Carnivorous Plants/Leaves look faded stagnant growth
QUESTION: I have had this nepenthes for 1 month an half. When It arrived via post it did have 2 dried pitchers both now have been cut off. The leaf colouration have turned yellow an it just looks like its growth is slow an stagnant.
Is there anyway I could boost its growth it used to get 4hrs direct sunlight this plant is left outdoors in a small 4tier GH with PVC plastic an covered in a 50% shade cloth. when I first got it to acclimatise than I just recently started to leave it in partial shade cloth 50% thinking I have given it to much direct sun. Since it doesn't have pitchers I was wondering if foliar fertiliser would help it out but I am worried it will go on the LFS an burn the roots.
ANSWER: Hi Jon
Since you're in winter right now, what are your temperatures like currently? The yellowing seems to have more to do with that. 50% shade cloth is fine, but if your sun is low in the sky, I would say big temperature swings would be a bigger culprit for the yellowing. Let me know what your temperatures have been in the greenhouse.
A weak foliar fertilizer should be fine. Just mix an orchid fertilizer at 1/4 strength, and spray it once every two weeks as a foliar spray. Try to minimize disturbance to your plant. Nepenthes hate conditions changing too much such as being move around too much.
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QUESTION: When the sun hits the GH the temps can reach over 30 degrees (86F) zipped up I normally would leave one side open for air circulation. If its open one side the temps are 20-25degrees daytime humidity in the GH is 30-40% outside it will be around 50-60% depending on the weather at times 30-40% as well as I have hygrometers everywhere. The shade cloth helps a lot. Once the sun goes down @ 5pm the night temps will drop the temps average 4-10 degrees this Winter it hasn't reach 0 (32F)humidity around 80-90% @ night as well. Similar readings in GH when its zipped all the way down leave small part unzipped for circulation.
Yes I believed I disturb the plants a lot when I first got it I would take them outside the GH leave them direct sun I guess moving them around to much. Here is a photo of my 4 TIER GH,
With orchid fertilisers just regarding foliar spraying do I need to flush the pot in case salt traces get into the LFS or its safe for the LFS as all the plants soil are Dried NZ LFS.
Thank-you for the reply and the photo. This really helps.
You have a couple things going on here. First is the recent transplant of your plants. Nepenthes almost always drop their pitchers after root disturbance. It won't matter how perfect your growing conditions are, they will concentrate their energy on repairing root damage and stop making pitchers. It often takes a couple months for them to come around.
The other is your temperatures as I suspected. Nepenthes like things nice and boring; consistent conditions. You have too large a temperature swing, and the night temperatures are too cold. They really shouldn't be below 12-13 C. Being exposed to cold will definitely cause the yellowing. Consider moving your plants indoors to a sunny window. They will adapt to lower humidity indoors. If you move them to a sunny window, water them regularly, then just give them time, they should come around for you. You may not see new pitchers until spring since short days often affect pitchering too. Once you have a good spot for them, avoid moving them around. Too much change will inhibit pitcher production.
Since you always top-water Nepenthes, flushing the soil isn't really needed. Just limit your fertilization to once every two weeks, and keep it dilute; no more than 1/4 teaspoon/1.23ml per gallon of water.
The type of structure you're using is really meant to be more of a cold frame for garden plants. It's way too hard to grow fussy tropicals in a structure that is so hard to control temperatures. Unfortunately, if you want a greenhouse for plants like Nepenthes, you can't really do it "On the Cheap". You have to invest in a more substantial greenhouse that you can really control the temperatures in. Lots of us have learned this the hard way. :(
Here's more information on growing Nepenthes: http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=266