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Hello everyone. I was hoping you guys can help out with a few questions I have about my Nepenthes 'Lady Luck'. This is my first nepenthes. I ordered from a guy online, because the pitchers looked a really cool shade of red and this plant is supposed to do well indoors.

Amazon says I ordered it on 8/13/2015. It arrived in a timely manner. It was basically bare root. It did have some kind of black soil around the roots, but I assume that was peat. I didn't know it at the time, but there were actually two plants. I should have separated them then and I'm now reluctant, since it isn't growing vigorously, to repot it now. It had several pitchers on it that looked really good and a couple that were very pale. I assume they were dying, but that's fine. Pitchers come and go. It came with a small pot and some long fiber sphagnum to pot it with. They guy said somewhere on his site that he'll plant in sphag and orchid bark, but the instructions just mentioned the included sphag, so I used that. I did, however, use a 4" pot I had instead of the tiny one that was included.

I kept it watered from that point onward. I'd let the sphag get close to drying out, because I read that nepenthes didn't like to soak in water the way VFT or Sarrs do. Once or twice, it even got dry in a quarter sized spot on the very top of the sphag, because it still looked wet. I felt it, though, and it wasn't, so I watered it thoroughly and kept a better eye on it. I really didn't get much growth and the lower leaves started dying off. I figured this was just shock, so I didn't think much about it.

There were two new leaves coming out of the top, but they weren't unfurled, just little sticks about 1/4" long. This was after a few months. I decided it might be a humidity issue, so I cut an old 2L coke bottle up and set the pot in the bottom and put the top over it. I had to bend a couple of the leaves in to fit. I had also swapped the light bulb from a 5500k cfl to a 6500k cfl. It was much brighter and a lot of the small plants sitting in the same area stopped leaning toward the window that's 3' away and started leaning toward it. Low and behold, but the two leaf sticks took off and grew very quickly. They also put two new "sticks" out.

I thought it had finally taken off and I knew it wouldn't be able to fit pitchers inside the coke bottle, so I decided to give it another shot at being outside the bottle. It didn't seem to hurt it. I had it out in open for almost a month. However, once again, the "sticks" refused to grow and now some of the old, but nice looking leaves started to curl slightly. Whether that's from a lack of humidity or because they're just older, I don't know.

I hoped they were just getting old, but incase, I took a small clear plastic trash bag, like you'd get from an office and bagged the plant and saucer under the light. I knew the humidity had gone up, because I could see a little condensation on the bag. Again, the little "sticks" of leaf growth seem to be quickly growing and started standing up in the higher humidity.

I just need some help with this. Obviously, my house humidity is not high enough, because it does poorly until it's bagged and the humidity is raised. Also, the two new leaves had a funny color compared to the old bright green leaves. They almost had a bronze color mixed with green. One more so than the other. I've heard the leaves can gain color under brighter light, but I've only got the 6500k cfl bulb. I'd assume the grower would have had better lights than me. So I hope the different color isn't a bad thing.

I also purchased an 'AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor'. Even if it's not accurate, it'll help me get an idea of temps and humidity. I let it run for 24hrs and got the temp and humidity for my room, right next to the bagged plant. It said the humidity had a low of 40% and a high of 48% and a temp of 70 low and 75 high. This was inside, under the light, on 3/14/2016 over a 24hr period. I then opened the back an put the meter inside. The bag top is twisted up and clipped closed, but not touching the plant. The humidity immediately started to go up. After a couple of hours, the humidity read in the 90's. I got up and checked it this morning and it say the humidity was at 99%. The temps still read the same. I didn't have a low on either since it'd only been 12hrs and it takes 24hrs for the highs and lows to cycle.

I also bought a cheapo lux meter, though I haven't popped batteries in to check what it is at the plant, though. I also picked up a cheap TDS meter, though I haven't gotten a chance to do a proper check on our well water. We are on well water and not tap water, so no chlorine. I stuck it in my drinking glass from the night before and it read 115ppm, but I'd be watering the plant straight from the tap and there could have been "ugh" back-wash in the glass affecting that reading.

Any help you guys can give me would be great. I actually wouldn't mind splitting this plant into two pots and putting one outside this summer and see how it does. I live in upper south Carolina, and while I haven't done an official check of temps and humidity, I'm gonna say it averages at 110% and the devil vacations here in the summer to get away from the heat. That's not an official reading or anything. :-O

So let me know what you guys think. What am I doing right, what am I doing wrong, and how will I handle the outside thing if I try it. Full sun (acclimating it of course), shade, partial? If it does great in the summer, how will it handle being moved inside for the winter? Thanks everyone.

