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Best Heliamphora species to start with?

I'm thinking of getting a Heliamphora when I get my next paycheck and I was wondering which would be the best species to begin with? I would like the largest one (I think it's H. tatei) but I think is a rather newer discovery, is anyone growing this and is good for a beginner on the species.
It will be living in my large highland Nepenthes terrarium which has plenty of light. 75-80% humidity and has a temp drop from about 80-85*F daytime to 50-60*F at night. I've read entries in several CP books but getting first hand info from folks here is always more informative than a book written for general readership.

Thanks for any thoughts!
heterodoxa & its hybrids are easy, as is nutans'giant form'. hispida is apparently easy too but I dont grow it. most of the species should grow ok in the setup, some are just very slow. tatei would probably get too big for your tank, I would go for a smaller sp.
H. heterodoxa from Gran Sabana and hybrids with it are the easiest because they don't need it as cold. If your growing it in your highland tank this is not really a major issue for you any more and you should have no problem with most of them.
Nutans is very pretty it will also get somewhat wide as the leaves kind of grow more like a rosette (up at an angle). Minor is cute but fairly small (also fairly easy).. hence the name. the tatei bunch are very nice with upright tall cylinders. Ionassi is probably the largest and kind of looks like a monster nutans. My biggest ionassi is just now making a nonjuvenile leaf and it is the size of a small nutans. Personally I find hispida a royal pain. It grows but refuses to get larger and shows no sign of making mature shaped leaves.
Light levels Heliamphora need are normally much higher than that what most Nepenthes do need, and get in cultivation. Placing them in the brightest spot of the terrarium will be essential. I do have H. ionasii, H. nutans and H. minor growing together with my Nepenthes and H. minor does need the highest light levels of these three. Here is a pic of the H. nutans, which also could be the giant clone due to its fast growth


( http://home.arcor.de/j.danz/H_nutans_0802.jpg )

What kind of night temps does that plant recieve? thank you.
Night time temperatures normally drop below 16 deg (61F) depending on outside temperatures.

Thanks for the input! I'm not worried about light levels or terrarium size, this terrarium is 4ftW x 4ftH x 2ftD and with all these highlanders it'll evolve into a small room (or greenhouse if I happen to get some credit cards with larger limits!

That's a great photo! How large is that plant?
I have a heterodoxa x minor growing on my windowsill with a bag to help with humidity. The thing is growing like a weed so I would recommend it as a starter

What about a heliamphora that can take mid to high 80s and mid to high 70s temps year round? I doubt that it exists, but I remember that the savage garden says that some heliamphora can do well in hothouses.
I would love to try some helis, but the only place that I could put them would be outside with my lowland neps.

  • #10

Some forms of H. minor grow at low elevations so I would start there. I also think that a form of nutans does but I am not 100% sure on that one
  • #11
I think its heterodoxa that occurs at lower levels and is more heat tolerant. Hybrids with this species are also happy with slightly higher temperatures.
I grow my nutans (giant clone) under the same conditions as heterodoxa and it's hybrids, which is day temps about 80F, but with a drop at night, and it grows faster than any of the other Helis I grow. Almost all of the nutans in general cultivation are the 'giant clone', as it is the only easy form of this plant to grow.

  • #12
Oh great!!!
I'll definitely try heterodoxa and minor then.... eventually... They are definitly two of the coolest looking cps around. I'll put them next to my 2 sarrs.