Growing an exotic plant nepentes at home, description, types, recommendations for the choice of soil, watering. Fight against possible diseases and pests. Nepenthes. The place of growth is tropical areas of Asia, it also includes the island territories of Madagascar, Seychelles, Philippines, New Guinea, Barneo and Sumatra. It is sometimes called the pitcher. The legends of Greece could also serve in this, the plant of oblivion bore the name of nepenthus. The variety has 72 species and some more bred plants, up to 120 in total. Nepentes is a predator or flycatcher, but even small birds can suffer from it.
Nepentes is essentially a liana that grows in the form of a shrub or semi-shrub. Nepentes is very fond of humidity and warmth, which is provided by places of natural growth. With thin and flexible or slightly hardened stems, nepentes begins to cling to protrusions in the bark or thick branches of nearby trees and thus creeps out to a very decent height. The plant tries to raise its inflorescences in the form of tassels or panicles to the rays of light. It is clear that nepentes lives as a parasitic plant on its host.
The leaf plates grow in strict order. They are large in size, on which the middle vein and a seemingly protruding apex are clearly visible. In addition to the usual leaf plates, nepentes has another type of leaves, which in appearance resemble an elongated bag or jug. The petiole of such leaves has a flat and wide part below, right at the stem. This part carries on photosynthetic functions. From the petiole, there is further transformation into a long and thin shoot in the form of a thread, which is attached to the base. At the very end of the thread, from a leaf blade, a jug will develop, which can be mistaken for a strange-looking flower.
These unusual jug leaves have a smooth brown edge. From above, the curved petal resembles a "lid" in a vessel. This sheet plate keeps the trapped "victim" in the middle and protects the jug from unnecessary objects or forest debris falling into it. A pair of toothed wings are on the outside of the trap and point from top to bottom. The jug leaf itself rests on these wings and they also direct the curious insects. On the inner edge, the jug has special cells that exude an odorous liquid. Its aroma lures insects and they get stuck in the sweet syrup of nepentes. The syrup is a mixture of rainwater, nectar and a digestive fluid called nepentesine. Usually, the digestion process can take up to 8 hours. Only the chitin shell remains from insects. The sap begins to digest the prey, and the predator plant receives nutrients in the liquid. Each jug is kept on the plant for a very long time and the "flowering" process can last up to 8 months.
The nepentes also have real flowers, which are dioecious - each plant grows a flower of only one sex. The flower has a symmetrical arrangement of its elongated parts, but it has no petals. On thick pedicels there are sepals of three, sometimes four in the form of tiles. The nepentes fruit looks like a tough box, which is divided into parts by thin green septa. On each such partition, seeds are attached in rows, which have in themselves a special tissue with nutrients and a small embryo that looks like a small upright barrel.
Varieties of nepentes
- Winged nepentes (Nepenthes alata). This plant is most of all chosen by flower growers for growing in apartment conditions and this species does not have such high demands for the amount of moisture in the environment.It grows as a shrub and some shoots reach up to 2 m in height. It is distinguished by elongated large leaf plates of dark green color, on which a vein in the middle is clearly visible. The jug leaves are also impressive in size and are painted in protective and reddish tones. The flowers are small and completely inconspicuous.
- Nepentes madagascar (Nepenthes madagascariensis). A plant with an evergreen crown, stretches up to 1.5 m in height. The sheet plates are elongated. Quite long, up to a quarter of a meter, jug leaves are beautifully colored with crimson shades. But this plant is not for home care, it must be kept in greenhouse rooms.
- Nepentes Raflesi (Nepenthes rafflesiana). The plant has rather large elongated leaves, about half a meter in length and 10 cm in width. The jugs are not large, only 10–20 cm, and the color scheme of the green background is painted with reddish stripes.
- Nepentes hairy (Nepenthes villosa) has small jug leaves, up to 20 cm in length. The color of the jug and the top "lid" is green-reddish. The bezel is embossed, bright green.
- Nepentes truncated (Nepenthes truncata) is distinguished by huge pitcher leaves, they can grow up to half a meter long.
