What's new

Nepenthes feeding

Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
4,641
Location
Far Away NY
I thought this might be an interesting topic.  Although Nepenthes don't need to be fed to grow and produce pitchers.  My experience has been that they can produce remarkable results in plant size and health when they are supplimented with regular feeding.  

What have you tried in the past?
What do you use now?
What have been your experiences both positive and negative?

The following picture is an example of the results attainable when the right combination of temperature, light, moisture, and feeding are achieved...
Tony

Ngrow1.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
1,236
Location
somewhere in NJ
In the past, I have fed my Nepenthes only upon ants.
Currently, I feed crickets, ants and sometimes mealworms.
In my experience, crickets seem to be my Nepenthes favorite food. The only negitive experince I had was when I fed fireants to N. Miribilis. When they were fed, the whole container smelled like fireants.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
Well, i use flake fish food, but you already knew that. I believe it was Thomas Hayes of Dangerous Plants that first told me about that.

I think this is a good idea for a thread - it would be nice to know if anybody has seen any differences with different diets.
 

Dave S.

NECPS President
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
589
Location
Northern MA
I learned that fish food trick on the same day, go figure. I have seen dramatic results from using koi food pellets. I did my own experiment using three N. x Judith Finns that were all about the same size. I fed one with the koi pellets, one with ants, spiders, etc. and I left the third one alone. The very next leaves and pitchers nearly doubled in size on the koi pellet food. The other two continued to grow at the previous pace. I have since switched them all to koi pellets and add an occasional bug now and then.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
307
Location
Ponce, Puerto Rico
I usually don't feed my nepenthes anything at all. They naturally catch there own food and I must say they catch alot! (specially my x ventrata
biggrin.gif
)
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
Think of it as the hot dog of the fish world.
wink.gif


"It forms a well balanced diet with all the fats, carbohydrate, protein, minerals and vitamins needed for healthy fish."

That's what one company says about their koi pellets.

Koi are a fish, in case that's the part you're not familiar with. Think really, really big goldfish.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
8,124
Location
Cernunnos Woods
I use crickets simply because I'm lazy! They're easily obtainable in a variety of sizes at any Petco or Petsmart in any quanity. No hunting things down! They can be brought home and frozen in their take home baggies and defrosted in water on demand. like a TV dinner for the plants!
wink.gif


I feed all active looking pitchers every time a new pitcher opens. Only one cricket per pitcher per feeding unless it is a larger pitcher. On the pitchers that are 6" or more I sometimes add 2 mature crickets.

I occasionally buy a flightless fruitfly culture and let them loose in the terrariums to crawl around and eventually feed the tiny pitchers on new plants with 1" or smaller pitchers (and the bigger ones too I suppose).

I have tried frozen bloodworms (mosquito larva) from the frozen fishfood dept but they are aparently too rich and rotted the pitchers within a few days so I never used them again after starting with the crickets.

I must add feeding is my least favorite aspect of growing them but I realize it's biological significance (and impact on growth) even if it grosses me out!
tounge.gif
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
60
Location
Southern California
For those who use fish food or koi pellets, do you just drop a pellet or a few flakes into the pitcher? Or do you have to do something to prepare them first?

Thanks. This would be an easy method to use -- I ran around the house tonight and caught a fly for one of my vft's -- yum, yum.

cpwitch
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
I just put the flake directly in. That's easier said than done, however, because it has a tendency to adhere to the nectar, so you have to be careful to not let it touch the pitcher as you put it in.

Depending on the size of the pellets, i think it would be wise to break them up. CPs don't have the elaborate grinding and pulverizing digestive system we do, and any large chunks are likely to rot before they are digested.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
628
Location
Manchester, Connecticut
My Nepenthes are in a large terrarium. I feed them and water at the same time once a week. I give mealworms to maybe half the traps of both my large sprawling N. khasiana x ventricosa and N. ampullaria. For my younger Neps I give them just 1 mealworm.

I have also noticed that once seedlings get to the size where they can take an ant, fruitfly, or baby mealworm that it really helps the growth - with traps doubling or tripling after a few months.

WildBill
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
617
Location
Michigan Zone 5 (near Flint)
I feed mine Box Elder Bugs. I have so many on my property I will never run out! They literaly cover the sunny side of my house in the fall! My plants seen to like them, no rot.

I feed new pitchers once they have fully formed. I give them one bug. I don't feed them agian but wait for the next new pitcher to form.
 

Dave S.

NECPS President
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
589
Location
Northern MA
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (cpwitch @ June 27 2003,05:48)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">For those who use fish food or koi pellets, do you just drop a pellet or a few flakes into the pitcher?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Yes, I just drop them in. The pellets that I buy are designed to dissolve in water after a few minutes. When they are in the water, they absorb water like a sponge and fall apart easily.
 

RTB

Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
13
Location
Sweden
I got some similar sticks that I feed my turtle with, I have already given it to some pitchers for a test. I also got a lot of Gammarus pulex which I can use for feeding. But they have almost the same amount of proteins and minerals anyway.

Is fat good or bad for nepenthes?
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
109
Location
Seattle, WA
There is no shortage of flies here for the summer. One sunny afternoon with the French doors open on the balcony and I have plenty.

I have also tried a drop or two of non-fat milk as was once suggested in a thread. It worked WONDERS! I was amazed at the growth spurt in my n.alata.

Holden
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Messages
1,390
Location
San Francisco
i feed my neps ( and other cp's ) superthrive once in a while , i mist them with a diluted portion of it which seems to be beneficial . sometimes i catch bugs and feed it to them which also seems ok but i don't see much happenin after . since my anole lizard died a year ago and i still got a jar of zoo meds anole lizard food which is flys with vitamins and whatever they put in there . its seems to work very well and i feed it to my plants whenever they look hungry . i sometimes feed them carnivorous fish food pellets too which seem to work well also .
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
Goldtrap, while Superthrive has certain B-complex vitamins, it doesn't supply all important nutrients. I would suspect it will not work long-term.

If the pitchers start to smell after feeding them with fish food, you're overfeeding, and it's rotting. That's true of overfeeding, regardless of the food, although i do realize that fish food starts out kinda smelly.
wink.gif
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
318
Location
Upper Maryland
I never feed any of my neps, or any other of my carnivorous plants for that matter. They feed themselves. All of my terrariums are infested with fungus gnats and springtails. Although they are small, they make up their size with sheer quantity. Sometimes I find 50 or more bugs in a pitcher! Another plus is that both lower and upper pitchers are fed.(IE Fungus gnats in uppers & Springtails in lowers.) So I get a continual feeding of every pitcher in every terrarium without rot.
biggrin.gif



Mike
smile.gif
 

JanW

drosera guy
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
310
Location
Düsseldorf, Germany
Hi! I have no garden, so if I wanted to search some nice prey for my plants, I would have to run around in some park or something. Which kind of dried animal food is good for sundews and nepenthes?

What about crustacea (Gammarus pullex)? You can buy them dried as food for turtles. Does anyone use these? Should I put them in water befor I feed them to my nepenthes?

Good growing!
Jan
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
4,641
Location
Far Away NY
I have used freeze dried crickets in the past. Hard to say how they do compared to fresh food but I figure it is better than nothing.
Tony
 
Top