Interesting contrast

ltecato(9)March 18, 2009

In the last week of January I had to go out of town to help my mom, who has cancer. I was gone about a week. I was expecting that it would rain here while I was gone, but it didn't. Unfortunately, I didn't tell my wife that some of my plants would need water if it didn't rain.

So I came back to find that my Heliamphora nutans and a couple of new Sarracenia had dried out and were looking terrible. What's amazing to me, though, is that the Heliamphora started recovering right away and the Sars still look awful. Here's a photo showing the difference:

(Note: The Sar started out a lot taller. I cut off the dead and dehydrated parts of the pitchers.)

I had assumed that Heliamphora would be the delicate one and the Sarracenia would bounce back right away. It looks like the opposite is true, at least here on the coast of Southern California. I'm glad, because I paid about $30 for the Heli and $1 for the Sars.

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stevexyz(Dallas, TX 8)

Wow very beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:52PM
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hunterkiller03(9)

Nice Sun Pitcher you got there! CanÂt say the same for your Sarracenia ;-) Poor guy but itÂll survive.

IÂm arguing with a forum member posting in reply to the string titled "HELP!!! How do I care for a Nepenthes Atala?" started stevexys (Hi stevexys! Hope your alata gets better). The argument is that Neps high humidity to pitcher and survive and me and another forum member disagree, some highland will thrive easily in low humidity despite it counters the norm how you are suppose to grow them. The member sounds miffed about, grwoing my highland Neps in low humidity without of the use of a terrarium like my alata, ventricosa, truncata in a room with a humidity of 15% and standing them in ½ inch water.. Seems he doesnÂt believe me. :-p

Does your method of growing your Sun Pitcher violate some norm how youÂre suppose to grow a Sun Pitcher plant? That will be great to learn, sharing your experience to everyone else.

Cheers!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:36AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Sorry to hear about your mother. Hopefully it is treatable.

Looking at the two plants I think it may have to do with the sphagnum moss you have in the heli container. Live sphagnum holds a lot of water and may have supplemented the heli while the sarr was dry.

I would like to try a heli but I would probably need a refer unit to cool it at night in the summer here in AR. I can't seem to get the house below 80 in late july and august.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:15PM
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ltecato(9)

HK: I'm not completely sure how helis are "conventionally" grown. I think they're supposed to get full sun, but I kept mine under a double layer of window screen until recently because it just looked like it wouldn't enjoy a full blast of California solar radiation. It still got a lot of sun but the screen took the edge off. I've read that a lot of people grow them in terrariums, but I grow mine outside.

Humidity here is widely variable. I live near the ocean so we get a lot of fog at night. Since I started paying attention to the humidity data, I've seen a lot of days when it got up above 70%, but it's usually so cool here that you can't tell the difference. On the other hand, we've had a lot of wind, including the hot, dry Santa Anas that can really scorch a leafy plant.

The guy who sold me the plant said that he tried to fill up the pitchers daily with distilled water, so I do that too.

One thing that helps, I'm sure, is that we do have plenty of cool nights here. Even if it gets up to the 90s some days, it'll cool down to the 60s at night. I understand that's good for helis. On the other hand, in winter it goes down at least to the 40s at night and may go past 60 in the day. I think that may be a little cold for Heliamphora, but mine doesn't seem to mind.

Taz: You may be right about the sphagnum. The plant is in the same container and soil that it came in last summer. The moss seemed to be alive when it got here, but now I'm not sure. It might not have survived the drying-out.

I'm pretty lucky to live here where I don't have to refrigerate my Heliamphora. Who knows, maybe I'll get around to trying Darlingtonia one of these days. Right now the problem is that I'm short on sunny places where I can keep the carnivores that need the light. I can't keep them indoors because we've got a cat that eats plants.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:07PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I have two cats and the only plant they touch is the catnip. You might try growing some for your cat if you are not already. That might keep it from getting into other plants.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 11:26PM
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