Hello everybody, I usually look around the forum and I just read all the threads, but this time I think I really do have to make a post to send out an SOS for help. I've purchased a cephalotus and it's in big trouble. This is a mature hummer. It's been with me for about 10 days now. I know that when you first get a cephalotus you should expect a massive amount of dying and after that the plant will kickstart itself and all will be good, but this time a few alarming things have happened.
I was trying to clear out some of the dry and dead foliage and when I pulled some of those dried pitchers, two of the growing tips actually broke off. All four of the growing tips are currently black in color, and two of them broke off leaving behind a black, semi-moist looking stump. The section that broke off was completely brown and dried up, so I don't know now if this is rot or if I just pulled too hard. I didn't really apply that much pressure, the whole thing just decided to come off instead of the dried-up leaf.
Little bit of background information on the substrate: this is a mixture of sand, perlite, and peat. It's more sand and perlite and less peat. The pot is quite big and deep, I think it is over 6 inches in diameter and over 6 inches in depth. I have planted the cephalotus on the Hill in the center of the pot. There is dried sphagnum Moss on the side and a little bit of live sphagnum Moss closer to the cephalotus. Watering is done once a day, I don't water the cephalotus itself, I mist the Moss. Water comes out from the bottom of the pot and I discard the water and I do not let it sit there. I have poked many holes into the bottom of the pot so that there is no water retention whatsoever. I am trying to keep it as dry as possible.
Weather conditions: it's around 85° during the day and 70 at night. During the day the cephalotus is exposed to open air. I keep it indoors, and the humidity is probably in the 70s and the 80s. At night, I cover the cephalotus to retain additional moisture. The cover comes off the following morning again.
I am getting very concerned that I'm going to lose it at this rate. It's been with me for 10 days and I haven't seen any response in terms of growth but the plant continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace. Losing pitchers is one thing, but growing tips turning brown and breaking off is an entirely different topic altogether. Should I start taking damage control measures like breaking up all the different growing tips and planting them separately? The remaining foliage is very soft and if I touch a pitcher, it deflates instantly. It's very limp.
I have successfully purchased juvenile cephalotus in the past but this is my first mature one. I really don't want to lose it considering how much I had to pay for it. Any assistance you can provide me will be thoroughly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
And finally, what it looked like when it first arrived