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By tropicalemporium
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:34 am
Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to nepenthes so before buying any plants I did tons of research to better equip myself with the necessary knowledge of their requirements. I decided to begin with some hybrids since every one seems to say they’re vigorous growers and more forgiving especially for beginners. I’m currently growing N. ventrata, N. miranda, and N. rafflesiana x sibuyanensis aka “ Suki.” When I got the plants in the mail I potted them up in a mixture of long fiber sphagnum moss, perlite, and fine orchid fir bark. I also ordered a Mars Hydro TS 600w full spectrum led grow light and have it 26 inches above the plants and it is on a timer set to 12 hours a day. To make their acclimation easier I thought it would be a good idea to place them under some humidity domes with the vents open since my humidity indoors is currently not ideal. I have one open pitcher on my suki and and another one on the way. I dropped in a small freeze dried bloodworm and figure I’ll do this as each pitcher opens on all the plants. I’ve noticed that the miranda and suki are turning red. I’ve done some reading and a lot of people say this is normal, others say it’s too much light, and others say that it’s ok as long as the leaves don’t start getting splotchy or burned. Problem is I don’t know what to make of all these answers based on what my plants look like so I figured I’d post pictures and get some opinions. I’ve been watering them with distilled water and misting them occasionally. Please let me know if I can improve anything about my current setup or if I should change anything. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I added some pictures of my setup as well as pictures of my plants right when I got them vs now under the new light for a week and a half. Thanks so much!
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By optique
Posts:  885
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
I got all my Nepenthes is full south facing sun for the winter they seem to love it. the Miranda started getting very dark very fast so i moved a large cactus in between it and the window, seem to have worked out started pitching. I got it from the same place as yours is was very shocked, took for ever to recover.


this is a boschiana in full sun to compare

By tropicalemporium
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:34 am
Thanks for the feedback! So do you think I should move the light up a few more inches? If the 600w light is too intense I could always return it and maybe get a 300w or something. My Miranda has been growing and not turning as red. My Suki however, has turned almost completely all red. I’m just worried that new growth will burn if the light is too intense. Should I change something about my setup now while I still have the chance or just leave my plants alone and let them acclimate naturally to the new light conditions? Thanks.
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By jpappy789
Posts:  150
Joined:  Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:03 pm
In my experience, both Suki and Miranda tend to color up more so than other Neps. However, assuming I found the correct model on Amazon, you're probably getting at least 300 umol at 26". To me, that still seems like quite a bit for most Nepenthes.
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By tropicalemporium
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:34 am
Ok I think I may return my 600w light since it sounds like it’s too intense for nepenthes and maybe get a 300w light instead. In spring I plan on growing my plants outdoors since I live in Southern California so I just need a grow light that will suffice for winter. Thanks for the feedback I really appreciate it!
By tropicalemporium
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:34 am
I’m sorry but I need your help again. I’m planning on returning my Mars Hydro TS600w because it’s too strong. Lumens, Lux, umols, and PAR ranges as far as LEDs go are very foreign to me since I’m a beginner and don’t know what the appropriate ranges should be for the nepenthes I’m currently growing. I’ve found 3 options that I think are better suited for my setup. The wattage ranges from 30w of actual output to 65w of actual output. They are all full spectrum ranging from 3500k to 4000k. I’m just not knowledgeable enough to make a decision on my own and would love some feedback about the matter. The Mars Hydro is way too intense and I think it pulls around 100w of actual output so I’m wondering if stepping the power back to 65w would be ideal, or if I decided to go with the 30w if that would be way too little light. I’m planning on hanging the light above the plants at a maximum of height of 24 inches since I can’t move the shelf the light will be on any higher. One of the 65w light says it produces 10,000 lumens. Is this ok or too much for nepenthes? Pictures of the lights on amazon are below. Thanks again! :D
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By AdamK
Posts:  4
Joined:  Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:04 pm

I don't have much experience with nepenthes either. I have only really kept three hybrids. I live in the Northwest of England. I used to keep my nepenthes in a conservatory that got full sun till about 3pm in the hight of summer but the roof was opaque and thus it dispersed the light (made it less bright).

On the subject of lighting, I have done quite a bit of research on the subject. Yes, it is confusing and it does not help that much of the advice talks about wattages from old fluorescent light fittings.

Firstly ignore power (Watts) for any other consideration than how much it is going to cost you to run the thing. Higher the wattage the more you will pay. It gives an indication of the amount of power needed to run the unit, not its output.

Lumens tell you how bright the light is and lux gives you the brightness over an area to the HUMAN eye. As we are talking about plants this is also is a bit misleading.

Colour temperature is not actually the temperature of the light but the apparent colour of mixed wavelengths of light. You may see this on house bulbs that talk about cool (bluish) or warm (redish). It is measured in Kelvin (K). Plants need a mixture of blue and red for photosynthesis.

Then we come to PAR which unfortunately stands for two things. Parabolic aluminized reflector and the number after it refers to its physical size. The second PAR is photosynthetic active radiation this is the number you want to be looking at. Basically, in a nutshell, how many photons that the plant can use. Plant biologists use a measurement called Photosynthetic Photon Flux density (PPFD) and it measured in umol/m squared/second.

I keep a single Heliamphora under an (IKEA) bulb that is 8W and 600 lumens and it a distance of about 30 cm. The plant is very brightly colouerd red. I can't tell you the PPFD but a similar bulb that I have is 10W and 800 lumens and 4000K . At its recommended height of 30 cm from the rim of the pot over a growing area of 30 cm diameter it gives out a PPFD of 400 in the middle and 100 towards the edge. I had a Nepenthes [ventricosa x maxima] under this bulb at the recommended distance and although it grew it did colour very strongly red. I just hang it in an east-facing window now.

Yes, it does look like the fitting you have is throwing out a lot of light. Bear in mind there will be less light at the edges of the growing area. You can raise the unit? Nepenthes have intermediate light requirements. It's hard to put a number on it and there is always a delay between changing a plant's environment and seeing an effect on the plant.

Hope this helps
Cheers Adam
By shaunjohnsmith
Posts:  1
Joined:  Sat May 15, 2021 2:03 am
Just wanted to add this here, I found this article to be the absolute easiest explanation of PAR, PPFD lumens, uMoles, and moles per day, plus I use the light-calculator almost constantly. ... ts-part-2/

Also if I understand correctly, the symptoms of over-watering can look a lot like too much light, maybe something to look into as well!
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By Supercazzola
Posts:  576
Joined:  Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:57 am
Not to steer you the wrong way, but if you get the TS-1000, I believe it has a dimmer that would let you crank down the light for the Neps, and if you ever get other plants that require more light, crank it up.
I owned the 1000 for a few weeks but upgraded to the 2000.
Maybe ask Mars Hydro if you can add a dimmer circuit to the 600.
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