nepenthes growing media

Jean Dewitte (
Fri, 18 Aug 95 17:17:00 GMT

This to add some comments to the question about nepenthes growig media.
As far as I have seen, the division highland/lowland is also valid for growing
medium. Most of the lowlanders I have seen (ampullaria, rafflesiana,
bicalcarata, mirabilis, gracilis, insignis, neoguinensis...) grow happily even
when soaking wet. On the contrary, everything growing above 1000 m (even
ampullaria in one location) when not epiphitic has been seen sometimes in bone
dry soil. I don't think those soild ever become waterlogged, so the highland-
roots should never stand in water. the same goes for the epiphitically growing
types. So yes, you could use two kind of media, depending on the type. I solved
the problem by using one only, consisting of a mixture of peat (very little,
being non-eco!), wood bark, styropor, Seramis (4 - 5 mm expanded material used
in hydroculture), charcoal and cork. The whole is airy enough to allow
yet the Seramis works as a sponge, soaking up the water and slowly releasing
it. Looking at my plants the ones that grow best are the ones with maximum
drainage, even if they run dry for a couple of days.
I would not recommend to use sphagnum, even if nepenthes grow in it in nature.
Sphagnum tends to compost after two three years, and or the roots rot along or
you cannot remove the clump from the roots and damage them.
Hope this is of use to nepenthes growers.
John De Witte
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