on germinating nepenthes seed.

Robert Allen (Robert.Allen@Eng.Sun.COM)
Mon, 31 Jan 1994 13:45:56 +0800

>>I am working on getting Nepenthes into my collection, but am having
>>trouble getting the ones I have to germinate. That's one of the many
>>reasons I'm here. I'll talk to you all very soon.
>> Matthew

Matthew, germinating Nepenthes seed can be a bit tedious.
I've done it a few times, with varying degrees of success.
The fundamental requirement for most species seems to be
heat and moisture, and to a lesser degree, light. The problem
is that heat and moisture often combine to produce fungous,
which kills the seed. The two successes I've had were as

1) Put live spaghnum in blender and grind it up fine. Sow
seeds on surface and cover with humidity tent. Put this
somewhere warm, like on top of a flourescent fixture over
the internal ballast. Don't *bake* the seeds however.

2) Use finely ground spagnum seed starter. Pre-wet it a
day ahead of time. After planting it in a plastic pot,
put the put and soil (but NOT the seeds) and nuke it for
a while to kill anything that might be growing in there.
After the soil has cooled a bit, sow the seed on the
surface, and put the pot of seed in a warm and humid
place. Some light wouldn't hurt, but I think the heat
and moisture are more important. I put mine in my
Nepenthes terrarium under lights.

Nepenthes seed can take months to germinate, although
personally if I didn't get anything in 2-3 months, I'd
probably figure I wasn't going to get anything. If the
seed does germinate, you may also have problems with
the spagnum sprouting and overgrowing the seedlings.
Keep the spaghnum carefully trimmed down from the seedlings
so they don't die. Also note that the spagnum holds
water a lot more than standard nepenthes mix, so you
probably shouldn't have to water them at all if you are
in 100% humidity, as you probably should be to get

Fungous growth is a severe problem. Some people use
Benomyl WP to fight it. I can't vouch for using it
on Nepenthes as I've never done it.