User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 65

Thread: Cephalotus questions

  1. #1
    xscd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Portales, New Mexico US
    Posts
    147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Although most of my CP are Venus Flytraps, I have one Sarracenia purpurea, two Drosera capensis, a Drosera adelae and a single pot of Cephalotus that has turned, in the two-and-a-half years I have had it, into a small colony (see photo below).

    I am not familiar at all with Cepalotus. I obtained two small divisions through a donation to the Meadowview Biological Research Station in Woodford, Virginia, US and planted them both in an 8-inch (~21.5 centimeters) pot with 6.5 inches (~16.5 cm) soil depth. I like to give all my plants plenty of room for expansion and deep root growth.


    I have wondered about these little plants for quite some time. The pitchers don't fill with rain water, and seem to purposely avoid rain by closing the hoods over the pitchers.

    Do these plants exude a liquid only when stimulated by captured prey? Or do they keep at least a small amount of the digestive fluid in their traps most of the time?

    I have cut open old Cephalotus pitchers that have dried, and found what look like two oval patches near the bottom of the pitcher, one to either side, that I speculated might be the areas that produce and exude the digestive fluid.

    These are strange little plants. Very conservative in a way, slow and deliberate with their above-ground growth, prone to stop growing for a few to many weeks at a time for no apparent reason, interspersed with growth spurts at equally odd times, with a tough substance, more woody in their root system and leathery in their leaves than most other CP I have experience with. Mine are planted, as Peter D'Amato suggests, in a mix that is heavy in sand (2 parts by volume of silica sand to 1 part sphagnum peat moss) in order to be well drained and help guard the woody roots against rot from being too wet too long.

    At one time I opened the individual hoods of the pitchers a little and sprayed some distilled water into the pitchers, thinking they needed at least some fluid to drown their prey. But then when I noticed that the trap hoods seem to close when rain seems impending, I stopped that practice.

    I catch small ants on a piece of waxed paper that I have dotted with sugar water, then bring them in from outside and shake them onto the Cephalotus. Many ants escape, but many go right for the lip of the pitchers. I have also fed flies to the pitchers, but often our large flies are able to escape from the small pitchers.

    I still have a lot to learn about Cephalotus, but it is a very interesting plant.

    Photo of my Cephalotus plants taken Sunday, May 14, 2006--

    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very nice Ceph!

    Yes, Cephalotus is a strange plant indeed. I've only been growing it for roughly a year now and like you I still have much to learn. I never feed my plants insects but I do spray them every two weeks with a diluted fertilizer. They seem to like it and I often see better growth as a result.

  3. #3
    xscd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Portales, New Mexico US
    Posts
    147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the suggestion, LLeopardGGecko-- I hadn't thought to try a weak fertilizer spray, but I'll try that (conservatively at first) and see what beneficial effects it may have.
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No problem. I use Epiphyte's Delight and you can get it at Home Depot.

  5. #5
    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    3,956
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cepholotus, like Nepenthes, need stimulation to get the juices flowing. so if yu put a live fly with one wing(so it doesnt fly off) into your pitcher within a day or so that fly will be floating in digestive juices. very noce plants by the way!
    alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Manchester, Connecticut
    Posts
    628
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I always thought cephs looked like a macabre cross between a Clam and a Ladyslipper orchid.

    I've found that they do well in very deep pots. My largest cephs have 1 to 2 inch tall pitchers and are planted in 6 inch diameter 9 inch deep ceramic pots. I wish I'd snapped up more of those pots when I had the chance. When I have done cuttings, the plants grown in 4 inch tall plastic cups always do better for me and grow larger than the ones in the 2 inch deep square pots. I'm also trying out a 12 inch tall, 6 inch diameter planter with a very young ceph to see how it does. The container is a painted metal bucket thing for putting flowers in. I got it at the Christmas Tree Shops for like 3 bucks and drilled a large drainage hole in the bottom and smeared some JB Weld epoxy on the cut edges to prevent rust.

    I feed my young cephs with a kind of Beta Fish food called "BetaBioGold". They are perfectly formed little balls about 1/16th of an inch diameter that drop right in the pitchers. They also work well for my young neps.

    Another tip - never water near the crown of the plant, but instead around the rim of the pot. It helps prevent them from rotting.

    I hope this helps.

  7. #7
    xscd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Portales, New Mexico US
    Posts
    147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I feed my young cephs with a kind of Beta Fish food called "BetaBioGold". They are perfectly formed little balls about 1/16th of an inch diameter that drop right in the pitchers. They also work well for my young neps.
    That's very interesting! Does the fact that these little food pellets don't move cause the cephs to not exude as much of their digestive fluid? Does anyone know if cephs keep a pool of digestive fluid in their traps at all times, or whether they are stimulated by movement of prey to exude the fluid?

    Regarding convenient food for CPs, I recently tried using dry cat food for my VFTs. I would break the cat food into small pieces, then place an appropriately sized piece in several VFT traps, then gently massage the trap a few minutes later and a few minutes after that, until I was sure that the trap was responding as though to captured prey, by closing tighter to form a seal around the trap.

    However, at night, some little creature (a mouse I believe) came into the sunroom (an enclosed backyard patio) and chewed open every trap in which I had placed a piece of cat food and ate it, and in addition had chewed a couple hoods off pitchers of my Sarracenia purpurea and apparently drank the water in the pitchers. The creature continued to visit for the next few nights, because additional Sarracenia hoods were chewed off, but not eaten. I found them next to the plant in the morning.

    Since then I haven't tried the experiment again, but now I think I'll try it with both the VFTs and perhaps a little dry cat food in one or two pitchers of the Cephalotuses, just to see what the results may be. The last time was during late winter / early spring, when the CP were on the floor under a window in order to be chilled for dormancy by the sheets of cold air dropping from the inside of the glass. (That works well, by the way, for those of us whose winters may be a little harsh.) Now that the CP growing season has begun again, all of them are on plant racks or tables, and the mice have plenty to eat outside so they won't raid the greenhouse (I hope!).

    Thank you very much WildBill for the information and tips (regarding the beta food, deep soil depth for cephs, etc.)--
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
    Posts
    10,335
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll share a tip with you. I know how these plants are grown at MV. I too got my cephs there but I went there to get them in person. Phil grows these in HUUUGE plastic pots (tree-size pots). The soil mix is mounded in a big hump well above the rim of the plant. The cephs make runners like mad and so there are loads of individual plantlets popping out all over the raised mound. I have seen them at MV grown both in a greenhouse and outdoors.

    So, I copied what I saw. Of course I used a smaller pot (8") and I mounded the soil up like he did. And sure 'nuff...once it settled in, the plant made runners and I got several offshoots growing in the same pot. At one point I had 4-5 new plants.

    Its just my THEORY that when the plant makes runners and the runners hit the edge of a pot...they stop. If the runners grow out of the soil, they start a new plant. My other cephs planted "flat" in pots have never made runners and new plants.

    Just my own experience.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •