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Sad Heliamphora

Nov 4, 2016
Providence, RI
I've been growing H. ionasi and H. minor for a few months, and I they have not been doing well. There was a day when my radiator wouldn't turn off, which killed many of each of their pitchers, and after that each new one has been smaller. The ionasi was shocked, I guess, into producing adult pitchers, but they were misshapen and each was smaller than the last. Its most recent pitcher was a juvenile pitcher, but it's smaller than any of the juvenile pitchers it arrived with. The minor has only had juvenile pitchers. I thought the issue might be that they didn't have enough light, so I moved them closer to the lights. They reddened some, but the pitchers have still been getting smaller. I was also foliar feeding (way too often--almost every day), but I've washed the substrate and stopped (although I only stopped about a week or two ago). The temperatures in the tank are pretty awful (mid to high eighties during the day, down to mid-seventies at night), but the local temperatures around the heliamphora are much lower, because I cool them with ice packs which I regularly replace. The media is lfs mixed with perlite (not sure the ratio), topped with live sphagnum.

Humidity is high--usually 75% plus, more than 80% at least half the time. However, I keep it up largely by spraying regularly. There's a layer of live sphagnum at the bottom of the tank, along with assorted other plants whose seeds were mixed in, I guess. The heliamphora are elevated above the sphagnum layer--they're sitting on plastic cups.

Is it possible that I just need to wait, continue to water (to wash out the extra fertilizer), and be diligent about ice packs? Or is there something else obviously wrong? I'm a little worried about the media, because the roots of both plants only extend into the live sphagnum.
Last edited:
Aug 4, 2008
Hey, I've only had my heliamphora for about a month so far but from what I've seen growing it they just need time to settle in. With the super hot day you had and too much fertilization I'd guess that it just needs more time to work everything out.