- Nepentes double spur (Nepenthes bicalcarata) is native to the island of Barneo. He loves both swampy areas and highlands. The leaf plates are quite long, almost 60 cm, and the "traps" are distinguished by the smallest size, their length is no more than 10 cm.
- Nepentes white-bordered (Nepenthes albomarginata). Leaf jugs are up to 15 cm long and are distinguished by the most delicate colors: cream and pale pink.
- Nepentes Pervilla (Nepenthes pervillei). The main habitat is the Seychelles. The difference from other types is that the jugs are of the widest diameter. The color of these "traps" is deep red.
- Nepentes pitched (Nepenthes rajah). The place of growth of the Kanabalu mountain ranges on the island of Barneo. Differs in so large "traps" that it is able to assimilate even small rodents or birds.
Any of the nepentes family looks best in hanging flowerpots or in pots, so that its jug-leaves can hang down decoratively and freely. In a home environment, nepentes grows up to 5 years with proper care.
Necessary conditions for the growth of nepentes in an apartment or office
LightingSince nepentes naturally grows in the apical leaf mass of other trees, it is not surprising that this plant likes bright diffused lighting. For this, windows with sunrise and sunset rays of the sun are better suited. If you put it on a window that faces south, you will have to organize shading for nepentes with light curtains or gauze. On windows facing north, nepentes grows poorly and additional lighting with special lamps will be needed. The length of daylight hours for a comfortable growth of nepentes should be at least 16 hours. It is not recommended to rotate the pot with this plant, so you need to make a note on the side of the flowerpot, which is turned towards the light and focus on it. If this is not foreseen, then nepentes may stop growing and will not grow new jugs. You will have to wait at least two months until the nepentes gets used to the new location. The flower is very afraid of drafts, but loves to air it indoors.
Content temperatureSince nepentes naturally grows in warm areas with high moisture content and mountain ranges, the temperature must be selected in accordance with the type of plant. Nepentes, which grows in lowlands and marshy areas in the warm season, prefers temperatures no higher than 26 degrees, and with a cold snap it should not drop below 16, but more comfortable 18–20 degrees. Those varieties that prefer rocky areas like to grow at temperatures up to 20 degrees in summer, and in winter it is kept within 12-15 degrees. If the temperature for the mountain species of nepentes does not fall within the permissible limits for a long time, the plant will begin to hurt a lot. Watering nepentes. The plant loves a moist substrate, but does not tolerate waterlogging. He also cannot withstand dry soil for a long time. Nepentes requires a high moisture content in the room.Water for irrigation must be defended for two days or softened with peat. It is most useful to use water after rain or thawed water. Water for irrigation should be at room temperature. During hot months, nepentes needs to be moistened every two days, but when the temperature becomes low (16 degrees), then watering is reduced to once a week, in small portions. To ensure proper moisture, you can put a cup of water next to the plant and when it evaporates, it will saturate the air with moisture. You can also install a pot of nepentes in a wider pan, fill it with expanded clay or moss and keep a sufficient amount of moisture there.
It is best to spray nepentes at the time of growth activation, as soon as the jug leaves appear, spraying must be stopped, otherwise the drops of water will provoke their decay. Nepentes transplant. Since nepentes has many aerial roots, an appropriate soil is needed. You can use ready-made commercial earth mixtures for orchids. The pot is best chosen from plastic and completely transparent with holes for draining water. At the bottom, it is imperative to lay out a good layer of expanded clay or crushed foam. Gently place the nepentes root system in a pot and sprinkle thoroughly with orch substrate. You can place sphagnum moss on top, This will help keep moisture for the roots of nepentes longer, but not let it stagnate.
The transplant is usually performed in the spring when absolutely necessary. But if the plant has grown jugs, the pot has not become too small for the roots and the plant does not show any problems, then it is better not to disturb the nepentes. It is advisable to take a pot with a diameter of 14 cm, and when transplanting, take only a slightly larger one. It is better to transplant by the transshipment method, that is, try not to damage the root system and not shake off the old substrate.
Soil for planting nepentesIf it is possible to compose the soil mixture yourself, then this should be done using the following components in the ratio (3: 2: 1):
- leafy land;
- peat land;
- coarse sand.
