trapped pitchers, water quality

Tue, 08 Aug 1995 13:52:00 -0700 (PDT)

I wrote earlier:

Well, my Nepenthes alata may have adjusted to the lower humidity in my home,

finally, and now appears to be trying to make new traps...will report
* correction , before I get flamed..I meant new pitchers, not traps ;)

Steve: ha! ha! A bit of levity helps..

Water quality: This seems to be critical for growing CPs well. If you are
not sure about water quality, get a water quality report. If pH is alkaline
(>7), it seems that most CPs except perhaps Nepenthes, may not grow well,
though all CPs would do better with more acidic water ( as will most plants)
. It is easy to test pH with an aquarium test kit, and easy to adjust water
pH with distilled white vinegar from the grocery store if it is alkaline.
Add 1/2 tsp at a time to a gallon of water, let it sit 15 min, and then
measure the pH. Repeat if necessary until pH falls in the acid range
(4.5-5.5 would probably be best) . This should be the minimum adjustment
a serious grower should make. If using tap water, filter it if possible to
remove Cl, or let it sit out overnight, and then decant the water the next
day. An RO system will almost always improve growth; the extent to which it
does depends on how good/bad your water quality is to begin with. You will
need a water quality report to assess this, so you can look at the total
dissoved solids (TDS) . RO systems are not cheap and can waste a lot of
water (though some newer models are less wasteful) so do your homework
first. You may not need one. Distilled water can be used, but is expensive
unless you have a small collection. Using expensive spring water is a waste
of money in my opinion.
I have TDS levels for Orchids, which I suspect would hold just as well for
CPs. If anyone is interested let me know. And if anyone has comments/further
insights please share them.