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  1. mato

    Myrmecodia lamii - cultivated plant

    Since we're discussing nutrients, I might mention my old fertilizer regimen that I used for Nepenthes (everything besides pitcher feeding, of course). I'm admittedly much lazier about my plants these days, so things aren't fed quite like they used to be, but this always worked well. I would use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of Grow More urea-free orchid fertilizer (20-10-20) (or the kelp-based Maxsea all-purpose that so many rave about) as a root drench every two weeks (I feel this dilution can be made significantly more concentrated for myrmecophytes), flushing a day or two later, and then I would apply Trichoderma atroviride to the roots, mainly to aid against soil pathogens, but also to help the plants in other ways, as mycorrhizae so often do. I had also been using coffee as a root drench every few months, mainly for pH reasons, but I did notice improved growth in certain types of Nepenthes species (those such as rajah, macrophylla, etc.). When coffee was used, the soil had to be flushed thoroughly afterwards to prevent a very immediate buildup of slime mold and other unwanted contaminants. I haven't treated any plants with coffee for probably a year or more. In the case of these ant plants, I also include Osmocote pellets into the medium for extra nutrients, although the type of fertilizer in these is a bit strong for more sensitive species, in my opinion, as I have seen it quickly turn healthy, living Sphagnum into an amorphous blob of slime. Each pellet is definitely not created equal. Further, when adding laterite as a potting medium, I would collect the red, rusty water after rinsing and douse certain species with this. All of this obviously depends on temperature, light, and the type of media being used (photosynthesis plateaus in warmer weather without higher nutrients and CO2, for example).
  2. Striving towards Andreas' beautiful plant above, here are some seedlings I am currently growing atop a pot shared with N. albomarginata. I received these as seeds from Jay sometime ago, and they seem to do be doing well enough so far. Germination was 100%, so I have a few others scattered about in different locations. Myrmephytum beccarii by Aspidistra Flier, on Flickr
  3. mato

    Myrmecodia lamii - cultivated plant

    Hi Jeff, Kanuma is an altogether different material than akadama. It is much softer, porous, and holds a surprising amount of water. If you lightly squeeze one pebble between your fingers, it will crumble into a fine dust not dissimilar from diatomaceous earth. I would consider akadama more of an aggregate used in conjunction with kanuma. Jay, I was wondering at what dilution you use chelated iron as a drench for your plants? I use laterite quite often as an aggregate for species that are found in and around ultramafic bedrock, specifically those with a lateritic top layer. I began this with certain species of Nepenthes and it seems to benefit the plants, not only through additional nutrients, but as a bulwark to unwanted weeds or pathogens that might have an aversion to the heavy metals present in this type of soil. In fact, once I went as far as collecting a small sample of lateritic soil from a somewhat hidden Darlingtonia habitat in the Siskiyou Mountains, and after some careful sterilisation, planted a few tropical species in it as an experiment. For the most part, the results were impressive.
  4. mato

    Myrmecodia lamii - cultivated plant

    Thanks, Todd. I'm still using the media you provided with the seedlings you brought to the last plant meeting. It also works very well, albeit a bit more on the aggregate side. I'll need to bring you a bag of this "kanuma" stuff so you can see the difference. It's pretty interesting stuff.
  5. mato

    Myrmecodia lamii - cultivated plant

    I have been growing my plants, as well as all other myrmecophytes in my care, in a "kanuma" mix, sometimes with the addition of laterite or other aggregate. These plants seem to do very well in this medium, as I have seen time and again their roots penetrating them. As the medium is lacking in nutrients, fertilizer is always beneficial. Here is a small seedling of M. lamii growing in said media. Myrmecodia lamii by Aspidistra Flier, on Flickr