both types of flowers in bloom at the same time are better if you have several plants. (Fig. 3-12) An alternative is to use stored pollen. A method for storing pollen is described in Chapter 9. If you are using stored pollen follow directions given in the hybridization section. The long, slender seeds develop within the ovary which matures into a slender capsule. Seed stores well under refrigeration and is viable for at least one year in all species of which we are aware. Store seed at 38°F (3°C).
Sow the seed by sprinkling it on the soil surface, followed by a dusting of a fungicide on both the seed and soil. Keep the humidity high with a temperature of 70-85°F (21-29°C) for the lowland type and 50-70°F (10-21°C) for the highland type. Germination usually occurs within 6 weeks. When seedlings have produced 2 or 3 leaves with pitchers, they can be transplanted, if necessary, to provide adequate space to grow. Seedling plants should have a minimum spacing of 1 in. (2.5 cm) between them.
1. Stem cuttings: When determining the length of the cutting two factors must be considered: the number of plants desired and ease of handling cuttings. Shorter stem cuttings will provide more plants from a given quantity of material. Long stem cuttings have more leaves which the newly-developing root system must support and which can stress the cutting, resulting in poor growth or even death. But longer sections are easier to handle. With some experience at rooting cuttings, 1-node cuttings become quite manageable. For a first attempt however, 2-3 node cuttings are recommended.
To make stem cuttings, use a clean, sharp tool such as a pair of heavy duty scissors, knife or a razor blade. The cut should be made perpendicular to the stem. After the sections have been cut, the bottom of each section is tapered diagonally to expose a maximum amount of cambium for most effective rooting and about V2 to of the length of each leaf is cut off. If 1-node cuttings are used, the cutting from the apex of the stem should include the growing tip with the next node below it. The growing tip is tender and very susceptible to decay. Therefore, including an extra node provides insurance that the cutting will root.
Treat all the cuts with a fungicide to help prevent decay and treat the bottom diagonal cut of each stem cutting with both a fungicide and a rooting hormone such as Rootone to hasten rooting. (Fig. 3-13) Place the cutting in a pot. If a 1-node cutting, the node should be at soil level, whereas in a 2-3 node cutting, the bottom node is placed below soil level. (Fig. 3-14) Living or non-living sphagnum moss placed around the cutting will hold it securely in position so that the cutting will not move after it has rooted and cause damage to the roots. Some growers place the cuttings in a well-drained sandy soil. To help reduce root damage wrap the end of the cutting with sphagnum moss, secure it with a rubber band or string and place it in a container. (Fig. 3-15) This technique, permits the placing of several cuttings in the same container for rooting to save space until they have rooted. The cuttings are maintained under high humidity, bright light, and at temperatures of 70-85°F (21-29°C) for the lowland types and 50-70°F (10-21°C) for the highland types. Successful rooting will be evidenced by new leaf and stem growth. When the cuttings have produced at least 2 new leaves they can be removed, potted if necessary, and placed in the regular growing area.
Another method used to propagate Nepenthes with stem cuttings is illustrated in Fig. 3-16. First, cut off the growing tip with the first node below it and handle the stem section as a cutting as per directions given in the preceding paragraphs. After several weeks the bud(s) in the leaf axils of the leaves on the original plant will start to develop and grow. When the buds produce leaves that are about 1-1V2 in. (2.5-4 cm) long, cut the node off and treat it as a cutting.
Dip the lower end in fungicide and Rootone and wrap sphagnum moss around the node so that the top of the node is at moss (ground) level with the young leaves extending above the moss. As each succeeding node develops it is cut off, providing that the bud in the node below it has started to swell. Leave at least one node on the plant to produce another plant or stem on the existing root system. In some species, cutting off the top node stimulates several of the remaining buds to develop simultaneously. Each can be removed and rooted.
2. Air layering: Select a mature branch or stem and make a ringing cut, that is, make a cut into the stem that encircles it or cut a notch on one side so that about Va of the stem's diameter is removed or make a cut that penetrates the stem about V2 its diameter and then insert a toothpick in the cut to keep the surfaces apart. (Fig. 3-17) In some species the space between the leaves is adequate to do this, but in others a leaf or two must be removed to expose the stem.
Dust the cut or notch with Rootone and fungicide, then wrap at least a 1 in. (2.5 cm) layer of damp sphagnum moss around the wound, enclosing the entire section of stem between the leaves. Cover the moss with a piece of transparent plastic that will prevent
Was this article helpful?