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curtisconners

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If you want a small terrarium for it, you could take a critter keeper and line with a paper towel and spray the terrarium with distilled water. If you don't what a critter keeper is, they're basically these clear, plastic bins with a vented lid. I used them to keep crickets, so I have a fair amount lying around. My ventricosa is pretty happy in there, you can find critter keepers at any pet store. I hope that helps.
 
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Thanks. I do know what a critter keeper is. I don't currently have one, but I know they aren't that expensive. I do have a 10gal tank lying around that I might use in the winter. Hopefully, I can move it outside in the summer. I just don't know if it can take full sun, even if I intriduce it slowly after it quotes getting cold.
 
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I doubt an enclosure is necessary, 'Lady Luck' should grow just fine as a houseplant. As for light, Nepenthes are generally grown in part sun - 50% shade cloth or even less light is common. I'm pretty sure some can handle full sun but am unsure if 'Lady Luck' is one of those.
 
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Do you have a guess why it does so poorly outside of something that ramps up the humidity, because I'd really prefer to just have it as a house plant.
 

curtisconners

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It's possible that the nepenthes needs to be acclimated to your house humidity. Slowly lower the ambient humidity in a terrarium until it is the same as the humidity in your house. The nepenthes should be fine with your humidity then.
 
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I also purchased an 'AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor'. Even if it's not accurate, it'll help me get an idea of temps and humidity. I let it run for 24hrs and got the temp and humidity for my room, right next to the bagged plant. It said the humidity had a low of 40% and a high of 48% and a temp of 70 low and 75 high.

Aside from the humidity, that temperature range concerns me, Nepenthes generally need a temperature drop at night to be happy in the long term. N. 'Lady Luck' is probably one of the tougher ones and might not need as much of a drop, but I'd try and get the night temps closer to 65 F, days closer to maybe 80 F as well.
 
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curtisconners

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Aside from the humidity, that temperature range concerns me, Nepenthes generally need a temperature drop at night to be happy in the long term. N. 'Lady Luck' is probably one of the tougher ones and might not need as much of a drop, but I'd try and get the night temps closer to 65 F, days closer to maybe 80 F as well.
Not necessarily, if I recall correctly, lowlands don't need a temp drop at night and certainly not one down to the 60's. I just googled nepenthes "lady luck" and it looks like an ampullaria hybrid, which is a lowlander.
 
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Joined
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I really don't know how I'd drop the temp if it requires it. If I moved it outside in the summer, temps average around 95 high and 75 low. That would be your 20deg difference. I'm sure it would be cooler in the shade.
 
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It's Lady Luck, it'll be fine, I wouldn't even bother acclimating it to your house's humidity it would be too much of a hassle. It will adapt if you leave it and provide sufficient lighting.
 
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as said above you won't have any trouble growing it in the house! the difference in temperature between night and day will surely be enough for this hybrid.
 
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Not necessarily, if I recall correctly, lowlands don't need a temp drop at night and certainly not one down to the 60's. I just googled nepenthes "lady luck" and it looks like an ampullaria hybrid, which is a lowlander.

Lowlanders do need a temperature drop, here's a reference chart:
Nepenthes Altitudinal Distribution and Temperature | Ultra Lowland, Lowland, Intermediate, Highland, Ultra Highland

As I said before, it won't need as *much* of a temperature drop, but it still needs one, and more than the 5 F it's been getting in Dalton's house. Note in particular the night temperatures for N. ampullaria and N. ventricosa (the other half of N. 'Lady Luck') and where my recommendation of 65 F comes in. I'm not going to say that the plant will die if it doesn't go down to the mid-60s (I have similar plants that have survived worse), but as per my previous post that's what I'd be initially aiming for.

I really don't know how I'd drop the temp if it requires it. If I moved it outside in the summer, temps average around 95 high and 75 low. That would be your 20deg difference. I'm sure it would be cooler in the shade.

If I were you I'd try that. The plant might take a bit to acclimatise, but in my experience a good temperature drop gives you a bit of leeway in the day/night temps. I've got several plants including a N. ventricosa x burkei that's been through summers like yours. For outdoors Neps I use LFS as the media with a top dressing of orchid bark to help keep the LFS moist, a white pot also helps to keep the roots cool if you're getting a lot of sunlight. Credit where it's due, that's all on on Red Lowii's recommendation and it's worked great so far. I'd say start off in the shade or partial sun and see how it responds.

Out of curiosity, do you have air conditioning on in your house? Given your outside temp/humidity your inside numbers look very stable (and the humidity looks very low).
 
