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The Great Experiment


First off, this experiment is very fast and loose, for several reasons:

The 3 Sarracenia Purpera used are in different stages of growth (One 2 year old, 2 One Year Olds), they are outdoors, and thus can catch on their own so supplimental nutrients can not be monitored, and neither did I clean out their pitchers before starting. And Finally, there is NO control Group (other than the Lucy, Mardi Gras, and Oreophylla that were not experimented on and are growing in the same pot.

Now, all of them are potted in the same planter. so I guess that is cool.

The substances introduced to the plants are:

Fat Free milk, Undiluted, Fat Free Milk, Diluted to 1/5th, and here is the kicker... Whey Protein Isolate, 1 teaspoon mixed to 5 teaspoons distilled water.

For those that don't know, Whey Protein Isolate is the essence of milk, cold processed out of it, it is what Body Builders use in their meal replacement shakes... this stuff is pretty pure, with only infintessimal amounts of sugar and fat included...

I sprayed the pitchers down with distilled water after introduction, and labled each plant.

So, I will let you all know of the progress with this experiment in a few weeks time.. I will keep you updated as I go.
Please do.

I will be amazed if the plant can break down milk protein. You will be able to tell once the pitchers can be dissected, so growth won't be the only indicator.


Several people here have reported success with adding milk to their pitchers... so it's not a huge leap... I think perhaps yeah, the whey protien isolate might be... but who knows... it is actually designed to be ripped into amino acids and assimilated as rapidly as possible by body builders... so it could work here as well... I am more worried about the artificial vanilla flavoring! (One pitcher only!!!!&#33
Why not a tiny blob of raw egg white? Prolly hard to get a tiny blob...
Has anybody tested with whole milk?
I added whole milk to a Flava pitcher. I read somewhere that Flava's are supposed to get 50% bigger per growing season. Don't know if that's true or not, but mine has DOUBLED in height so far, and it's not even August yet. New pitchers are coming up fast, too.

I also tried with a Purpurea, which has generated one new pitcher since, but it does look healthy and plump!
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Parasuco @ July 25 2002,1:21)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Why not a tiny blob of raw egg white? Prolly hard to get a tiny blob...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
You can hard boil the egg and then use the whites. Sundews , Sarrs ,neps, and Pings like egg whites.( I've used them on all my plants) The dews will start drooling and close all the way around the egg whites. Its really cool!
But can it be applied to nepenthes?
Egg white has been succesful for a lot of people, Not for me... but I think I fed to much...

I am now very hesitant to do ANYTHING in my terrarium... so I only play with the stuff outside right now...
  • #10

First update!

Sniff test...

The undiluted milk smells a little ripe, but the pitcher seems to be handling it! Looks like maybe another day or two and we'll be good to go.

Diluted milk, and protien powder are both totally oderless.

Visual Inspection...

There is some visible milk left in the undiluted speciment, appears it is curdled... but hey... that happens in nature with insect carcasses... and it's an older pitcher... so I am not worried...

Nothing visible in the other two specimens...


This is the exciting one... now.. first, all these plants are outdoors, and feed on their own.. each has at least one large insect in it except for the protein powder specimen, which is the smallest one.

The undiluted milk specimen had 3 tiny pitchers starting, where there were NONE at the begining of the week...

The diluted milk specimen has 2 pitchers starting


The protein powder specimen is my favorite... it had a tiny sliver of a pitcher bud starting on the rhiozome when I started the test. This pitcher is now, the size of all the other pitchers, not totally formed, and not open... it looks to have another 1 or 2 days of NORMAL growth before opening...

needless to say, I am excited about this, as not only did this test so far show extremely positive results, but I noticed no pitcher decay of any kind, in fact, it smelled like vanilla for a couple of days!

ok.. obviously I will need to gauge the effects over a longer period of time, but I am excited about the initial results.

So here is the question...

should I suppliment each specimen again next week?

Opinions? Thoughts?

My idea was that if I continue supplimentation over a long period of time, then bumps in the growth curves caused by insects being caught would be relatively small compared to the length of the curve, i.e. smaller impact on the experiment...
  • #11
Very interesting. I'd continue experimenting, and publishing the results in a CP newsletter.
  • #12
well, I don't know about publishing the results... I am not out for fame... just telling all of you is enough for me.
  • #13
Well, may I publish it...I will write a book about it...then I will give you thrid of my profits to you and the other thrid to PFT.

  • #14
It's working! Wow! Please push on--it will be interesting to see what develops.

As for publishing anything, I think you will need a control group.

  • #15
yeah... it's a little to umm... uncontrolled with being outside and all to make a case study...
  • #16
With a bad economy I am sure there are people I could hire for a dollar an hour...Hey, call 10-10-2-20 and have twenty minutes of talk time
. Ok, at least it is fun to dream.

  • #17
When I did my egg-white experiment - hardly anythin happened. apart from the mear 12 pitchers that have just started growing
So egg white does work!
  • #18
12 pitchers?

that is a truly incredible number...

Can we see pics?
  • #19
I wouldn't feed them for a while. If that stuff is doing anything they should slow down after a while.
  • #20
Anyone with thoughts on milk for a Cobra? My cobra is hanging in there, considering its not in the best of conditions. There is new growth, but very slow to forming real pitchers. The original pitcher (is that what they are called) is still there and I wonder if a drop of milk would give strength to the buds that are taking forever to grow.