Re: N. merrilliana

From: Malesiana Tropicals (
Date: Tue Feb 23 1999 - 01:13:00 PST

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 17:13:00 +0800
From: "Malesiana Tropicals" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg547$foo@default>
Subject: Re: N. merrilliana

Trent (and anyone else interested in N. merrilliana),

Thought I might add a few more comments on the culture of this species
while the topic is still hot...

Tom's description of the plant's natural habitat was very accurate; I
visited the site several years ago and was amazed at the unusual
laterite soil they were growing in. One observation I'd like to add is
that this region in coastal Mindanao can experience a considerable dry
season (up to several months long) during which very little rain falls.
The soil surface at this time can become very dry and hot. Perhaps to
compensate for this, N. merrilliana seems to develop an unusually deep
root system - it is possible that the plants are able to tap moisture
several feet beneath the soil surface.

It is thus not suprising that most of the problems people have had with
growing N. merrilliana have been due to rotten roots. Any plant that is
adapted for a dry climate (or season) will obviously have trouble
dealing with excess moisture. It is possible that N. merrilliana is
very sensitive in this manner. My solution for the this has been to
water my plants less frequently than for other Nepenthes (about once a
week), allowing the media to intermittently dry out. I also keep them
in large pots (I have my biggest in a 10-gallon deep terracotta pot).
The results so far have been great: my two largest plants (3 years old)
are over 2-feet in diameter (leaf span), and are sporting larger and
larger pitchers with each new leaf. Still a far cry from the 40+cm
pitchers in the wild, but satisfying nonetheless!

I hope this helps, and would be keen to hear from other growers who have
tried similar methods.

Best regards,

Ch'ien Lee
Kuching, Sarawak

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