This is an extremely rare seed-grown nepenthes Villosa from 2006.
N. villosa had some unusual preferences in culture. For a cloud forest dweller, this species showed a high death rate when seedlings were misted or kept at very high humidity (> 90% RH) for long periods (a week or more). Optimum humidity levels were 65-85% RH. Though the plants tolerated warm nights to 24°C (75°F), the plants stopped growing well when nights were above 17°C (62°F). Many seedlings stayed the same size for over one year, when constantly exposed to nights between 17-24°C (62-75°F); most of the plants in this group ultimately died. The best plants were grown with night temperatures near 14°C (58°F) and day temperatures from 21-29°C (70-85°F). N. villosa proved very sensitive to conductive water or media, needing a range below 25 microsiemens to grow well. Seedlings exposed to foliar Miracid® at 1/4 strength3 and 1/6 strength3 died within two weeks. Seedlings 3/4 inch or more in diameter, however, responded well to the above solutions when placed only in half (some) of the pitchers. Ants proved to be effective, as did dried Drosophila larvae. Because of the low nutrient level of the media, pitcher feeding appeared critical for plant health. Since the tiny seedlings make pitchers too small to feed with insects (practically speaking), I developed a technique to deliver the dilute Miracid® into pitchers 3mm (1/8 inch) tall, or less. Hair, from Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), was clipped to 3mm (1/8 inch) and soaked in the fertilizer. Since deer hair is porous in all directions, it proved an effective carrier for the nutrients. One or two hairs could easily be put into a tiny pitcher, once the pitcher lid was removed. Of the seedlings given this treatment, 75% showed significant growth rate increase. However, the other 25% usually died. When media with significantly higher organic/nutrient levels were used, the plants died. Often the low nutrient uptake of the seedlings created an ideal environment for blue-green algae to form a pellicle on the media surface. Aside from possible phytotoxic compounds, this pellicle decreased oxygen supply to the roots. In every test lot, N.villosa displayed an affinity for extremely well oxygenated media, or media with very high porosity. The best plants were raised in 75-80% perlite, with the remaining fraction sphagnum and peat moss chunks. Peat tea was used periodically to maintain a pH of 4.8-5.0 and a conductivity of 10-18 microsiemens. Plants given media at pH 3.8-4.0, (conductivity 28-41 microsiemens) were stunted. A thin top dressing of live sphagnum seemed to help, but was not as useful as in N. edwardsiana culture; the N. villosa did not root (much) directly into the live moss.
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