Re: humidity

Sat, 21 May 1994 9:22:06 -0400 (EDT)

Chris wrote:

>Someone recetly said that they had brought their N. maxima in to their
>kitchen. I was wondering who else had had success with Nepenthes in low
>humidity environments.

A kitchen may not necessarily be a place of low humidity,
depending on what kind of cooking is done and how often :)

But that's besides the point. "Low humidity" is a relative
term...low compared to what? In the winter I keep my
Nepenthes under lights and inside clear plastic bags. Sometimes
I put a few small holes in the bags to allow for some air
exchange. The humidity in this setup is probably in the
mid 90's% relative humidity (RH) range.

When I take my Nepenthes outside for the summer, though,
the humidity is usually not that high. Washington, DC
summers can get RH values in the mid 90's% but usually
it's more like 70% and up. At 70% RH I notice that
the plants aren't as happy as they were in the plastic
bags, but it's a small difference. The older pitchers
may dry out a little sooner than they would have in the high
RH environment. Otherwise, the plants grow and do
produce new pitchers. Now in the desert SW USA where
RH is probably in the teens or lower, I'd imagine that
the Nepenthes would shrivel up in short order even if
the temperatures were kept reasonable.

James Pietropaolo has had one experience where he brought
a Nepenthes inside his house during the winter, and it
sat close to a radiator. The air was pretty dry (I don't
know the precise RH) but the plant did fine. I guess
they can get used to lower humidity (whatever that means)
if it's done slowly enough.

So far it's been pretty cool in DC for this time of year.
I brought four of my highland Nepenthes outside already,
and despite the fact that they receive only a little direct
sun in the late day some leaves of my N. khasiana have
gotten a little sunburned. I'm waiting for the weather
to warm up before I put my (newly acquired) lowlanders