Earlier last week I received some new Nepenthes from most excellent Nepenthes guru, Paul Barden! (THANKS PAUL! DUDE — YOU ROCK!) If you haven’t already seen his amazing blog, it would behoove you to do so: Nitrogenseekers.
I do have a few Nepenthes that I’ve kind of just let “hang out” in the garden – and they actually do ok. You see, I live by the coast and it’s very mild here – and quite hospitable for the highland varieties and other plants that like it cool. I haven’t really focused on growing Nepenthes really but now that I have the dome set up, I can explore this genus a little bit more. I am hopeful for these new additions, and will update the blog from time to time showing how things develop. This is just what I need, right? Another obsession in the carnivorous plant niche? (But don’t worry, Sarracenia for me still and will always hold that special place!)
The plants arrived at my door in great condition – packed perfectly! Wrapped in cellophane, Paul’s Nepenthes looked like a shipment of large chrysalises. They contained savage primordial beauties waiting to branch out and consume in their new habitat.
I brought the plants over to the greenhouse and got ready to pot them up. The mix I used was a rough 1:1 ratio of perlite and long fiber sphagnum moss. I thought I had some orchid bark left over, (which I’ve also used in this mix with other Nepenthes) but turns out I used it all up. DOH! Anyway, I hear that this mix should be fine. Paul also gave me the opportunity to practice Nepenthes cuttings on a cane of a N. fusca hybrid. I was directed to RTFM on Nepenthes cuttings here. I am trying one, two, and three node versions and hope a few of them strike and root for me.
Unwrapping these babies! As you can see, they came in EXCELLENT condition. I mean, that pitcher is still looking good after spending a couple days in the box! I carefully removed the cellophane and potted them up hoping and praying that they would enjoy their new home.
Here are the first Nepenthes under the dome! The shade cloth makes it look like a cave in this shot. (Eh, it was getting late here anyway…) Keep in mind that when the sun is overhead, the cloth does a great job of keeping it cool and diffusing the light in there. I know that the house looks kinda empty right now and that’s the sheer beauty of it. Almost like a blank canvas; and I am eager to watch it grow. If you’re wondering, I had extra cement mixing tubs that I used here as humidity trays. I figure a little added humidity wouldn’t hurt these plants as they get acclimated to their new conditions. I also imagine that the extra humidity would be beneficial to the cuttings that I’m practicing on. As I watered the plants, I let the water run down through the pots down into the tray.
I moved the rest of the Nepenthes in, along with a couple Heliamphora and Cephalotus. (I took this photo the morning of the following day, by the way. It looks a little brighter.) It will be a fun journey to see this space slowly get filled up! For now, this is a quick look into the humble beginnings of life under the dome.
Paul – again, thank you so much for your patience and kindness! I hope that your plants make themselves at home here and grow for me as well as they do for you! Thank you!