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Thread: feeding cephalotus

  1. #17
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fryster View Post
    I place them in dry and they quickly re-hydrate in the pitcher solution.

    Ya know, JLAP uses a diluted fish emulsion in the pitchers of his Neps; I wonder if he does this for his Cephs as well? Seems like it would work...
    Yes. Half strength twice a month. Well, I did but I have since sent off my Cephalotus for someone to take care of while I'm at college. Ditto for Heliamphora. Feeding insects is so old school. It's inefficient. Each time you feed an insect, you're also filling the pitcher with useless chitin and other nasty crap. This limits the amount you can feed in small pitchers, unless you want to clean it out periodically to make room for more bugs and that's just silly. You can also not control exactly what your plants get if you don't fertilize. You may want to tweak the N, P, K, levels and you just can't do that with crickets. Fertilizer, on the other hand, can be added over and over and over again. After two weeks, when it's time to fertilize again, the water level in the pitcher is back down low to where it should be. Just top it off with more half strength fertilizer. I don't know if feeding once a week with 1/4th strength is better, worse, or the same. I'd say probably worse (but still good) because there's more water in the pitcher at any given time. When I say fill, by the way, I mean FILL! Fill them up until it reaches the top.

    I've never done any experiments, and it could be entirely psychosomatic, but I'm CONVINCED that all my pitchers last far, far longer with fertilizer versus feeding insects. They seem to last forever. If you're plant can catch bugs, I can't recommend fertilizing it via the pitchers. You don't want to mess up the equilibrium inside the pitcher. You can REALLY fertilize anything (except, IME, D. adelae. At least not at conventional levels.) if you know what you're doing and how to do it. For example, fertilizing the media for something like Nepenthes or Heliamphora is good, but not good at all for something like Sarracenia. Instead, you can spray foliarly or (my preference) just squirt about 20 CC's of your solution directly into the pitcher. Don't do this if the plant catches a lot of bugs. This is like using milk (which many people do) but it will not curdle like milk (gross!). For some reason, people are fine with using milk but get all paranoid when you use fertilizer in the same manner. Spray above your Drosera and let the mist fall and collect on the lamina. Or spray your Utricularia to jump-start it. If you're going to do this, flush the media very well. If you feel uncomfortable because the myth that fertilizer is bad has been too firmly pounded into your head, then start by foliar feeding your Nepenthes/Heliamphora/Cephalotus. It doesn't do too much because of the waxy cuticle on many plants, but it will build your confidence.


    Don't add too much to Sarracenia pitchers. They'll fall over if you do. You really don't have to fertilize Sarracenia, I'm just saying you can and that it's safe. If, somehow you screw up, use the wrong fertilizer, go crazy with it, etc., then that's your problem and I'm not responsible for it.

  2. #18
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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  3. #19
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Cephs only get 30% of their nutrient ions from captured prey. With cephs you will also benefit from a good "complex" substrate, or the occasional mild root feeding as Cindy mentioned. I prefer a "complex" substrate for trace nutrients and use direct pitcher feedings for N, P and K.

    This is also why Trichoderma and other beneficials are of such benefit to cephs IMHO.

    However, YMMV... the plant can only handle what it can process based upon all the other interrelated variables such as light, water etc... proceed slowly and watch for signs of stress

    In cephs, P seems to be the "control" variable if all else is correct

    What may be the right amount for one will kill another.. you have to find your own balance

    patience, observation, experimentation

    The amount of nutrients obtained from either
    prey or from the soil seems to vary substantially.
    Sarracenia leucophylla can get 60 times more ions
    from the prey than from the soil (Gibson,
    1983b). Nepenthes mirabilis gets about 60% of its
    N from insect prey, whereas in Cephalotus it is
    only 30% (Schulze et al., 1997). In Drosera
    rotundifolia about 50% of the total N is of animal
    origin (Millett et al., 2003), and in D. hilaris
    68% (Anderson and Midgley, 2003). The protocarnivorous
    Roridula gorgonias, which needs
    symbiotic hemipterans for digestion, even up to
    70% of N comes from animals (Anderson and
    Midgley, 2003).

