Right, time to tackle one of the most famously difficult species.
I've been putting this one off for ages, assuming it would be too difficult for me. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.
So let's have a go.
My plant originated from BE. It arrived as expected, healthy but with no pitchers.
Here's my plan: after reading everything I could online about cultivating it, I've put it in a fairly large pot, with a few inches of pure perlite in the bottom (for excellent drainage), with my usual mix of 80% perlite / 20% moss peat on top. The idea is to keep it dry-ish. Then, vaguely intermediate conditions. Minimum around 16 degrees, maximum around 30. (BE say theirs do best in their highland nursery, which is what the rest of us would know as intermediate.)
So far, so good: it's grown 2 new leaves in a month. I'll try to come back to this thread in future with updates.
Francois- I hope you don't mind if I link to to your excellent blog post on the subject... full of inspiration and ideas for others of us who are having a crack at this species.
Gareth, we grew many of these from seed a few years ago to flowering size with the aerial rosettes and produced a few cuttings. They are definitely intermediate. We grew them in pine bark and perlite and they did well UNTIL!! We moved the plants around in the greenhouse and they started dying one after the other. We tried moving them back but none survived. That was our experience. We have 2 small ones growing on again so we will see what happens. I know of another grower a few hours north of us which is more of a tropical climate and his was growing well last time I saw it. Hope this is of some help.
Hi all I have 5clones of them in TC and planted a bunch of them out just for trying them and they grow now on my windowsill with full sun. Even acclimatising at windowsill in a little plastic greenhouse wasn't a problem
Jens- I wonder if different clones behave differently? Looking forward to trying one of yours if I can?!
Geoff, thanks for the reply... have you any clues at all as to what made the difference when you moved your plants? Did you move your plants to wetter or warmer spots in the greenhouse- or did the move coincide with a change in the seasons? I was wondering if this is a weird lowlander that might expire if it gets too hot. Or is it like some of us have found with species such as burbidgeae, if you move it at all, even a couple of feet along the greenhouse bench, it goes into a sulk for weeks.
I acquired mine from MT 6 months ago, and is in a tallish clay pot sitting in +- 0.5 cm of water with media consisting of small rocks and some leaf litter and humus. It has grown to more than 5 inches across although the pitchers aren't as sizable as I want them to be. At the onset of our dry season (late March), I moved it to a shadier spot as I feared it might succumb to a combination of very high temps and dry conditions, but I was surprised to see it producing smaller leaves, such that the newer growths are altogether just barely 3 inches across and not producing any pitcher. Before I made the move, it's not unusual for it to experience temps to more than 33 degrees for at least 6 hours everyday, in blazing sun. But this is often negated by sudden rain-showers that seem to come out of nowhere.
I posted today 2 clones to our friend Francois and look what I have found. The plants are now out of TC since December and I repotted them 2months ago to the final substrat. The plants didn't had much roots when I did it and I tried to keep the media bonedry since this. Just watered about twice a month. The dots and strange colours on the leaves are just the old leaves that are left from TC
Thanks Geoff.... Could it be possible that the main problem with this supposedly lowland species is that it hates very high temperatures? Does anyone else who has killed one think that it died after exposure to high temperatures?
I keep mine in a Terrarium as lowlanders, under very bright lights and with bottom heat (a Terrarium beneath from which the lamps are heating up the pervillei Terrarium above). Soil: approx 50 % quartzsand 50 % peat. I keep them moist and the pots are standing maybe 0,5 cm water in 7 to 10 cm pots, then I wait until the water is gone and one or 2 day later I water again 0,5 cm. I also was late with watering a few times and some leaves shriveled quite a bit, so I added immediately some water usually in the evening when I check them and next morning the leaves all recovered again.
The plants are usually growing on the black colored rocks so I think this produce some extra bottom heat as well. Mostly they are growing in full sun. So here is my theory: bottom heat (like heat reflection from the black rocks) and very bright light.
Here also some thoughts I answered to someone elses question in the forum by a PM a year ago:
What I was seeing was, that a few small plants where growing either underneath the "grass" and unless you did not remove the grass (put it aside with your hands) you would not have seen them so they were protected by strong light and the sand/soil there was wet. The other small plants - also only few - are growing in a small rock crack filled with a bit of sand/soil and there the water could stay longer so it was wet as well. They received much more sun and bright light though not full sun and the plants were stronger, had thicker leaves compared to the ones under the grass which only had very thin leaves.
Concerning the adult plants it's hard to say, since as you have seen as well, it's hard to say were do they start from - means where are their roots - since they can "travel" several meters by the stem crawling over the bare rock. But I assume it's the same there, they dwell their roots as young plants in rock cracks (crevices it's called I guess in English?) filled with soil and kept shaded and wet when young by surrounding vegetation at first, saving the water from disappearing because it's sheltered from the sun by the surrounding vegetation and later on the pervillei itself shelters the spots where they have their roots too. So I would say they like it very bright or even full sunny as soon as their leaves are hardened (thicker/leathery), what prevents them of dehydration as I tried to describe it above with the young plants. I assume they also like it moist to wet and not to dry (the roots) if enough light is provided. So for small plants I would keep them wet in a sand(quartz)/peat mix always a bit moist to wet letting the moisture going back again and water them again, never let them drying out. But as I mentioned, very strong light as soon as the leaves are thick/leathery.
What I have seen on one spot there, was as well , that the first day I visited the place, there was as mall pond of water right beside a plant population (since it was raining a little bit that day). So the roots must have been standing in water. 3 or 4 days later, the water was gone but the soil was still wet.
Adult plants like I know a friend of mine has one since approx. 20 years- I think, with several meters long vines, with nice air rosettes are kept there in a greenhouse (or "Wintergarten"). The pot standing close to a heated metal tube ("Radiator") but in the winter time it's sometimes only around 20 to 22 degrees C - I think - by far not as hot as on the Seychelles, probably they especially like it if their roots are kept warm.
I grew several of this species over the course of 3 years. Each time, they died after a while. The best growing plant was with me throughout the hottest months of last year but it died just a week ago after I shifted its position.
From my own experience growing it in a concrete jungle with extreme lowland conditions... 1. The species prefers cooler nights. My nights are mostly above 75F and it does not do exceedingly well. 2. Watering needs to be done with care. I killed a few with overly moist media. 3. It dislikes overly-humid and stale air, which is quite common where I live. 4. It has never produced pitchers in my conditions.
Conclusion: A species quite sensitive to changes in growing conditions and definitely not a typical lowlander like N. ampullaria and N. rafflesiana (can thrive in choking high humidity).