I have been growing Cephalotus outside here in Guatemala for about 5 years. While I have managed to grow them well to a certain size (rosettes about 20 cm across), each year about this time (during the lull in the rainy season), I ALWAYS lose my biggest plants to what I presume is a root fungus. My plants are grown in full sunshine in NZ sphagnum, get RO water, and receive prophylactic, systemic + contact fungicidal sprays every month or so. Last year this plague took out a whole pot filled with seedlings from '02, this past weekend its attacked my largest plant. I pulled the whole mess apart, discarded the limp and discolored portions, and threw the rest into a 30 min Physan dip. Placed the whole lot in a sealed plastic container with some damp sphagnum and found that the next day all the stems had scads of 8-10 mm long fungal hypha emerging from the rootstock. I initially thought that this might be the Trichoderma (RootShield) that I innoculate the medium with every once in a while, but I now suspect that it's the pathogen that's killing my plants.
So much for the efficacy of Physan...
I know that Cephs are infamous for succumbing precisely this "sudden-death" syndrome, but someone has to have licked it.
Any thoughts and/or recommendations?