Help on Growing Heliamphoras

byron_1(z10FL)October 16, 2010

I do not appear to have any problems growing Heliamphora Heterodoxa X Minor. However, I am now getting some other helis that perhaps might need better care. How difficult are the other Helis and what should I pay most attention to when taking care of them.

Hope someone can help.


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LFS, high humidity, cool temps, strong light. Not easy to achieve!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 6:12PM
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How much difference in cool temps and high humidity compared to the Heliamphora Heterodoxa X Minor.

This type of plant is doing quite well in my terrarium. But they say this one is easy to grow compared to the others.

My Heli has even flowered a few times. I have had to cut the flower stalk because it makes the plant weak, and also I do not know how to make seeds. If any one knows please advice.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 1:23AM
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You have more experience and more success than I! I've onky had one Heli, an easy one, and while it grew for awhile, I ended up killing it when I moved it to small bog, fed by an outfall. Well actually, the critters did it and other plants in. Apparently, birds like the LFS! I'm out of my league beyond the basic provisions.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 6:10PM
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That is why I grow mine in a terrarium next to the air conditioner.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:17PM
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I am in Santa Maria, California, in northern Santa Barbara County, just about 12-15 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, and I grow Heliamphora minor outside in full sun. It probably gets at least 5 hours direct sun, then partial sun in mid to late afternoon. I use a drip system to keep the plant roots cool. I have constructed several webjournals on what I am doing with the Helis. I recently repotted them and discovered that they had almost no roots to speak of, so I was really concerned if I had done them in. Even worse was not knowing just what kind of substrate to use. Everything I found said use live sphagnum moss but on looking at images of Helis in the wild, I did not think sphagnum moss was really a major factor in their natural distribution. Here is the first page of 15 pages in this webjournal. Click on the image to go to my photobucket section on the H. minor.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:07AM
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If you had the plants at ground level I think it might be better, for moisture. As for having poor root system, I believe that is caused by the good ol slime. When my CPs get a lot of slime on top of the pot's soil, I know slime is also deep in the soil. I usually end up transplanting them, and they usually do not have a healthy root system because slime takes away the oxigen in the soil.

I have mine in a pot mixture of about 70% sphagnum moss and 40% perlite, and they are roots all over the place. I make sure that the water does not stays at the bottom of the terrarium. It is transparent so I know how much water it has.

If I were you I place some Helis in different situations, and see which one grows the best and then move all of them to the environment the best growing one is at. If the water you are dripping on to the pots has slime in it, it will make it easier for slime to settle inside the soil. Make sure that water is free of slime.

If you are in an area were there are cool temperatures, I think it would be better for the roots to be maintained cool by growing the plants in white pots.

Grow them with live sphagnum moss. The live moss fights against slime and cools the pot.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:17AM
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I am not worried about the green algae on the surface of the soil mix as it seems to becoming replaced by mosses.
Because the soil mix is mostly gravel aeration is excellent and the helis are doing great in regrowing.
using white pots sound good but I don't have any white pots. The frequent flooding of the soil surface plus the constant drip helps in dealing with surface temps that can record over 120 degrees F on the nearby thermometer.
Live sphag culture may be fine for indoor cultuvation but I find that the gravel culture is showing itself to be highly promising. In time I will be trying other carnis with the same type of mix and culture just to see how they respond.
On the original plants in the small pots, there was no algae growing at all. The algae probably came in from the drip system.
The point of my experiment is to see how they do under the direct sun and in an exposed situation. It is the only spot I have available where they can get maximum light and yet be cooled (by water and by wind at times).
I really am delighted at the progress they are making. While not the growth of indoor under lights grown plants they are clearly growing and I do hope when they are fully recovered that I will be seeing flowers!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 4:19AM
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A 120F sounds really bad. I wish you the best at this experiment.

Is there any reason why you would not like to have some growing inside the house?

The good thing about Helis is that many do not grow larger than 5 inches high.

This is my Heli. I have the plant growing in one of those egg terrariums. I have another growing in live sphagnum moss.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:54AM
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Byron, your plants look nice.
Yes 120F was really a shocker to see but watching how the plants interact and react to the environmental stress is what interests me the most. I used to grow plants of all kinds just to grow plants of all kinds. It all became rather mundane to me. But when I started to attempt to interact and develop new strategies of cultivation then I rekindled my interest in growing plants that was slowly just dying on the vine!
And so I attempt the unthought of and hopefully will find enough success to warrant working up webjournals on the effort so that anybody else who has peaked out in their interest in growing plants will find that sense of satisfaction that a new perspective in cultivating plants MAY bring.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:13PM
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If you are able to grow yours at that temperatures. May be I could give one of mine a try at this. But I am going to start really small, with a small one.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:51PM
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Keep in mind that the high temps only occur during mid day and only last no more than an hour. Also note that when I started my experiment I was working with a colony of Heli minor, not just a few plants.
If you plan on growing outside during the year condition your test subjects slowly to increasing levels of light. Get a light meter and test what they are under at the moment and then go from there. Keep notes and make images that are tied to your notes.
Watching how your test subjects react to the changes in their environment will enhance your cultural treatment as you adjust their position or level of exposure to the elements. Check out the link below. It is an interesting study.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scientific study of H. nutans

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:41AM
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banjoman(z7 NY)

One thing that has been satisfying is experimenting with the distance of my smaller helis from the light source. I found that when they were an inch or two too far from the lights, they couldn't make well-formed traps. Moving them closer to the fluorescent bulbs made a huge difference, and they have started to make much more mature traps.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 7:29AM
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