I used a peat-based media with my 1st Heli (H. minor) and it barely grew at all for over a year (1-2 pitchers max). Two other divisions (from same plant) in media without peat grew very well. Although obviously not a controlled experiment with any true validity, I see little reason to add any peat to my Heli media now......however, I know some European growers use peat/perlite mixes with great success. Last I read, Andreas Wistuba was using Sphagnum moss, perlite, a little peatmoss and had started to add Aggrofoam. He stated that the peatmoss enhanced colouration under his growing conditions.
Thanks Av... very useful. The growing medium for Heliamphora is very interesting and I suspect dependant to a certain degree on the growing conditions. I personally use a 1:1 LFS/perlite mix and have no issues with it; however, I know some European growers use peat/perlite mixes with great success. Last I read, Andreas Wistuba was using Sphagnum moss, perlite, a little peatmoss and had started to add Aggrofoam. He stated that the peatmoss enhanced colouration under his growing conditions.
Sadly, I have never managed to find APS in Europe. I used to use Seramis, which had a similar effect, but that is increasingly difficult to obtain in the UK.The APS maintains a nearly perfect moisture level that even someone with the most basic level of experience is assured success.
Sadly, I have never managed to find APS in Europe. I used to use Seramis, which had a similar effect, but that is increasingly difficult to obtain in the UK.
There is a laterite aquatic plant substrate available in the UK, which I supsect is similar to APS, but at ~£11 ($17.50) per 20 oz I think I'll give it a miss
OK, this sounds like Seramis.APS on the other hand is designed to not leech anything. It's main qualities are it's inertness, resistance to compaction and water absorption (30% LHC). It is a thermally enhanced (@1000-1500 degrees F) clay mineral product that is very porous (0.45 cc/g) and chemically stable.
Much of this in the UK is Diatomaceous earth based, for which I have had negative results with as a planting material.A product very similar to APS is sometimes used in kitty litter and some oil dry products. (But I don't recommend those for our use due to regional differences in formulations, additives and base minerals... )
I'm wary of vermiculite as a CP growing medium component, with the exception of Mexican Pinguicula, as it can turn alkaline over time.I always use for my old plant a peat vermiculite mixture (mixture WISTUBA advocated in its beginning), actually quite close to the substrates 'in situ'.
Much of this in the UK is Diatomaceous earth based, for which I have had negative results with as a planting material.
This is the reason for me being wary of vermiculite on acid loving plants: http://www.schundler.com/pH.htm, but maybe peat buffers it? I've never tried granite, but it would be easy for me to obtain as I live near Aberdeen, Scotland - which is known as the granite city. In fact, there is an abandoned granite quarry within a couple of miles from where I live.have you try to heliamphora : granite or sandstone very presence up there on the tepui ?
Also maybe it will be interesting to someone.
I have made two pots one filled with 3:2 mix of perlite:vermiculite another 1:1 APS:Silica sand. APS is the same Butch used here, it did give off cloud of dust/vapor when first wet too!
All components were rinsed and runoff water inspected while rinsing (levels were ~5ppm for vermiculite, ~3ppm APS, 0-1ppm for sand and perlite)
Pots (4") were filled with mixes and washed again. So they stood like that slightly wet for two days. Today I flushed them and checked the runoff water (50mL each).
APS:Sand - 76ppm,
3Perlite:2vermiculite - 30ppm
My pot filled with pure perlite shows 5ppm. So it is coming from vermiculite and APS. Also APS pot gives off some sort of a metal oxide smell.
These were supposed to be media for pings
Are Heli's tolerant to such concentrations of minerals in the soil?
The structure of the particles, clearly visible in some pictures (Pictures 2-5) collected with a scanning electron mycroscope (SEM), is characterized by open pores (small channels that form a thick network) and close pores (isolated cells and holes). The contemporary presence of those cheracteristics gives the rock an extremely high transpiring power (thanks to the open pores) and at the same time high impermeability to water inside the nucleus of the particle (due to the close pores).