You can also add detailed charcoal and sphagnum moss to the composition. For the substrate, sometimes 2 parts of high-moor peat, 2 parts of perlite (or agroperlite) and 1 part of vermiculite are taken. The composition should be of low acidity. For nepentes, you cannot use only peat, as it will greatly increase the acidity.
Fertilizers nepentesThe plant does not need active fertilizing and root application of fertilizers can cause a toxic burn, therefore it is best to use a leaf one - they spray the leaves with a spray bottle with a good fine spray. You can fertilize with fertilizing for orchids, but it is better to reduce the dosage by 3-5 times. Fertilizer liquid should include iron chelate, boron, copper, which will be well received by nepentes. If there is no fertilizer for orchids, then you can use simple flower ones, but change the dosage to less than 3 times. During the growth of shoots and flowers, fertilizing is applied once every 3 weeks. But if you overfeed the nepentes with fertilizers too much, then the water lily leaves may not grow at all. Some growers also feed the jugs naturally, but partially and only once a month. To do this, use dead insects (sometimes pieces of cottage cheese or meat). At this time, no chemical additives are added.
Reproduction of nepentes at home
Propagated by nepentes seeds or cuttings. Since, with growth, the shoots of nepentes are too elongated upward and it will need special supports, otherwise the jug leaves will not be able to grow enough. At the same time, the nepentes pot begins to occupy a large territory. Therefore, cuttings are cut from these tops of shoots or stems that have grown overgrown. The time for this is chosen at the end of winter or the first months of spring. Cutting is done with a sharpened knife or blade, which must be disinfected.The stalk is cut obliquely below the leaf plate. The stalk must have at least 3 leaf plates, they are cut in half. If there is a small leaf at the very top, then it is not touched. Cuttings must be placed in a growth stimulant solution for half an hour.
It is best to root the cutting in sphagnum moss. To do this, a cut of the cutting is wrapped with moss fibers and lightly fixed with a thread or wire, placed in a prepared pot. It can also be planted immediately in light soil, in which the cuttings will be at a depth of 0.5 cm. The cuttings can be sprayed with an anti-rot agent, for example, a foundation.
The pot is covered with a bag and mini-greenhouses are arranged. Cuttings are hidden from the bright sun. When rooting, the temperature is maintained at almost 30 degrees, and the cuttings are often sprayed so that the humidity is very high (up to 90%). After half a month, it is recommended to spray the cuttings with a growth stimulator (Zircon type). 2-3 drops are diluted in a glass of distilled water.
The rooting time can last up to a month and a half, but after 10 days you can understand whether the process is successful, the color of the cuttings should not lose brightness. If all rooting is going on, then jugs may appear on the first leaves. During rooting, it is also advisable not to touch the pot or twirl it. A transplant into a new pot can be done only after a year has passed, so as not to damage the young roots. After the second year of growth, the plant is usually stimulated to grow new jugs by cutting over 5-6 leaves.
Very rarely, nepentes are propagated by seed. You need to make sure that the seeds are fresh. The mixture for planting is made on the basis of sphagnum moss and coarse sand. Seed germination can last for two months. Young shoots are then planted in a mixture of identical parts of sphagnum, leafy soil and fine sand. The temperature for the seedlings is maintained within the range of 20-25 degrees, they are constantly sprayed to create the necessary humidity.
Diseases and pests of nepentes
The main problems of nepentes are aphids and mealybugs.
When aphids are affected, the leaves begin to turn yellow, and the flowers with buds do not grow or bloom. Aphid secretions can be seen as a sticky bloom on young and old leaf blades. Washing the leaves of the plant with laundry soap, which is diluted in water, will help - 20 grams per liter of water.
When a mealy worm is affected, nepentes begins to greatly inhibit growth, since the pest feeds on plant juices and the defeat can be determined by the secretions of a sugary species. The lesion is stimulated by increased moisture in the root system. The best remedy in the fight against drying of the substrate and roots. It is also necessary to often wipe the leaf plates of the plant and remove dried and dead ones.
Both parasites with their secretions can provoke the formation of sooty fungi.
Chlorosis of leaves with a lack of iron or growing nepentes in a substrate with a high content of peat can also be a problem.
More information about caring for nepentes in this video: