Did I kill my Ceph?
I acquired a nice Ceph specimen at the NECPS show in September. At first, I was growing it alongside my Sarrs, but it seemed to be languishing, so I moved it inside, under the grow lights, seated in a tray alongside D. binata. There, it didn't put out any new growth, but didn't deteriorate until early Dec. At that point, I noticed a few leaves had turned brown and died off. I figured it didn't like the waterlogged conditions and moved it to a tray that had fluctuating water levels, usually drying for a day before rewatering. There, it seemed to improve for a couple weeks, but, about a week ago, all the leaves and pitchers turned yellow and the plant died back. At this point, I assumed that I've killed it, although the roots seem to be intact. I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong or whether I should keep the potted roots or toss it. Advice?
You never want to keep Cephalotus sitting in water unless you're putting them through dormancy. They should be top watered and allowed to drain freely.
I would place it indoors under lights, I would not toss the pot for atleast 3 months as I've had them come back after a few months. If the crown did not rot you have a good chance of recovery. Just make sure to keep its conditions pretty consistant for the next month. Wet is generally bad, dry is generally bad.
The best piece of advice for Cephs...when your main plant is healthy take a few leaf pulls just in case. I lose about 1 in 50 for no good reason, right next to very healthy Cephs.
Without knowing a lot more information its hard to recommend anything. If you have a peat heavy medium than watering trays can be very bad. A more inorganic mix and watering trays can do very well. I have all my Cephs in watering trays, if I top watered all of my plants 1/3rd would die of crown rot . Everyones conditions are different, that's why you read 50 ways to care for Cephs.
One from a long time ago http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-up-on-a-plant!
From what I've experienced with the species, crown rot only occurs in conditions with poor air circulation. A lot of people who keep them in terrariums with very high humidity and low air movement often have this problem. If the plants are allowed to dry shortly after watering then crown rot should be a non issue. I keep a greenhouse fan blowing over my plants at all times in order to provide good air flow. I have on the other hand experienced root rot on several occasions from keeping the plants in trays of water while in active growth. There's definitely something to be said though about different things working great for one grower and proving fatal for another.
See above, I have about 1/3rd of them growing in terrariums with very high humidity and poor airflow, top watering would kill them quickly I know from experience...They are mostly transplants/leaf pulls that recover much faster for me in there. Ceph Med bay if you would.
I've never had any issue with watering trays, however I am looking for a solutions to the "poor air exchange" watering trays provide. Top watering 50+ Cephs on windowsills my wife would kill me...
Its just a pet peeve of mine that excess water leads to rot, its the lack of airflow not the excess of water. Peat + water is very bad for airflow. I've grown a Ceph for years with all its roots completely in water, it grew and was healthy but never grew well. It was eventually potted up into a normal mix.
Enough of me hijacking this thread thou.
I agree with RSS, and also think you should keep the pot for a few months. I had some small sprouts regrow. These also appeared dead and desiccated (from my neglect). I can't say if the symptoms were the same (yellowing), because it was already too late when I discovered them. Personally, I try a bit of everything - stagnant air flow with top water at constant 70F, good air flow with the tray method under UHL conditions, and minimal airflow at room temperature (low 70F-high 86F). I don't keep them too wet, and all the ones sitting in water are in tall pots, 5''+, with a 1/4'' water. I am going to try the windowsill method, and see how that fairs.
I have kept Cephalotus sitting in water throughout the growing season for quite some time. The longest period being for about 22 months without draining.
Originally Posted by Cthulhu138
I have had new shoots growing underwater and also through the pot drain holes. This does not quite conform to your declaration.
This, of course, is in an unheated greenhouse not in a terrarium.
Alright, I'll keep it and see what happens. Seems like everyone his or her own formula that works, none of which are the same. Worse comes to worse, I'll try again in the future with different conditions. Thanks for the help, everyone.
I water from the top, with no regard to how much water splashes around the crown, etc.
I water as often as 3X a week during warm weather, or as little as once every 2 weeks in the dead of winter.
I do NOT let plants sit in water; all pots drain freely from the bottom.
My soil mix is almost 50% coarse silica sand (recycled sand from an irrigation sand filter system, washed) and it drains very rapidly: most of the water poured into the top of the pot drains out the bottom within 30 seconds.
My Cephalotus are sited on the south exposure wall of my Nepenthes greenhouse, year round: they received unfiltered, full sun (when there IS sun!0 year round.
All of my Cephalotus are planted in pale colored ceramic (glazed) pots, which prevent the pots and soil volume from warming significantly from sunlight absorption.
Air flow around the plants is 24/7, and gentle - but omnipresent.
I have yet to lose a plant in 2.5 years of working with them. For me, they are effortless plants.
That's an impressive record.