My growing collection of neps

Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
BE-4099
I've been overfeeding the old small pitchers. Not sure if it's doing much but the new leaves coming in nicely either way.
Don't mind the damage on some of the old leaves, the large sessile glands on the leaves make them prone to burns, and I've been testing out their tolerance to being exposed to insecticidal soaps, hydrogen peroxide etc.
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The newest pitcher still has a very hairy lid. I hope the bigger leaves translate into bigger pitchers.
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hamata x edwardsiana AW13 is starting to pick up speed and is working on a new pitcher too.
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I did a bit of measuring to confirm what conditions my neps are growing in.

Light:
1677818420701.png1677818497907.png


The lights are on a 14 hour cycle.
DLI is PPFD (umol/m^2 s) x 0.0036 x 14 h = moles of photosynthetically active photons per square meter per day (mole/m^2 day)

Temperature and humidity (winter):
1677818581649.png1677818593935.png

Vertical dashed lines note when the misting system turns on (30 s every 4 h)
The misting doesn't seem to do much to increase humidity at night, the air is already about as saturated as it's going to get. It clearly increases humidity for the subsequent 2-ish hours during the day though.

BE-4099 is currently the fastest growing nep in my collection.

Pitcher sizes increasing:
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Latest pitcher about to open:
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Roots growing through live moss:
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Not much progress to post about today, but I am bored so I made some word salad.

Making a PPFD map of the area under the lights is helpful for making sure the plants are receiving appropriate amounts of light.
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This pineapple plant, for example, has gotten tall enough that the canopy is receiving around 960 umol/m^2 s PPFD. It's not burning or anything, but this is more light than the plant needs, and may actually be decreasing photosynthetic activity.

To figure out what an appropriate amount of light is, we can refer to something called a light response curve: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PI_curve

Here's an example of what a light response curve looks like:
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Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Light-response-curves-for-photosynthesis-The-light-compensation-point-is-the-minimum_fig2_328859471

The main things indicated on such a curve are the following:
  1. Light compensation point: When net photosynthesis is zero. This basically means the plant is receiving just enough light that its photosynthetic activity breaks even with its metabolic needs. This represents the absolute minimum amount of light the plant needs to survive. At any light intensity below the compensation point, the plant undergoes dark respiration, where carbohydrates are metabolized to produce energy.
  2. Increasing light intensity above the compensation point results in a net gain in CO2 assimilation, meaning that the plant is actually producing sugars. This part of the curve is light limited at first, then becomes CO2 limited as light increases.
  3. Light saturation point: The point at which more light no longer increases photosynthetic activity, as the reaction becomes rate limited by something else, eg. carbon dioxide availability, temperature, enzymatic activity etc. This represents the maximum amount of light the plant is able to make use of. Going above this point can do things like induce stress colouration, but is a waste of money if you're paying for the electricity to run lights.
  4. At excessively high light intensities you reach a point where radiation damage to the photosystem (photooxidative stress, 10.1111/j.1399-3054.1994.tb03042.x ) actually decreases photosynthetic activity. This is photoinhibition, and is generally to be avoided.
Back to the pineapple:
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Looking at this light response curve for a pineapple plant (DOI 10.1007/s12042-010-9057-y) shows that peak electron transport rate (ETR, a measure of photosynthetic activity) occurs at a PPFD of ~700 umol/m^2 s. At the ~1000 PPFD I was giving it, the plant is at best at saturation point and at worst starting to undergo photoinhibition, so keeping the plant so close to the light would mostly be a waste of power.

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Lowering the pineapple away from the light means it's making more efficient use of the light. It also means the plants to either side aren't as shaded, resulting in about a 15% increase in PPFD for them.

Unfortunately, light response curves aren't as easy to find for Nepenthes as they are for commercially important crops like grains, fruits and vegetables. You can sort of guesstimate what's best by looking at light response curves for common species, keeping in mind that light response curves change with things like temperature or water stress, as well as how much the plant is being fed.