    For another group of plants, applied mineral
    nutrients (i.e. fertilizers) can be fatal: Sarracenia
    alata, for instance, grows on soil containing sufficient
    concentrations of N, P and K; it is, however,
    very sensitive to fertilizer additions, and
    dies when growing in such nutrient-enriched
    areas (Eleuterius and Jones, 1969).

    Another interesting observation is that plants
    may take up only some specific nutrients through
    the roots, whereas others come through the
    leaves from the prey. This is the case for some
    Australian Drosera species that grow in habitats
    subjected to fires. The soil in this habitat in general
    is very poor, but enriched in K after a fire.
    Drosera is thought to take up the K+ by its
    roots, and the other nutrients from insects
    (Dixon and Pate, 1978; Pate and Dixon, 1978),
    but this effect has not been quantified. Nepenthes
    pervillei sends its roots into rock cliffs where the
    cyanobacterium Lyngbia (Oscillatoriaceae) grows.
    Lyngbia fixes atmospheric dinitrogen, which is
    suggested to be absorbed by the roots, whereas
    other nutrients may come from animals that are
    caught in the few functioning traps (Juniper
    et al., 1989).


    Cheers'
    Av

  4. #20
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    The guru has finally spoken.
    Cindy

  5. #21
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    The guru has finally spoken.
    omg "guru", LOL geeze Cindy

  6. #22
    Kung Fu Fighting! NeciFiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip_Side_the_Pint View Post
    I recently started feeding my larger ceph pitchers (1.5-2.5" ) with house flys I catch ( I make a trap) and place them in the plant while they're still alive in hopes of of stimulating the pitcher. So far I fed about 12 flies split up between three plants and the pitchers havnt responded negatively. So I was thinking what have other ceph wners been feeding thier plants? I've searched and I haven't seen feeding cephs discussed as much except for the betta pellets and other fish foods.

    I have noticed that since feeding (over the last two and a half months) thier growth has seemed to been better. By that I mean before feeding the flies they would send out about one pitcer at a time. Now I've noticed its sending ot 2-3 fists at a time However I"ve only been feeding these 3 plants out of the 5 I currantly have.
    My Cephalotus has put out 3 or 4 'fists' and a flower stalk even without insects! But, it did just come out of it's small dormancy.

    My Cephalotus 'German Giant' (last year it changed from baby pitchers to adult, this year it's flowering, but, I believe it is not full size yet and it may be a year before it's full size, maybe even two!) has been snacking on ants or whatever gets in the windowsill. A wasp tried to shove itself in a smaller Ceph pitcher and it got stuck half way in the mouth and was kicking and stinging the air, as well as buzzing. Crazy for nectar! Usually, since it's in a windowsill, it cannot get much crawling food, so, I give it a few ants here and there. I tried to the other day to help it grow a bit faster and have some nutrients so it wouldn't be exhausted after pushing out all these pitchers and the flower stalk, but, sadly, it snowed the day I tried to go get some ants, so, I'll have to try again in a week or two. Ants are usually what I feed them. Small-medium sized ants.
    - NeciFiX

  7. #23
    Flip_Side_the_Pint's Avatar
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    ahh thats good to hear.

    BTW I make a "fly trap" by placing a dish of water with some sugar syrup mixed in and then I place it outside on the porch and I'll usually catch 3-5 ater leaving it it out over night....
    https://www.instagram.com/hull.jess/ (I post pics of my plants there)

  8. #24
    Flip_Side_the_Pint's Avatar
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    ahh thats good to hear.

    BTW I make a "fly trap" by placing a dish of water with some sugar syrup mixed in and then I place it outside on the porch and I'll usually catch 3-5 ater leaving it it out over night....
    https://www.instagram.com/hull.jess/ (I post pics of my plants there)

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