Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Pitcher plant propagation

I bought a pitcher plant about a year ago. It was quite small and I think it was about $18. I used perlite and peat moss in 1:1 ratio. The plant grew well initially and the pitchers became bigger. I did a research  on it and it needed distilled water or rain water. I didn't want to risk it using tap water so I bought bottled distilled drinking water from the supermarket. Sometimes, I tried to collect rain water or just placed the pot in the rain. The tap water may kill the plant. Another thing, his plant needs indirect sunlight to do water and remembered to keep the roots moist. Never let it dried up for more than 2 days, the pitchers will dry up and die. If the conditions are optimum, the pitchers can survive for a few weeks.

You may want to capture some small insects for the pitchers. The peat moss and perlite have not much nutrients for the plant. It relies on the insects that are trapped in the pitchers to provide the additional nutrients it needs. I didn't see insects getting into the pitchers so I manually capture insects and place them in the pitchers. This will help it to grow.

I made a mistake when I transferred the plant to a pot. It seemed that the medium was too packed and there was no air going into the medium. The plant started to dry up and slowly dying. I needed to save the plant. So, I cut the plant into two portions which each portion having at least three leaves. I scrapped the end of the stem with a scissor and dipped into root hormone powder. Again, I used perlite and peat moss. This time, I used shallow containers. I used a plastic bag to cover it and left it for a month.

After a month, the plant will start to grow new leaves and you will know that the propagation is successful.

New buds will emerge from the crown and soon more leaves will appear. You need to be patient and wait for the leaves to grow. Keep the plant moist all time and it needs indirect sunlight. However, I noticed that the parent pitcher plant had shorter stem intervals between the leaves and thus, it was very difficult to propagate because you would need a certain portion of the stem to be scrapped away on the skin. But it can be done and you just need to be careful and skilful.

Mini pitcher propagated from a parent plant
Pitcher compared with a 20-cent Singapore coin
My D.I.Y. pot using plastic bottle
The other plant is in another glass container which I will upload once I can take a good photo of it.

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