Examples: N. miranda (DOI:10.1007/s11120-022-00987-8) or N. alata (10.5402/2012/263270), which show peak ETR around 200 and 400 umol/m^2 s PPFD, respectively:
1677959611932.png1677959755918.png

Good thing that Nepenthes are adaptable and typically grow well under a range of light intensities.
Carnivero wrote an informative article a couple years ago describing how Nepenthes respond to light:

I see the same sort of changes in my plants.
For example, this N x bloody mary originally arrived with very large, thin and floppy shade-adapted leaves. They quickly turned red under my lights (at ~150 PPFD), and started going chlorotic. The new leaves were smaller and thicker in comparison, but continued to turn red and developed some spotting. Currently, the plant receives around 180 PPFD and has acclimated to the light intensity, returning to making green leaves.
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Same sort of story with this BE-4099 receiving ~220 PPFD:
Green floppy leaves => red and chlorotic => thicker leaves with varying amounts of red pigmentation => thicker green leaves
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Another new truncata pitcher. This one measures in at just under 22cm tall. The peristome on this pitcher is a bit more developed than the ones shown previously in post-42808 and post-41772.
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BE-3980 (veitchii x lowii) x (burbidgeae x edwardsiana) made a new pitcher a couple days ago:
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villosa x hamata still doing leaf and pitcher jumps. The last two pitchers only lasted ~2mo each. Maybe from the heavy feeding.
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Up later: hamata x edwardsiana
New pitcher developing 02-13 to 03-17
 
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VarunA

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I did a bit of measuring to confirm what conditions my neps are growing in.

Light:
View attachment 23731

View attachment 23733
The lights are on a 14 hour cycle.
DLI is PPFD (umol/m^2 s) x 0.0036 x 14 h = moles of photosynthetically active photons per square meter per day (mole/m^2 day)

Temperature and humidity (winter):
View attachment 23734View attachment 23735

Vertical dashed lines note when the misting system turns on (30 s every 4 h)
The misting doesn't seem to do much to increase humidity at night, the air is already about as saturated as it's going to get. It clearly increases humidity for the subsequent 2-ish hours during the day though.

BE-4099 is currently the fastest growing nep in my collection.

Pitcher sizes increasing:
View attachment 23736


Latest pitcher about to open:
View attachment 23737

Roots growing through live moss:
View attachment 23738
I love your graphs, your photography and your approach for growing these plants. Did you use graphpad prism for making those graphs ? lol
 

Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
BE-4033 veitchii's latest pitcher popped yesterday morning:
It's been slowly opening all day with one edge of the peristome caught against the edge of the leaf.
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I did some more UV fluorescence for fun:
BE-4033 new pitcher:

You can see a bunch of nectar glands on the outside walls of the pitcher. They look like little greenish-brown pits and glow blue in UV. Pretty neat.
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Older pitcher:
N. veitchii pitchers change in fluorescence really dramatically as they age. It's very cool. On the other hand, old pitchers on my other plants like truncata, hamata x edwardsiana, villosa x hamata, lowii x ventricosa, ventrata, etc. fluoresce blue and stay that way until they die.
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BE-3980 (veitchii x lowii) x (burbidgeae x edwardsiana) new pitcher:
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Older pitcher:
I assume it's the veitchii genes contributing to the shift towards yellow fluorescence. These pitchers seem to retain some blue as well. veitchii x edwardsiana does the same thing, though with a more complete shift to yellow-orange fluorescence.
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N. robcantleyi made a new pitcher too.
It doesn't seem to have liked the couple weeks of -30C weather we had. It's gone and made a smaller pitcher with a somewhat deformed lid. As is tradition, so I hear. Hopefully the next one's back to normal, the new tendril tip is already developing.
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Ertiocx

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Haven't posted here in a while. Not a huge amount happening, just slow but steady growth.

BE-4099 villosa x hamata:
Big leaf jumps, still overfeeding pitchers so they don't last very long.
The tendril coming off the big leaf at 10 o'clock is starting to pitcher so I'm hoping it's a big one.
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N. hamata x edwardsiana AW13
Also making good leaf jumps, but doesn't want to pitcher. BE-4099 is overtaking it in size.
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BE-3517 robcantleyi:
Made a beautifully flared pitcher after the previous stunted winter pitcher.
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See the time lapse of it opening up here:

N. truncata:
Still making very thin and tall but potbellied pitchers.
Left: Plain peristome immediately after opening, but develops striping after 2 or 3 days (right).
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New plants:
BE-4522 ventricosa x attenboroughii
Received 2023/04/28. Very small, was previously grown in low light so it looks like all the old leaves will burn off sooner or later. Nice colours on the pitcher, excited to see how it grows.
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BE-4544 aristolochioides
Received 2023/04/28. Hasn't skipped a beat and is already producing leaves and pitchering.
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N. edwardsiana tambuyukon
Left: Small basal cutting received 2023/04/06. Lost all but the youngest leaf over the next 3 weeks.
Right: Acclimated and producing its first new leaf.
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