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Nepenthes feeding

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Dec 6, 2005
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San Diego CA
Has any one tried fish emulsion? I have read in the past that people have put fish (guppies feeder fish) in their pitcher. Has any one tried this?
I am going to try milk.
What about kio color enhancer food?
Jeff
 

lol

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I'm going to try using the ORME products I talked about in the general discussions.
smile.gif
 

schloaty

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Hey all, speaking of fertilization, I did an experiment with my ventricosa seedlings. My friend has some seedlings from the same batch, and his are about 3" in diameter after 2.5 years. Mine are 5 or 6" in diameter - I added the fertilizer in Oct. of last year when they were about 2 or 3 inches across*.

*These measurements are guestimates from my memory.
 
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I wonder about your friends growing conditions as mine are 3" after 1.5 years. Is his lighting really strong letting the plants grow with smaller leaves, or really cool to prevent them from growing very fast? I noticed my leaves getting a little smaller after I moved them outside into some direct sunlight.
 
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We're using that fish and seaweed blend from Neptune's Harvest. It's organic-no salts, and has all the micro nutrients (and tons of iron for our merrilliana). So far, so good.
 
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It's not chemical salts. Nepenthes enjoy fertilizing, but don't like minerals at their roots. Many fertilizers can burn the roots of a Nep easily. We have found organics such as fish emulsions, are less likely to do this kind of damage. If you apply them heavily, you won't damage the root system(up to a point), just waste fertilizer. The plant can only absorb so much at a time. If using a typical 20-20-20 type plant food, even a better quality orchid formulation, you should completely drench the pots between applications. Accumulation of fertilizer salts can rapidly injure a Nep. (and a lot of other plants too), especially if the pot is allowed to dry out a bit more than usual while the fertilizer is still being held by the potting mix.
No matter what kind of fertilizer you use, we've reached the conclusion that Nepenthes like oxygenated water -running water-to flood past their root system and then be allowed to dry out a bit.
The Neptune's Harvest is a fish emulsion/seaweed extract blend that provides micros and hormone extracts that Neps seem to really appreciate. Within a matter of a few weeks we've seen great results.
 

schloaty

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I wonder about your friends growing conditions as mine are 3" after 1.5 years. Is his lighting really strong letting the plants grow with smaller leaves, or really cool to prevent them from growing very fast? I noticed my leaves getting a little smaller after I moved them outside into some direct sunlight.

Hey man, how did you know these were from your seeds? Good guess!
Only 1.5 years? You sure? You may be right, after all, now that I think about it....Mine sprouted in June, about a week after my daughter was born, actually....so you ARE right. COOL. I'm doing even better than I thought!

My friends are hanging in the window, and since we just had winter, maybe lack of light or lower temps have slowed them...

Mine are under BRIGHT flourescents, thought, so I don't think yours are stunted from too much light (though I have seen this happen to some plants I have under the same lights). I am convinced the relative huge size of mine is directly related to the special nep fertilizer I added in Oct.
 
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One advantage of keeping two leopard geckos is that they happen to love mealworms. As such I grow mealworms for my geckos. You can guess where spare mealworms end up
smile.gif
.

Basically my schedule is that when a new pitcher opens, it gets a meal worm (or meal worm pupae). My sanguinea pitchers almost every 10 days or so I guess and is still a young plant. The pitchers have since gone from about an inch and a half to almost 2.5 inches in just a few months.
 
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i havnt heard annybody using small fish. i used to use live fish (about a half inch long) in my pitchers. i noticed growth spurts, but nothing big.
not recommended using over a long period of time.
 

NeciFiX

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People should keep experimenting with Neps like you have been. A Nep may suffer a bit or even die, but, you could really get a good growing method and get many more people to give them a try.

