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Cephalotus acclimation: a little worried

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Hi guys, I posted pics of my new ceph the other day. I noticed that some of the pitchers were turning slightly wrinkled and some new buds were turning a bit brown.

I read on the internet that acclimation to a new climate is normal? I've been keeping the soil moist (no tray method because it causes root rot). And yesterday, I fed it some fruit flies. I've been dropping distilled water to the pitchers and keeping the humidity and light levels high.

I don't want anything bad to happen to my plant. Any ideas if this is normal? Thanks for any advice.
 

amphirion

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drop the humidity---right now, ventilation is needed more than humidity. use a fan to generate air circulation.
 

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There is some white powdery stuff forming on some of the pitchers. I will take pictures later today when I get home. I'm not sure if this is "scale" or just simply the plant adjusting? Or maybe some of the older pitchers are dying off. Not sure.
 
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I'm so sorry you are already experiencing trouble with your new ceph. I know the heartbreak. I lost a few in the beginning myself until I got the hang of it. In my experience, the best way to take care of a ceph is to pretend to ignore it. Don't look at it directly, but only out of the corner of your eye. You can kill them with too much love. They like to be left alone and they really don't need to be fed that much. Less is more--much less. You also don't need to be filling the pitchers with water.

I agree with amphirion--back off the humidity and increase the air circulation (gentle air circulation), but I would back off on the watering, too. Cephs don't need to be soggy-wet, especially in winter. White powdery stuff sounds to me like powdery mildew. There were probably already spores on the plant, and the increased humidity just brought the fungus out. I would have said that you just had the benign symptoms of shock, but it sounds like your plant might be some real trouble.

Do not fear. It might very well pull out, but if you can't get it under control and it looks like your growth points are going to go, you might have to do some radical surgery. A crash happens fast so keep an eye on your plant. If the main stem rots you are sunk.

What I have done in such cases is to dig down around the main stem and slice off the entire crown with a clean exacto, taking a good length of the thick main stem. Then I cut off the affected leaves and pitchers of the plant and either repotted the entire crown or else divided it up to make a number of new plants. No rooting hormone is necessary. Then I covered the main plant back up and every time, except for once in which the roots had already been compromised, it sent up new growth in a matter of weeks. This has worked for me very well, and I haven't lost a plant in a while. (I tend to be proactive in this regard and take action sooner rather than later.)

Also, since you got it from a local grower, I would suggest you talk to the guy to get his take on it. If he has been successful in growing these plants, he might be able to offer you some helpful advice, and if you are good at putting a tear in your voice he might even break down and give you another if you lose it. And don't be too quick to throw away a plant that seems to be dead. Be patient. They often come back from the roots.

---------- Post added at 01:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:12 PM ----------

It occurs to me that my last message might have been a little scary, and I don't mean to sound like everything is in the toilet and all hope is lost. I apologize for that. But do back off on humidity and watering, provide more air circulation, and watch the plant closely. It might very well be just reacting to new conditions. I have had them brown like that, even on some of the new leaf and pitcher buds, and they came back just fine after pouting for a while. However, if there is a fungus you will need to act quickly.

It would be helpful for folks to understand the exact conditions you are providing. Is the plant in an enclosure? Is it under lights or in a window? What are the general temperatures around the plant? How are your conditions different from the place it came from? Details like that are helpful in diagnosing a problem. Pictures would help a lot, too.

Cheers.
 

amphirion

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to give you an estimate of how often i water my ceph, it's close to once a month...the plant mainly draws its water in from the ultrasonic humidifier which turns on for 5 minutes every other hour. any excess moisture is evaporated by the fan.
 

thez_yo

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I've almost lost my cephs before... a quick repot with cutting off anything rotting/dead/slimey if you still have some root left and the pot will regrow entirely even if everything seems lost. If you have no humidifier and your humidity is like 0% or abysmal like 20% or something because of winter heating (or you leave them out to roast in the sun like me), it's pretty humid close to the potting medium's surface from evaporation and you'll just want to keep the pot in something like a cm of standing water at all times and the roots and pitchers will get all the water they need. If your humidity is high, you just water less like amph.
 
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I'm actually on the opposite end of the grow spectrum than you guys. I grow my cephs in a completely covered tank, with about an inch of water in the bottom for humidity. The cephs, believe it or not, sit in the water. They grow very quick, and well without problems. I do have them in over sized pots due to their extensive and long root systems.
But back to the question at hand..
When I get a new ceph, I 100% expect to see them die back some. Mostly when they are shipped bare root, but sometimes the larger ones will still die back even though they were shipped potted. All due to the slight to major change in growing conditions. They're pretty touchy like that. Small cephs on the other hand rarely die back when shipped potted. They just stop growing for a week or two as they get acclimated.
So don't worry, yet. It's perfectly normal for them to die back some after arrival.
No my questions:
1. Did you get it shipped potted or bare root?
2. What size is it? :pics:
 
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i like over sized pots also. i think this is a 9 inch wide pot.
DSC_00080001_2.jpg


just wondering is deep pots better than wide pots.....

this is one plant that grows differently for different people. what works for one person may or may not work for another. i too keep them in a tray, top water them once or twice a week (or when ever the tray is dry). But I also grow them outside in a mild cool climate. with at least a 20 degree night time temp drop. Summer or winter. Day time my humidity drops and the water rapidly evaporates. The top dress of live sphagnum may also be helping with evaporative cooling. However, I have never gotten a huge plant to start with. They have all been root cuttings or leaf cuttings. I just found the magic spot in my greenhouse.
 
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OH, something else I forgot.. I don't remember where I heard it, but misting the plant lightly once a day caused and explosion of growth with mine.
Deep pots are better than wide.
GORGEOUS color on yours btw kula..
 

amphirion

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yes. deeper pots will allow you to use the tray system. i grow mine currently in a 3 inch pot, so i cant afford that luxury of growing it in a tray. that being said, mine is doing well so i see no reason to change what i have going...
 

thez_yo

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I've gotta say though amphirion, I have Cephalotus in 3" pots in a tray of water too and it's working out well. I'm assuming it's because of my lack of humidity that it's working out though.
 
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amphirion

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regardless if this is the acclimation process or a serious problem, steps till need to be taken to ensure that the plant does well. did you install some sort of air circulation and stopped watering the plant?
 

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Hi, thanks for responding. Yeah, I don't think that AC is the problem here. I water the plant enough only to keep the soil wet. I never let the soil dry out, and I never let the plant sit in a tray. Have you noticed how brown the pitchers are turning?
 

amphirion

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yes. and the browning of the pitchers is caused by two things: overwatering and poor air circulation.

like i posted earlier, i only water my ceph once a month, twice during the summer. the plant stands directly in the path of the air blown from the fan. i think you're overwatering it, you might think you're not, but it is most likely that you are.

another question....how tall is your pot?
 

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Hmm... ok. I mean, otherwise, it's a very healthy plant I think. I got it as a very healthy plant, and I've been feeding it flies (you can see this in the pics). Thanks for the advice!
 

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Thanks a lot for your help!

---------- Post added at 09:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:19 PM ----------

By the way, how on earth does one grow these plants in a terrarium without evoking root rot? Seems like a very difficult task.
 
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