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Name: BRANDON HENDERSON
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 3/4/2004


Question:
I HAVE JUST RECENTLY PURCHASED A NEPEHTES COCCINEA, AND THE DIRECTIONS SAID TO FILL THE PITCHERS WITH EITHER RAIN WATER OR DISTILLED WATER. WELL, ON THE RESEARCH THAT I HAVE LOOKED UP ON, I HAVE READ THAT THE FLAP IS THERE TO KEEP THE WATER OUT. IF THESE PLANTS EAT AND DIGEST SMALL BUGS, WHY DO I HAVE TO PUT WATER IN THE PITCHERS? I LIVE IN FLORIDA, AND I DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO KEEP THE PLANT IN THE HOUSE, OR TO SET IT OUTSIDE IN A COOL, OUT-OF-THE-SUN PLACE. IS IT NECESSARY FOR THE PLANT TO HAVE THE BUGS AND THE WATER, OR DOES THE WATER ACT TO TRAP THE BUGS?


Replies:
These plants produce their own fluids within the pitchers. The pitchers attract insects and the plants produce digestive enzymes. The plants themselves (i.e., the growing medium) should be watered with distilled or rain water. Recommended environmental conditions include high humidity, warm temperatures, and bright light but not direct sun.

For more information, the following might be helpful:

http://www.sarracenia.com/faq.html

http://www.pitcherplant.com/care_sheets/nepenthes_care.html

http://www.cpjungle.com/nepenthesuniversity.htm

http://www.carnivorousplants.org/cpn/samples/Science292Digest.htm

Also a Nepenthes discussion board:

http://forum.happenchance.com/

Anthony Brach, Ph.D



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