(Growing conditions) Nepenthes species

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I have little experience in growing nepenthes. Well, okay, not really little. But the larger part of my experience consists of killing many plants instead of them flourishing for me. Of course, any competent grower goes through the same learning process – killing many plants, coughs coughs – but still.

There are various media the nepenthes plants can be grown in. These range from live sphagnum moss (LSM), long-fiber sphagnum (LFS, known also as fried sphagnum), and peat, either all purely used in their own states, or mixed with draining media like river sand, or perlite.

Most of the growers I know live in landed properties, which means that in general, their nepenthes get long hours of sunlight. Since it is essential for the roots and media to not dry out, these growers mostly use 90% of LFS with the occasional sand or perlite mixed in.

However, I find that that growing media causes a huge problem for me.

Since everyone must take into consideration the growing conditions at their place, and I live in an apartment where my carnivorous plants growing area gets only four to five hours of morning sun, many nepenthes have actually died on me due to root rot, even if they like their roots moist-to-wet. Many a time, sheer laziness in changing the media they were grown in have resulted in their demise.

It took many tries to finally get a good combination of media for me: 50% volcanic sand (from World Farm) and 50% peat moss from the Horti brand. There is a reason for this success: while most other growers may have little need to pay attention to how wet their media is (as long as it remains wet), with a lessening amount of sunlight, complications will occur.

It is a lot easier to handle how much water a plant needs if a relatively well-draining media is used. If it dries out, one can always simply water it. Easy-peasy. However, if the media is too wet, the plant might suffer instead. To rectify that, one must take out the whole plant, and either use newspaper to soak up most of the water from the media (which might not work to the fullest effect), or halve the original media, adding in new and dry media. What a trouble.

With this combination of potting media I’ve found out, none of my nepenthes have died on me till date. It has been a lot easier for me to judge how much water to pour into my tray a day using the tray watering method. And each day, the media of my plants dry out just the tiniest bit, enough so that the roots can breathe, and they get fresh, new water each morning to keep them through the day.

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(Updates) Lemon verbena via air layering

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The lemon verbena has been doing very well ever since someone cut it away from the mother plant.

I’d say that my air layering method is a success.

(Propagation) Air layering

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Less than two weeks after I posted previously about the traditional method of air layering and causing an open wound to a plant’s stalk to aid in rooting, I checked in on my lemon verbena and saw what I thought are roots! Or, at least, from on top, one visible root.

I understand that when a part of the plant stalk is injured (especially if the injury is near any plant node) through say cuttings, or partially-open wounds like as if the plant had been bent and a small part snaps, but not fully, hormones or chemicals are produced by the plant. This leads to the plant either attempting to heal itself by growing new cells over the wound, or leads to root production.

In this case, rooting hormone made into a slurry and smeared onto the open wound definitely helps.


The flat beige piece is a wire I’d used to peg the stalk down. The long white thing is the (suspected) root/s.

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