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Thread: Can I grow Heliamphora outdoors here in Florida?

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thez_yo View Post
    Why don't you get one of those "lowland" helis from wistuba?
    "Lowland" is a bit of a misnomer, since 1000 meters (3280 feet) and above -- where some of the "newer" Heliamphora species occur -- is hardly what one would consider "tropical" weather. They still require cool nights -- and mine are thriving at 12˚C (54˚F) or below.

    A hybrid in Florida is still the way to go, followed by H. nutans, H. heterodoxa, and H. minor. Some of my hybrids have seen temperatures in the 40˚C (104˚F) range, though I wouldn't recommend it for any sustained period.

    Most species would have been toast . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfn View Post
    Isn't Minor a lowland Heli?

    Also, doesn't Wistuba sell the Heliamphoras as bareroot plants? Wouldn't that be difficult for the plant?
    H. minor occurs at 1900-2500 meters (6233-8202 feet), hardly a warm and fuzzy environment up there; and, true, a bare-root, juvenile TC plant wouldn't do too well . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    "Lowland" is a bit of a misnomer, since 1000 meters (3280 feet) and above -- where some of the "newer" Heliamphora species occur -- is hardly what one would consider "tropical" weather. They still require cool nights -- and mine are thriving at 12˚C (54˚F) or below.

    A hybrid in Florida is still the way to go, followed by H. nutans, H. heterodoxa, and H. minor. Some of my hybrids have seen temperatures in the 40˚C (104˚F) range, though I wouldn't recommend it for any sustained period.

    Most species would have been toast . . .



    H. minor occurs at 1900-2500 meters (6233-8202 feet), hardly a warm and fuzzy environment up there; and, true, a bare-root, juvenile TC plant wouldn't do too well . . .

    So, would a Heterodaxa-xMinor do well here in Florida?
    "I may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

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    In the long run; no. We have tried them on a few occassions, including hybrids. They hang in for a while, but eventually the warm nights take their toll. The only Heliamphoras we know that have done well for an extended period of time (as in years) here in FL were grown in a greenhouse close to evaporative pads where night temps during summer dropped below 68 F.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfn View Post
    So, would a Heterodaxa-xMinor do well here in Florida?
    Yes, that hybrid should do well; so too would other Heliamphora hybrids. They are all far more tolerant of higher temperatures and "rough" treatment than the contributing species themselves. The old notion of "hybrid vigor" is a cliché, but definitely true.

    Remember though, they prefer their roots cool, much like Darlingtonia. Keep them well-watered and even outside at night, if possible . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    No question the hybrids are tougher, but they still need cool nights. At night during the summer in most parts of FL you can go for months with the temperature never dipping below 75F. It is not the daytime highs in the nineties F that is a problem, but a lack of cool nights. Even the so-called lowland forms need a night temperature below 70 F. We kept H. 'Tequila' alive for years, but they suffered in the long run. Hot summer nights are too frequent, and by the time the plants recover over the course of a winter, it is summer again, and they take another long spell of warm nights. Again, it can be done, but some form of cooling is needed for the summer nights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trent View Post
    No question the hybrids are tougher, but they still need cool nights. At night during the summer in most parts of FL you can go for months with the temperature never dipping below 75F. It is not the daytime highs in the nineties F that is a problem, but a lack of cool nights. Even the so-called lowland forms need a night temperature below 70 F. We kept H. 'Tequila' alive for years, but they suffered in the long run. Hot summer nights are too frequent, and by the time the plants recover over the course of a winter, it is summer again, and they take another long spell of warm nights. Again, it can be done, but some form of cooling is needed for the summer nights.
    Air temperature is one thing and root Tb quite another. I have friends who successfully grow Heliamphora species and hybrids outside on patios in Port St. Lucie, Florida and in Austin, Texas for years without a problem. If the roots can remain cool -- much like those of Darlingtonia -- the plant will be fine.

    Most people I know in warmer climates, simply provide the plants generous water trays . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    I would think that even in deep trays the water would still get hot, especially in a hot climate. Deep water doesn't cool roots, cool water cools roots...or so one would think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philcula View Post
    I would think that even in deep trays the water would still get hot, especially in a hot climate. Deep water doesn't cool roots, cool water cools roots...or so one would think.
    Say what you will, but that is the method being used -- successfully; and it is better than nothing. Also, I don't think that they're placing them under direct sun and there is some minor shelter involved. I was at Peter D'Amato's nursery today, north of San Francisco, and he has Heliamphora growing well in rather sweltering greenhouse conditions -- far warmer than I keep them . . .

    You can cook any plant you like -- tropical or otherwise -- if one is too reckless . . .
    “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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