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Thread: Cephalotus "die-back" and insurance policies . . .

  1. #17
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    A rookie & her insurance policies. She did a great job & got excellent results - it looks like each leaf even has 2 growth points...
    Very nice efforts there. Your successes as an admitted novice are just what I have been insisting through threads over the last year -- that the cultivation and propagation of Cephalotus is not particularly difficult with a small amount of research and, more importantly, all-too infrequent common sense.

    I just began another batch of ten Cephalotus cv. "Hummer's Giant" leaf-cuttings from my various plants on 20 March, a duplication of an experiment back in 2005. The effort then was to determine the supposed advantages of using rooting hormone (Rootone and / or Clonex) versus simply planting the leaf untreated in its compost. Those treated with the products exhibited new growth more than a month earlier than those simply placed in the compost (sphagnum peat moss, sand, perlite, and charcoal).

    Cephalotus follicularis cv. "Hummer's Giant" -- Leaf-cutting (20.03.09)



    This time around, half of the "vegetative" flat leaves (all approximately of equal size, of similar age, and with white rhizome tissue present) were treated with Clonex and the controls were simply placed in the compost.

    Hopefully, and with votive candles placed around the pots, some successful photos will be posted in a few weeks . . .

    P.S. In answer to a recent PM, the tiny 6 cm (2.4") pots for the cuttings are only to be used by "horticultural professionals" -- or to anyone else hopelessly addicted to Kozy Shack® Tapioca (they must lace that crap with heroin; I can't get enough). Anyway, I stacked a bunch of them together and drilled several drainage holes with a small bit. They're great and so insufferably ****ing "green" that I can't see straight . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    mcantrell's Avatar
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    I'm probably going to pick up one of these now that I have a lighting setup ready to go. Quick question, however -- what is a good media mix? It sounds like it's best to barely water these, letting them dry out then rewatering -- so maybe a sandy mix? I was thinking 3 parts perlite to 1 part dead LFS?

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcantrell View Post
    I'm probably going to pick up one of these now that I have a lighting setup ready to go. Quick question, however -- what is a good media mix? It sounds like it's best to barely water these, letting them dry out then rewatering -- so maybe a sandy mix? I was thinking 3 parts perlite to 1 part dead LFS?
    There are as many compost recipes as there are growers of Cephalotus. My own preferred mix for mature plants when repotting is the one popularized by Charles Brewer:

    45% dried sphagnum peat moss (by volume)
    45% medium perlite
    8% peat/sand mixture
    2% wood charcoal.


    I am also fond of adding a top dressing of live sphagnum. However, when establishing cuttings, I prefer a 1:1:1 mix by volume of sphagnum peat moss, horticultural sand, and pumice or perlite. Occasionally, a small amount of charcoal is also added. Personally, I never allow the compost to dry out completely, but rather use a shallow tray -- as I would for Dionaea -- for watering.

    The best advice I have to offer in terms of successful cultivation is to ventilate the Cephalotus. Stagnant air invites a whole host of pests and problems and most people I know who experience "issues" can trace it back to closed terraria and a stifling environment.

    Take a look online at the annual weather patterns in Albany, Australia, and you'll get a clear idea of the environment in which Cephalotus thrives . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  4. #20
    --Freedom Czar-- Fryster's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if the "Ceph sudden death syndrome" occurs in the wild?

    It could be something inherent in the design of the plant.
    Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a people becomes, the more it has need of masters. -- Benjamin Franklin

  5. #21
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Fryster, the plants in the wild are not readily/easily accessed so it would make studying the CSDS rather difficult.

    However, I do wonder if CPers in Western Australia experience the syndrome when they can grow Cephs closer to their natural environment.
    Cindy

  6. #22
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    Fryster, the plants in the wild are not readily/easily accessed so it would make studying the CSDS rather difficult.

    However, I do wonder if CPers in Western Australia experience the syndrome when they can grow Cephs closer to their natural environment.
    From everything that I have heard -- including correspondence with Western Australian growers -- the "syndrome" seems to be universal and just as sporadic. Some have suggested that Botrytis, the causative agent of "damping-off" fungal disease in seedlings is to blame, but there was no trace whatsoever; also, as mentioned earlier in this thread, neighboring plants with overlapping foliage -- genetically identical through division -- were wholly (thankfully) unaffected . . .


    Cephalotus follicularis cv. "Hummer's Giant"
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    fly-catchers's Avatar
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    It's certainly is worth having insurance over growing Cephs. I lost over 10 large plants last summer which keeled over one by one! And even this week another one that had been growing with them at the time also has collapsed. All plants shrivelled up and went yellow/black. And despite keeping the original ones, so far none have regrown!

    And yet I had been growing this particular clone for 21 years without a single loss. Thankfully I have other Cephs both this clone & others eleswhere, but it certainly makes you nervous. Particulary as I have never pinned down where this infection came from, as the water supply has never been changed. Guess my time was up!

    cheers

    bill

  8. #24
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fly-catchers View Post
    It's certainly is worth having insurance over growing Cephs. I lost over 10 large plants last summer which keeled over one by one! And even this week another one that had been growing with them at the time also has collapsed. All plants shrivelled up and went yellow/black. And despite keeping the original ones, so far none have regrown!

    And yet I had been growing this particular clone for 21 years without a single loss. Thankfully I have other Cephs both this clone & others eleswhere, but it certainly makes you nervous. Particulary as I have never pinned down where this infection came from, as the water supply has never been changed. Guess my time was up!

    cheers

    bill
    My condolences . . .

    Unfortunately, the die-back just seems to be a universal experience among growers of Cephalotus; though, in my experience, the plants have always regrown, but it often took several months. Even Adrian Slack mentions it in his Insect Eating Plants: "A curious phenomena is that both in cultivation and the wild individual shoots will sometimes die back for no apparent reason, and you may think that you have lost your plant . . ."

    Slack goes on to suggest cutting off any dead foliage and simply maintaining the pots for as long as it takes. Far be it from me to suggest otherwise.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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