ill stick to this new routine and see how it goes.
  • #10
it was either the under watering or the temp but it is coming back already! not back to normal but if a 1.5 inch circle was drawn around the center of the stem; you can see the leaves have stiffened up and perhaps a 2 inch circle for the smaller leaves on the bottom......i hope that the improvement will radiate outwards.

I can't say for sure whether it was the heat or my lack of watering but idc as long as it is getting better.

thanx for helping me catch this early to ease the rebound time.....I should have a new pic tomorrow night to compare with.
  • #11
Yes...I thought I recognised that plant. lol

It's most likely a matter of the fans, water, and light. This one came from a fairly lower light setup than you use, and was kept in stagnant air...so it is not used to that much airflow and light. It was also kept in temps never exceeding 95F, and was kept in a shallow tray of water.
  • #12
i never got around to asking you what the light output of your setup was...u think i should try using a clear plastic lid or something to diffuse the light a little? i know airflow isn't really a lowlander requirement but it seems to help with the small terrarium as far as keeping algae at bay and probably preventing fungus and mold.

I'm hoping in about 4-7 days that this fussy thing will start to get settled in.

i think the biggest deal was i wasn't watering it enough....I have 2 other lowlanders about 1/3 the size that only require water once every 3 days and this one seems to need it once a day.

but to me it seems the plant is making a very fast recovery vs the pic of just 2 days ago.
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  • #13
I finally got this pesky one nailed....in addition to being nearly 3 times as thirsty as the other 2 both underground and above ground; it isn't the heat that it dislikes but the light. I moved my fixture approx 4 inches further away and the plant responded positively within a day. The raffesania didn't seem to be bothered but the bical got a little upset about it....not enough where it pouted like the mirabilis but it's growth slowed a tad...i may look into dropping the light and adding a diffuser to go over the mirabilis so all my plants can be happy.
  • #14
Congrats! I've had this happen with mirablis seedlings that I've raised from seed. You can always put a plastic baggy over the plant to decrease light a little bit.
  • #15
The spacing between the leaves and the big thin floppy growth indicate it was in low light for a long time. It would be expected to respond negatively to higher light levels than it had received. This doesn't mean you should perpetuate the situation and instead once acclimated, increase light levels to where they should be for optimal future growth.
  • #16
thanx for the advice. I was considering that. I was thinking once the plant was visibly healthier to remove the diffuser; however you beat me to the punch on that q. :)
  • #17
here is a recent picture. looks like it is still a ways from what I would call healthy but I think it has improved over the previous one albeit slightly. input?

it has dropped about 2 or 3 lower leaves but to be expected from a second repotting. The upper one has returned to it's normal vigor and appears to have grown a little. only reason it is curled is bc it is hitting the top of the terrarium. lol.

edit: after some further research it seems that the reason the plant is behaving like this is it cannot maintain it's current infrastructure after being root shocked and in addition I am giving it more light than it is used to. I decided to trim back 2/3 of the leaves(not cut off just reduce) in the hopes that the plant can maintain itself and begin to move forward with new leaves and roots. In an effort to get things going I also introduced about 3cc of fertilizer diluted to 0.75-0.25-0.25 with a tiny bit of sugar added approximately 2 inches below the soil surface......with such a small quantity of fluid I am hoping the roots manage to sip on a little at strength before being diluted and drained out.

I expect to see results either positive or negative in about 2 days I imagine.

**note: it seems the leaves themselves are a little more leathery than they were which I am assuming is a good thing.

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