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Thread: Heliamphora looking rumpled; advice?

  1. #9
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Could be aphid damage or from the insecticide. Oil based pesticides should be used with extreme caution. Never use a petroleum based oil. Neem oil seems to be benign when used with most carnivorous plants.
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    My pitchers tend to look like that from insufficient water or it being too hot for the plants... sometimes both at the same time.

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    Stronger lighting

    The pitchers indicate a problem with insufficient lighting. The nectar spoons are underdeveloped and there is virtually no red coloration. Can you move the pots closer to the lights (4-6 inches away)? In addition, your soil mixture may be too dense. I've had good success with a 50/50 mixture of dried LFS and perlite.
    Up until two years ago I grew heliamphora under lights in my basement. I've since switched to growing them on a south facing windowsill, resulting in healthier plants. The sill receives 5 hours per day of direct sun during the summer. I've supplemented their lighting with two desk lamps, each having a 100 watt fluorescent bulb.
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    The neem insecticide was very cautiously applied - spritzed on a fine-bristled toothbrush and then brushed the little buggies off by hand. There are no more aphids in sight and they've been gone for a while. Soil is still very damp to the touch, so I am inclined to think it is more likely over-watered than under-watered. That said, tugging at the dessicated leaves jostles the whole plant, they don't disconnect with any mushy brown rot.

    What makes the most sense to me is that the plant got too hot. It has been unusually warm in my part of the world this summer, and I am in a 3rd story apartment that gets like an oven in the sun. I know it's gotten to 90 degrees F or higher last week while I'm away at work.

    I will dig a little bit and see what I can see but am somewhat reluctant to repot as I don't want to make things worse if it's just a heat issue... At any rate I will be increasing the lighting as that sounds like something everyone here agrees on.

    I can't thank you all enough for your tremendous insight! Wish I had advice to return but I'm merely a lowly noob.

  5. #13
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    If it were a problem with heat or drying out too much the whole plant would be reacting the same way. Half the plant looks fine with moisture in the leaves. There is a root/rhizome problem with the other part of the plant. The new shoot and the base of the leaves that are shrivelling up look brown to me. At least as far as I can tell from the photo...
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  6. #14

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    Okie-Dokie. I dig it up and split it up like this:




    I repotted the good half, as well as the 2 nicer pitchers of the gross gnarly half "just in case, " but I don't have a lot of hope for those. All my helis are now under double the lights they were getting in the past. Thanks tons for everyone's help and support!

    Oh, someone had asked about soil mix, it's perlite and peat 50/50.

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    Peat and perlite is not a good mix for these plants
    most of the time when i see people using this mix for this genus, it leads to rot
    i suggest switching to live LFS/perlite....or pure live LFS....
    there is pleanty of other mixes for helis, but peat and perlite just isnt one that you should use...

  8. #16
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    IMHO, the rot is a symptom of a larger issue.... I agree they could use more light but I dont think it is the root cause.

    I would be really worried about your heat and possibly the soil mix. I know mine complain when temps peak into the high 70's

    Some ppl do have good luck with peat based mixes, I never have...

    just my 2cents
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