N. rajah

James Powell (jpowell@borg.lib.vt.edu)
Tue, 10 Jan 95 08:35:46 -0500

Well, if you want to hear about success with plants instead of flames, I
have a Nepenthes rajah that I purchased last summer that is growing like
a weed. For months, it would not produce a pitcher. Then last summer
there was a long discussion about a product called superthrive. At
first I was wary of over using it, but I got frustrated watching small
pitchers form at the end of the leaves that never opened, so I cleaned
my cool climate plant aquarium in my basement and replaced the somewhat
stagnant water it contained with a mix of 5 drops of superthrive to a
gallon of distilled water. Just as before, my plants stood in perhaps
two centimeters of water.

Within weeks I had one open pitcher and now I have three. I tried to
feed a tiny fly to the first pitcher using a syringe. I put the fly on
the rim, and squirted a small amount of water to push the fly in - well
of course I washed the fly away and never succeeded in feeding the poor
thing. The first pitcher now has a reddish-maroon color. The plant
also now has two growth points. I figured I would have killed the plant
by now but now I'm cautiously optimistic that I may be able to raise it
to maturity someday.

I remember the first time I saw a N. rajah in Kurata's book and wondered
if I'd ever even see a real live plant, now I am watching week by week
as this small, and to me unidentifiable plant I received last summer
exhibits more and more of the characteristics of that plant I dreamed of
seeing so long ago.

Just my idea of fun...