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Thread: My dying Cephalotus...

  1. #9
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Why are you using a UV bulb? 15W from any sort of lighting technology isn't going to make a big difference, and UV bulbs in particular tend to throw off a lot of heat. Cephs need cool air for success. And as the others have said, it appears too wet. But the plant looks like it's having trouble getting water, which likely means root rot. Is the media well-drained?
    Also, if you're going to post pics for help, keep in mind most people don't have 3000-pixel-wide displays; even with my view settings as high as they'll go I can only fit about 1/4 of those pics on my browser window at a time.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  2. #10
    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    UV is harmful to plants, as it is to most cells, why are you using this type of light? What conditions do you have this plant in, i.e. humidity and temperature?
    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    Why are you using a UV bulb? 15W from any sort of lighting technology isn't going to make a big difference, and UV bulbs in particular tend to throw off a lot of heat.
    It's IR lamps that radiate a lot of heat. UV is at the other end of the spectrum.

    http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/Figures..._spectrum.html

    The problem with UV is that it damages the plants DNA, with UV-B and UV-C being the most harmful, due to the shorter wavelengths so higher energy. I have successfully grown Cephalotus under 15W of daylight white CFL. If it is a reflector CFL then all the light is concentrated in a small area so is more efficient than linear fluorescents.

    http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/ozone_d...nd_Plants.html

  3. #11
    jurow's Avatar
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    That looks a lot like root-rot. You might not keep the plant in standing water, but that soil looks very wet. Watering a Ceph every couple of days is basically the same as keeping it in standing water (unless it's extremely hot.) The root system needs to significantly dry-out regularly. For instance, I water my greenhouse Cephs every couple weeks at most.

    It looks pretty late in the game, but I would stop all watering until the soil gets quite dry (contracting from the sides of the pot.) Feeding should be your LAST priority right now, as your plant doesn't look healthy enough to do anything with those nutrients. You need to get your light cycles and watering figured out before you focus on anything else.

  4. #12
    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    and this is EXACTLY why i say people should never jump STRAIGHT into cephalotus in the hobby.

    As everyone else has pointed out, this plant is sitting in soil that is far FAR too wet, and watering every couple of days is pushing your luck. especially if your getting the crown of the plant wet.

    your lighting is also far too low for a cephalotus, so in combination with root rot, any other number of things can be happening.
    Get the plant in more light, trim off all of the dead material to avoid any fungal issues, let it dry out a bit between waterings, depending on your lighting, this could take a week to a few weeks.
    the way my plants are situated, i have to water once every 4 or so days, but they get high light levels and are in a quick draining soil.

    If you jump on it now, and get this plant into the correct conditions, and keep from over watering it, you have a chance of saving it.

  5. #13
    mobile's Avatar
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    Whilst it could be root rot, there is no evidence that it is. I think there is more of an issue with what type of light is being used, rather than the wattage. I grow all my Cephalotus using the tray method and have never lost a plant over many years. If this is the same plant as Listserv.org has posted about in a different thread, it supposedly comes from a reputable grower, so it might be worth checking with them as to what conditions it was growing in prior to it changing hands. Knowing exactly what conditions Listserv.org has this plant in might help with a more precise diagnosis too. Personally, I would remove the dead material to limit fungal issues, increase the lighting and increase ventilation.

  6. #14
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Couldn't agrrr with SirK more...

    Experience is by far the best teacher, which is exactly why it is best to get a good amount of it BEFORE attempting some of the more delicate plants. A good understanding of growing plants in general, goes a long way. Okay, enough said about the folly of decisions that were already made...

    ....as far as the plant is concerned, the advice of trimming off (with a SHARP small scissors...and not a knife or by pulling!) the dead material, getting it out of a tray of water (if one exists), cutting back on the water and increasing ventilation is good solid advice.

    I would go further myself, but not knowing the actual plant growing experience you have, I cannot recommend further action. I have seen cephs come back from worse, however as this damage has occurred in less than a month, and to a large plant that was not recently repotted, I also suspect that there is more problems with the environment it is experiencing than we are aware of.
    Exactly what kind of light "bulbs" do you have this under. They could be part of the problem also as was mentioned. (I am not sure what you have exactly, and am really not sure why you chose them, if indeed they are not a normal/good choice.)

    But then I also don't understand why you are throwing bugs at a plant that obviously can't make use of them, and this again falls back on learning about growing these plants before actually subjecting one to the wrong environment and then randomly doing the wrong thing with the hopes that something is right and will help it.
    Using Trichoderma might have been a better choice in my opinion, and I have had good luck with it. It might help salvage the situation here, although it is hard to say.
    I think more patience and less water is a good start.
    I know about the urge to water it when you see it dieing, but it is the wrong thing to do.

    And again, I would offer more advice, but to do certain things required a bit more experience to do it well, and otherwise one would likely only make things even worse.

    Good luck, you are gonna need it.
    (I have seen Cephs in worse shape come back to life, so it isn't hopeless. But indeed you need to get the environment into what the plant needs!

    Sad to see such a nice plant decline so fast.
    But it means something.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Listserv.org View Post
    I just got this plant about a month ago. You can see my posts in previous threads. Now it's sadly turned into this. Is there any HOPE?
    While the plant has been trying to tell you that you are doing a lot of things that it really doesn't like, it 'appears' that there are some parts of the plant that are not yet rotted and trying to survive (white circles in pic)(black circle is a maybe).


    You've gotten a lot of good advice in the previous posts. Your plant's hope for survival depends on how quickly you can implement these suggestions - imho. Best of luck to you and your Cephalotus.
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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  8. #16
    doku's Avatar
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    This is my oldest cephalotus, I have nearly killed it so many times trying different mixes. I finally put it in pure long fiber sphagnum and it started doing really well. First picture is when I had it growing outside in full sun and the second picture is more recently when I moved it to partial sun. I find this medium to have good drainage and helps keep the humidity around the plant a little higher since my climate is so dry.
    http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o...a/CIMG3158.jpg http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o...a/CIMG3414.jpg

    ---------- Post added at 09:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:20 PM ----------

    It seems to me that what most ppl will agree on is that they need properly drained medium. Any soil that compacts too much keeps the roots from absorbing water properly and ends up rotting them. I have a small cephalotus whose roots rotted away, but the top part was still pretty healthy so I put it on some live sphagnum and it is still alive, even growing now.

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