Weird growth on my N. alata

Tue, 31 May 1994 9:09:40 -0400 (EDT)

Hello everyone,
I had an interesting discussion with Rob Sacilotto
about one of my N. alata plants and the unusual growth
it was producing. Perhaps other Nepenthes aficionados
might have some comment on the matter.

The plant in question has two main vines on
it, each about 24 cm tall and about 6 mm in diameter.
Before yesterday's pruning, there were several thin
vines growing off the top ends of the two main vines.
It is these which caught Rob's attention. They did not
appear to be normal "top growth".

These secondary vines sprouted after I had trimmed
the main vines, and at the node just below the cuts. The
vines grew to a length of about 35 cm and were characterized
by unusually large internodal spacing, around 9 cm compared
to the usual 3 cm. Moreover the leaves were incredibly thin,
being mostly tendril with barely a blade attached to either
side to form the leaf. The new vines did not seem as
fibrous, were not as thick or sturdy, and the color was greener
than the main vines. Pitchering was poor on these vines.

I had wanted to use this material to root more plants
but Rob suggested otherwise. He had never seen such growth
on his N. alata, the same plant mine was derived from, even
though his plant has grown quite large throughout his greenhouse.
After we pruned my N. alata, he suggested that I watch the new
growth carefully. Although he didn't see the classic signs
of a viral infection, he felt that some caution was necessary.

A few ancillary details: Most of this growth occurred
during the winter when the plant was in a clear plastic bag and
under bright fluorescents (12 hr. photoperiod). Another N. alata
and two N. khasianas shared the same conditions and all look
healthy and normal. Also, no fertilizer has been given to these
plants. Some dilute Superthrive solution has been given, but
well after this questionable growth was established. The same
Superthrive solution was used on the other Nepenthes with no
adverse affects. Finally, the N. alata in question suffered
a "greenstick" break about 5 cm up from the base of one of its
main vines, in which vascular tissue on one side and at the
outer 1/4 diameter was broken. The vine above this break
still thrived, but produced the strange growth described above.
At the node below the break a new vine sprouted and is now
about 24 cm long, but seems quite thin with wider internodal

Perhaps something has entered the "greenstick" break
and is stressing the plant? Has anyone had similar experiences?

Much obliged for any responses.

Perry Malouf