N. merrilliana

From: Mark Pogany (markp@en.com)
Date: Sat Feb 20 1999 - 20:41:05 PST

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 23:41:05 -0500
From: "Mark Pogany" <markp@en.com>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg514$foo@default>
Subject: N. merrilliana


You wrote:

All of my Nepenthes are grown under lathe house conditions. I use 70 percent
shade shadecloth during the summer, and plastic+60 percent shadecloth in the
winter. N. mirabilis, N. cantleyi (natural hybrid of gracilis x bicalcarata)
and several manmade hybrids grow side by side with my N. merrilliana, and
they all have nice pitchers.

Obviously something is lacking in its artificial environment. I still
suspect something in the growing medium. I await any further comments.

I just finished reading Tom Kahl's response concerning his observations
while at the plants natural habitat. He mentioned laterite. Normally I keep
out of nep discussions due to my short time cultivating this genus but
thought I might chime in on this one. Right now I am conducting a small
personal experiment with tuberous drosera, potting some up with the standard
75% silica sand 25% peat mix and others with the addition of laterite soil.
In the past some growers have noted differences in coloration, growth, and
overall vigor using laterite with some species of tuberous drosera.

You might try adding some laterite to the N. merrillianas medium to see
what, if any, changes occur. I think there needs to be some research done
that addresses this medium, whether from hobby growers or from professional
horticulturists. Since laterite is of tropical origin and some species of
Nepenthes do grow in it there might be trace elements involved here that
contribute to the particular species well being.

Since I live in the US I had to obtain my supply of laterite through a
specialty aquatic plant grower. I know from recent personal experience the
company Dupla no longer has a US distributor, being a major supplier of
laterite in the past. You may have to do a little hunting to obtain it.

My 2 cents,

Mark Pogany
Cleveland, Ohio ( "Lake Effect" going full steam right now)

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