Re: N. mirabilis media

Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 19:21:59 PST

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 22:21:59 EST
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3976$foo@default>
Subject: Re: N. mirabilis media

<< I know how varied answers will be on this, but I need some information
 about the preferres soil mixture of N. mirabilis. I read in "The Savage
 Garden" that is avoids peaty soils and that it prefers a more alkaline
 medium. What would be a recommended growing medium to fit the
 qualifications of being peat free and alkaline? I was thinking maybe
 some kind of combination of sand, vermiculite, and perlite. Any
 thoughts on the matter? Any info will be greatly appreciated!!
 Will >>

Dear Will,

     Most forms of N. mirabilis grow in just about anything any other
Nepenthes will grow in, from pure sphagnum (with good drainage) to
terrestrial orchid mixes. One volunteer hybrid of N. mirabilis x thorelii
germinated and grew fine in potting soil at the base of a potted palm (it was
later transplanted to a more normal mix). Most of my mirabilis are in equal
parts fir bark/ tree fern/ charcoal/ and sphagnum. Most sit in trays of
water during the sping and summer months. This is one of the few Nepenthes
that may sit in shallow water without harm, though N. gracilis does not seem
to mind it either. A few are hanging up in drier areas but suffer a bit
during the summer as they tend to dry between waterings. N. mirabilis will
fill even a large pot with a huge volume of roots given time and then may
gradually decline if not leaf/stem and root pruned and transplanted. If the
media breaks down in a peat muck even N. mirabilis will eventually suffer,
but probably less so than more finicky species.

     As a side note, the so call N. mirabilis v. echinostoma seems very
fussy about soil in the few plants I have grown. They have been treated here
more like ultra-basic species in their soil requirements with mostly
inorganic media of 80% silica gel and/or rock wool to 20% regular mix. I am
trying one in pure N.Z. sphagnum to see what (if anything) that will do for
the plant.


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