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Thread: Heli media question

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    mass's Avatar
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    Heli media question

    So my helis may or may not be happy. They all have a live LFS topping, but are now being buried by the LFS. Not sure if they've stalled, or are just slow to grow. But they all look really healthy.
    Is it best to not use a live topper for these guys? Or will they eventually pick up the pace and be able to keep their head above water?
    Suppose I could always just cut the LFS back down to pot level.

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    The Most Uncreative Name in the History of Ever Plant Planter's Avatar
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    I have little experience with these, but based on research, Heliamphora generally need very airy mixes. You say they all have a long-fiber Sphagnum topping, but what's underneath it? Some Heliamphora are also just slow-growing. It would be helpful if you could post what their conditions are for a diagnosis. A picture would be great, too.

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    Tony C's Avatar
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    Mine is topped with live sphag, it regenerated from the dried stuff and grew in on its own. It doesn't cause any trouble for me, but I do trim it back occasionally for aesthetic purposes. I am of course growing the indestructible heterodoxa x minor, so my experience may not apply to the less vigorous species.

    Here is a pre-trim shot, the smaller pitchers end up completely buried:
    Last edited by Tony C; 07-07-2013 at 05:39 PM. Reason: added pic

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    mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plant Planter View Post
    I have little experience with these, but based on research, Heliamphora generally need very airy mixes. You say they all have a long-fiber Sphagnum topping, but what's underneath it? Some Heliamphora are also just slow-growing. It would be helpful if you could post what their conditions are for a diagnosis. A picture would be great, too.
    I know all about the generalities of growing helis. Including their preferred media mixes..
    My question is specifically pertaining to the live LFS topping.
    Just wondering if it's best to not use it.

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    The Most Uncreative Name in the History of Ever Plant Planter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mass View Post
    I know all about the generalities of growing helis. Including their preferred media mixes..
    My question is specifically pertaining to the live LFS topping.
    Just wondering if it's best to not use it.
    Hmm. I would trim it back if it gets in the way of the plants' light, as these plants value their sun. The moss will grow back, of course, but hopefully your plants will have picked up by then. These plants can grow pretty tall, so it shouldn't be a problem once they get large.

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    I've seen beautiful Helis grown with and without a sphagnum top dressing, as I'm sure you have. For smaller plants, I think live Sphagnum on top is fine as long as it doesn't smother the plants. Intuitively, if the Sphagnum is crowding the plants then it is cutting off both air and light to the plant, and will stunt a small plant's growth. I would just make sure that you keep the Sphagnum trimmed around your small plants. If a plant has trouble "keeping its head above the water", then help it out If you don't want to put in the time to keep the sphagnum trimmed, then you may want to try growing them without the sphagnum top dressing--- it's a matter of personal preference.
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richjam1986 View Post
    For smaller plants, I think live Sphagnum on top is fine as long as it doesn't smother the plants. Intuitively, if the Sphagnum is crowding the plants then it is cutting off both air and light to the plant, and will stunt a small plant's growth. I would just make sure that you keep the Sphagnum trimmed around your small plants. If a plant has trouble "keeping its head above the water", then help it out
    And BINGO was his name-o.. Perfect answer!!
    You covered everything I was asking about, and nailed the issue on the head. The plants are indeed juveniles.. and are starting to disappear under the LFS.
    Guess I'll get the trimmers out tomorrow and go to town. Thank you for the info!

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Glad to be of service Best of luck with your plants!

    Speaking of which, it's about that time for me to trim some of the Sphagnum around my small Helis and Neps :/ lol.
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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