For me? I grow and cultivate two very successful colonies of Fruit Flies. Each time they mate the collection gets LARGER. It has this crap at the bottom and straw, the flies just love it in there. I was scared of them at first, but now I think they're cute. Unfortunately, the walls had become FULL of them, and I was afraid of over population, so I had to feed a ton to plants, and some I had smashed along the rim, unintentionally and sometimes intentionally (It was a lot of fun, but then I felt a little bad, but then remembered it was for the "Good of the "People". They've made Fab. Heliamphora, Dionaea (smaller plants, and a couple of fruit flies, though, since you can hardly get one into a trap since they are hyper little buggers, I use the maggots, it's much easier as they don't move). My Cephs seem to like them, one of the pitchers gorged on about 10 fruit flies, and another about 7. This kicked growth up A LOT. When I got it a few weeks ago, it suffered minimal root disturbance (My Heliamphora got most of it >.<) and it recovered quickly, only the tiny pitchers dying. The largest pitcher is almost done developing! Hurray!

My N. ventricosa is producing multiple "hooked" leaves with fat tendrils at the ends, a sign of pitchers. Fruit flies would make good food, eh? Though, some tend to escape. You usually see them found dead later on your Pings or crawling on your pots. It's kind of cute. Or drowning in your water trays. They can survive quite a long time in pitcher fluids. One fruit fly was a fighter, I put him on my Ceph and he naturally fell in and he was still fighting AN HOUR LATER. I contemplated taking him out, but he must've been a beefy fella, so he would provide good nutrients. The fruit flies tend to get skinnier and turn pitch white/pale. The way you can see them is their eyes are still the bright red.

By the way, my Heliamphora is an EXTREMELY RARE SPECIES. Nobody has it but me. I've cultivated it and named it Heliamphora 'Minor' var. Brown. All you have to do is grow it bad!

Seriously... it could be dead O_O. While I was putting it near better light, I found a pesky fruit fly. Ironic!
 

MrFus

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I give to my nepenthes ants, i catch some from the neighbours yard (they just spray my to kill undesire bugs, fire ants, some kind of mutant huge kind of roaches)... im thinking to start using fish food, especific the Betta Splendens fish food, the pellets are really small and the main diet in nature Bettas is almost exclusively on insects and insect larvae, so the food is balanced to provide the proper nutrients to emulate this.
 

vraev

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well....I just randomly feed my neps based on the bugs that fly into my room attracted to the lights at night. I have noticed nice growth spurts in miranda. I fed mine with 2 yellow jackets and the one pitcher became 8 in a course of just 2 months. fantastic growth rate. But..now no more pitchers form as I have been burning the pitcher tips as they rest on top of the light and burn out.

I have finally fed my ramispina a nice small fly. Hope it shows an effect. it has undergone a lot of stress and stopped making pitchers as I :

- CRUSHED it
- moved the tiny stem around
- disturbed it by adding more surface sphagnum which is growing insanely fast and already drowning the pitchers.
- CRUSHED IT UNDER A CARDBOARD piece.

so yeah...its doing great. lol. finished opening a leaf. I am just hoping that it resumes pitcher growth. Made only 3 so far.
 

Nepfreak

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don't bother with wierd orchid 10-20-whatever fertilizer, just use fish food!

ramispina is easy, It'll be fine.
 

Clint

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Only a person who's never tried fertilizing, or one that did it incorrectly, would ever say that.

Try it and you'll notice it's much better.
 

vraev

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personally though....I am tempted to foliar feed my rajah since it has no pitchers. However, I rather wait a while before fooling around with it as its only been 4 months since I got it. I will wait a few more months and see if it gets around to making any pitchers.
 

EdaxFlamma

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Alright I have a question for those who foliar feed.

If I have a Nepenthes (which I do) with no pitchers wouldn't spraying it with the foliar feed provide it with enough nutrients to not need to make pitchers and thus making it "concentrate" on producing more leaves as apposed to traps?

-J.P.
 

Clint

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No, that doesn't happen. It can make larger, fuller leaves (which are actually an extension of the petiol. The pitcher is the modified leaf) but that goes hand in hand with larger pitchers and stronger stems.

Foliar feed until you get pitchers, then I just pour the fertilizer-water directly in the pitcher. You can root feed if you can water heavily and often. I can't water often enough to prevent salt build up.

Oh yeah, don't fertilize the media if you've got a lot of LFS. It breaks it down and turns it slimy and gross. Start fertilizing at a quarter strength to build your confidence.
 
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