(Purchases) Nepenthes ampullaria and bicalcarata x ampullaria

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I placed an order with Borneo Exotics through a mass order done by the local vendor in GCS a few months ago, and received both my plants today.

I’ve been eyeing these two plants for quite some time, and decided to splurge on them.

(Phone-quality images because I was busy potting (and then repotting!) them)

N. bicalcarata x ampullaria

N. ampullaria 'Borneo sunset'

N. ampullaria 'Borneo sunset' - one of the pitchers

N. ampullaria 'Borneo sunset' - basals! (And there are two more BABY basals which I was told to bury them just under the surface; those two are so young they are still albino! =D)

I’d actually planted them in peat moss mixed with LECA (Aquaclay brand), but felt very very uneasy about that because LECA is fired clay (clay potentially contains/contained minerals); so barely an hour after that, I went to mix peat moss with washed volcanic sand, and repotted both plants. All my CPs (especially nepenthes) have done well in this mix so far.

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(Propagation) Nepenthes Gardentech

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Basal!

When I first realized that the N. Gardentech I bought last year (which my dad ‘stole’ and transplanted into a bigger pot) had produced a sizable basal, I was ecstatic. Finally! A nepenthes I had growing a basal! It was unprecedented for me, probably because I keep all my nepenthes in small, four-inch pots due to space constraints.

Attempting to cut off the basal, I instead, by accident, snipped off the main portion of the Gardentech. Without roots, I might add.

I nearly died from the frustration at myself, the grrrrrrr which enveloped me right then.

Main stem snipped into three portions with more than four nodes each

But instead of throwing the cutting away, I decided to just heck it and try rooting the cuttings. I mean, why waste the cuttings, right? I might as well take this as my first nepenthes rooting experience.

Armed with prior knowledge in Cindy’s thread at GCS: How to take nepenthes cuttings and root them, I shortened the long cutting into two larger portions with more than four nodes each, and a smaller portion also with more than four nodes, but smaller in size.

Cutting #1

The stems being quite thin, I couldn’t really do the cut-and-flip of the outer layer which Cindy did in her thread. So I simply scraped the outer portion off.

The two larger cuttings are in pure water now; the smaller cutting is in pure perlite.

I think that roots should grow in about a month or so, hopefully.

(I’d already cut an N. ventrata cutting about a week back and did the cut-and-flip method on it. It being a common and hardy nepenthes, I thought I’d use it to learn before I tried the method on my rarer nepenthes. But ah well. Learn as I do, I suppose)

Cutting #2

Cutting #3 - the smallest one

It grew such a nice and large picther, no less! =(

(Gardening happys) Hoya multiflora, nepenthes

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My Hoya multiflora has FINALLY bloomed after having had many flowers abort. This is so exciting!

Not the greatest picture, but it shows the size of my newly-acquired Nepenthes ampullaria-spotted x albomarginata

(Photography) More neps

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A mid-range view of my N. (mirabilis x coccinea) x rafflesiana which has grown really big due to getting a lot of sun

N. (mirabilis x coccinea) x rafflesiana peristome - very beautiful!

N. albomarginata 'Brunei, green'

N. albomarginata 'Brunei, green'

Nepenthes ampullaria 'bronze nabire'

Nepenthes ampullaria 'bronze nabire' - pitcher coloring up with more sun

(Photography) Toothache plant, neps.

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Toothache plant flower #1

Toothache plant flower #1

Toothache plant flower #2

N. ampullaria 'speckled' I'd bought from Nep about a week or two back

N. albomarginata 'ringlet'

Growing tips of sphagnum moss

(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.

(Photography) Try to take over the world!

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One of the nepenthes albomarginata var. ‘rubra’ pitchers.

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