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Thread: Heliamphora minor division

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    klasac's Avatar
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    Heliamphora minor division

    I needed to divide my big heliamphora minor today and, motivated by Aviator's thread about other heli division I decided to make a little report.
    Hi!

    My heliamphora minor after months of vivid growth started to grow smaller pitchers and got a bit crowded which means there is no more room for root expansion, this is what it looked like:


    Instead of repotting it once again into bigger pot I cannot accommodate in my terrarium I decided to divide it into several plants. I have done this many times before but never had enough time on my hands to make a photo-report. This time I tried to take some pictures of how i do it.

    First I removed all of the topping (sphagnum moss) and learned that roots have already started to shoot through the surface (indicating the need of repotting):


    Using spatula, I carefully detached the substrate from the potside and by turning it over got the whole contents of the pot out:


    It is clearly visible that the roots have already started to grow through bottom drainage mix:


    Then I removed as much loose peat as possible. It is very important to do this with caution because even the strongest roots of Heliamphora are very easy to break (especially when they are new they are fragile). It is unwise to try to remove the bounded peat by force.


    The residual peat I usually remove by dipping the root part into a vessel filled with distilled water. Then I swirl it around for a bit so the peat falls to the bottom:


    It is very important to remove all the substrate because it allows us to see where exactly the roots are connected to the pitchers!


    This is very regardful way of getting rid of the remnant peat from the fine roots. The plant now looks like this, free of substrate and ready to be divided:


    With some Heliamphora species, the roots grow stepwise into the row as new pitchers form. Heliamphora minor has 'central' root system which means that most of the pitchers form radially around the main roots and there are not too many side-roots. This makes it really hard to divide the plant into more plants by just cutting them off. Sometimes we break off pitcher or root if we are not very careful. See how the root is centred:


    Now people often get confused about where to start...the pitchers are often crowded and roots tangled. The best way I think is to find some juvenile pitchers and start from the side. Never use knife and try to divide the plant from the middle. You might break off a large clump without roots attached and possibly lose half of the plant. Then instead od propagating you make the plant smaller. Juvenile clumps usually have young roots connected with them and they break off easily:


    It is considerate to put the detached plant into distilled water. Sometimes the 'surgery' take a long time and you dont want to leave the exposed roots dry out:



    Then find some other clumps on the side (never break off clump with no growing pitcher/growing point!). See here a large clump on the side:

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    klasac's Avatar
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    I never use a knife to cut it off. It is wiser to grab carefully that part of plant we want to break off and wobble it to shake it loose:


    Even with the greatest caution sometimes we can loose a pitcher or two but that are the 'casulties of war':


    Sometimes even rootless pitcher like that can grow its own roots but it takes too long for me.

    As we proceed to the heart of the plant, it is more and more easy to detach other new clumps, when done well, we end up with several plants. Some of them in the picture look like they have no roots left, but from my experience if there is a tiny piece of root tissue they grow it back and live on. I always leave the last part of the plant the largest, which has excessive root system. This I call a mother plant and it my insurance in case of all other die (never happened so far):


    Then I get the pots ready (drainage with ceramsite and river sand, small pots coarse river sand only):


    ...and the sphagnum moss for topping of course (rinsed in distilled water several times):


    Then I pot plants up and let some distilled water to run through the pots several times to ensure there are no air bubbles under the roots. It is much better to use water stream to place the substrate in between the roots than just tamp the soil down (that might break the roots and has feeble effect):


    I add sphagnum on the top for the microclimate. Here are 8 plants out of one, all eager to grow I hope:-):


    This is picture of the same plants 2 weeks later (compare with picture above)


    Finally, for the start, I use doping mix in amount of 100mg per plant to ensure the nutrition before the roots kick in. This way the plant starts new growth very fast and early:


    For first 3-4weeks, do not let the pots stand in the water constantly because rootrot might occure. Spray the plants very often in the beginning. Later, the tray method is fine.


    Thats it:-) I hope my English is understandable and also that this post will help others in case they will need to propagate their helis via clump division.
    GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!:-)

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    Halt's Avatar
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    Wow thats a lot. thats very. pretty. XD

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Nicely done Klasac...

    Even some of the pitchers/division with no roots will survive if bagged to prevent desiccation.

    Soaking and using the water bath is the main trick IMHO...

    Well done indeed!
    Av

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    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klasac View Post
    I hope my English is understandable and also that this post will help others in case they will need to propagate their helis via clump division.
    GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!:-)
    Definitely. I don't grow helis, but this is definitely one of the best posts I've seen on the subject. Great work!

    Jason

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    Capensis's Avatar
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    Very nice and detailed! Beautiful Heli, too!
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6789&dateline=1352508752

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    klasac's Avatar
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    I edited my post by attaching one more picture of the plants 2 weeks after the division (see the original post). The mother plant have grown 3-4more pitchers since then and the daughter plants one new pitcher. The juvenile plants are a bit slower because I cannot feed the mix to the juveniles, but they will catch up:-)

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    What, no Sundews? j/k Nice looking Heli's.

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