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We did have the AC on. It started getting pretty warm here for a while and there are members of my family that like to sleep on blocks of ice. They seriously asked me once why I was closing the windows downstairs when it was going to get down near the 40's. They've also got allergies, so there isn't a lot of leaving the doors and windows open, even when it's nice. I have a table on the front porch I may try to put it on. It get's a touch of direct sunlight for an hour or so, but it fairly bright shade the rest of the time. I'll have to wait a while, though, because we're having another temperature drop over the next week. It's going from high 70's to mid 80's during the day and in the 60's at night to 60's during the day and low 40's to high 30's at night. Once the temp stabilizes at warmer temps, I'll move it out to that table.

As it is right now, I've started opening the bag to drop the humidity a little at a time. I've gotten it from 99% last night to 93% this morning. I'll lower it gradually. I hate to, though, because those little leaflets that weren't doing anything are growing pretty hard since I upped the humidity. Still no pitchers forming on the two other new leaves under them, though. Just little curly tips. I don't know if the pitchers take a while or if the tips were damaged when I dropped the humidity after they grew. We'll see I guess.
 
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I grow this one outside in south Florida. I only bother taking it in of it gets below 50 at night. It gets an hour or two of sun in the morning, but is otherwise in full shade. I've had success with it in about 4 hours of sun, but it doesn't need it. Also, avoid midday sun - it has ampullaria in it, as said above - so I find it can be sensitive when the sun gets really hot. Also, I keep it wet - water daily, occasionally skipping a day. Once you hit full summer, your conditions outside should be very similar to those I've been managing in.
Hope something in there is helpful for you.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Hello! Regarding the color change in the leaves: My neps' leaves and pitchers turn reddish/brownish under the artificial lighting in my growtent, and those bulbs are 6500K, too. So, I'm not sure I'd worry too much about that unless the plant's health starts to decline. As for the way your leaves grow sometimes, it sounds like it could be a humidity issue, perhaps, but I wonder how often you water, and just how dry you are letting the plant get? I ask because I had a mishap recently where I thought I had been watering my ampullaria quite enough (about as much and as often as I had been watering my hookeriana and my veitchii pink), but it was looking awfully dry, and it made these two weird, deformed tiny leaves. Humidity in my grow tent ranges from 50%-80%/isn't super stable, but that had never been a problem before, so I was pretty sure it wasn't the problem. So, instinctively, I upped the amount and frequency of watering that particular plant a little bit, and immediately it put out a regular leaf and developing pitcher. My advice is to try watering it a bit more and see if it perks up.
As a particularly hardy lowlander, it definitely won't need to get down into the 60s at night. The only other thing I can think of could be a potential disagreement with a fertilizer, if you have been using one. But, I honestly think watering might be the more likely culprit.
 
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FLTropical, I might have a good place that's shaded all day, except during the early morning. We're currently having a little late winter weather. It got down near freezing last night and I was late to work this morning defrosting my truck windows. That'll quite soon and it'll get blazing hot till the end of October.
 
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squidfenshui, I haven't been watering too frequently as of late, because I put it inside a bag under my grow light. The humidity when the bag was closed, was at 99% and once again, the leaflets were growing quickly. I put a cheap meter in the bag to measure temp and humidity. I've slowly opened the mouth of the bag and the humidity has dropped to around 70%. Once again, the leaf growth has slowed way down. I watered it a little over a week ago and checked the top of the moss with my finger about an hour ago and it's still wet. I try to let it dry out a little, but not like you'd think of with a potted plant. When I say I let it dry out, I mean slightly damp to my finger as opposed to soaking.

That's great to hear about your leaves having that color as well. I was worried it was a sickly leaf. I really can't wait till the temps get warm and stay there so I can get this thing outside and see how it does in the high humidity an warm temps that vary roughly 20deg between day and night. I'm hoping it takes off.
 
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I have a hunch it'll do great outside, just make sure to give it a bit of shade and you'll be good to go. My lowlanders like it just fine outside in our warm humid summers, so I have faith your plant will do great.
Anyway, I still might try watering it more, bag open or off to see what happens. Out of curiosity, what is your ambient humidity outside the bag?
 
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Joined
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The meter says the humidity outside the bag is 40-48%, however, I did see it dip in the high 30's once. I only let it run for 24hrs and I think it takes 36 to get a more accurate range. I've been slowly opening the mouth of the bag over the past 3 days and I've got it hovering around 70%. The new leaves have slowed down. I'm reluctant to take it down further till I see growth on them. I still don't see any sign that the two new leaves under them are trying to grow pitchers yet. I don't know if they take more time or if the low humidity damaged the tips and they won't grow pitchers now.
 
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