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Cephalotus Hydroponics

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Hi,

Some of you may be aware of my VFT Hydroponics Experiment. Following on from that my next project is Cephalotus hydroponics. For this I have used a leaf cutting that has been rooted in perlite - it has never been in peat, except when it was attached to the mother plant.

Overview of complete setup - apologies for the pink but a certain brand of laundry stain remover container is all I had suitable at the time!:
pic1.JPG


Cephalotus in its hydro pot - The top of the pot has a dressing of clay aggregate but this is not the growing medium:
pic2.JPG


The growing medium - 1cm Grodan rockwool cubes:
pic5.JPG


The reservoir - with airstone (airpump switched off):
pic3.JPG


With the airpump switch on - it is on for the same duration as the lights, which is 14 hours:
pic4.JPG


The new pitcher in the centre has formed since putting the plant into this system, which was about three weeks ago:
pic6.JPG



The reservoir contains a nutrient solution of EC1.5 hydroponics nutrients, to which I add 1ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide twice a week. The mesh pot is suspended just above the solution level, so that when the pump is on the bubbles form and burst on the base of the pot. This provides oxygen rich nutrients to the plant.
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
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Yes, keep us updated on the results positive or negative.

10 years ago there was some discussion on the ICPS listserv (search on hydroponics) but no further followup after an initial report of results (email addresses and full names removed):

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:41:13 -0800
From: Owen P
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Hydroponics for CP


Hi everybody-

I have been wondering lately if it does not make a lot
more sense to grow houseplants (not just CP)
hydroponically.

I work in a government soil sciences lab, and true
soil is an incredibly intricate network or biological
processes, almost none of which can be reproduced in
culture. Organic components like peat, when not part
of a living soil, simply act as nutrient sumps and
provide no real value to the plant except moisture
storage and pH.

So why not just give up on our lame use of "soil-like"
mediums, and meet the plants' needs through purely
artificial means (ie. hydroponics)? I have seen many
hydro gardens and their plants are almost invariably
SPECTACULAR as compared to potted plants.

So... I am willing and able to experiment on some of
my plants, but I lack the necessarry info and skills
as to what sort of chemical conditions (pH and
fertilizer) the plants would need, and how to provide
them.
If anyone would like to help me work out a set of
parameters and procedures I would be most grateful,
and will of course share any results with the list.

Thanks-

-Owen

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 12:03:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Owen P
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Hydroponics experiment


Hello everybody-

I set up a simple ebb-and-flow hydroponics system this
weekend and experimentally planted a few CPs in it
including:

N. alata v. elongata
N. glabratus (cutting)
D. arenicola
D. madagascariensis "Botswana"
D. spec. "Weimer #4"
U. longifolia
U. sandersonii
U. humboldtii
Darlingtonia
Cephalotus
G. violaceae
Heliamphoras (assorted)

I realize the above list is a bit strange but that is
what I had extras of with which to experiment.

If anyone has further questions I would be happy to
answer them, and I will keep the list updated!

-Owen

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 23:02:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Owen P
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: hydroponics experiment update


Hi everybody-

You may remember that I started experimenting with
hydroponics a couple of months ago... I thought I
would post a brief update here.

Basically, everything is doing very well! My original
planting included Heliamphora, Cephalotus, Nepenthes,
Darlingtonia, Drosera, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Of
these, all are thriving except for Nepenthes, which
never became established. The Helis and Cephalotus are
well rooted and actively growing, the Droseras are
growing EXTREMELY fast, and the Utricularia is, of
course, quickly making itself a weed.

A brief description of my set-up:
1) plants are potted in small mesh pots of the kind
designed for aquaculture, in either rockwool, lava
rock, or clay pearls.
2) the pots are set in a window-box type planter and
surrounded with clay pearls.
3) the entire surface is covered with a thin layer of
lava-rock; this prevents algal growth and also helps
to weigh the material down and prevent the clay-pearls
from floating.
4) the planter sits atop a bucket full of the watering
solution, with a small aquarium pump which
periodically floods the whole thing from the bottom.

The watering solution is distilled water, Blackwater
Tonic at recommended strength, and a commercial
all-purpose hydroponics solution at one-half
recommended strength.
I do not monitor water-quality.

Originally I had everything planted directly in clay
pearls directly in the planter, but they tended to
float and shift and the plants fell over and were
unable to develop good root systems. Covering the
surface with lava-rocks to weigh it down, and in some
cases planting specimens in rockwool, solved this.

I also grow N. northiana in a passive hydroponics
system -- a mix of lava, clay, and charcoal, sitting
in a shallow tray of pure water -- with great success.

I highly recommend that everyone experiment with this
-- my thrown-together system works extremely well, and
I am sure that with refinement and experimentation it
could be made even more effective.

If anyone wishes further information I'd be happy to
provide it!

-Owen P

Note: Barry Rice has this to say about hydroponics and Carnivorous Plants:
http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3710.html
 

seedjar

Let's positive thinking!
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Wow, I hadn't seen those posts before. The listserv seems so foreign to me... Back in the day, I was always into newsgroups over mailing lists. Funny that this guy has almost the opposite results from what Barry has heard of. I really want to try Nep cuttings myself.
~Joe
 
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Hi Not a Number,

Thank you for the listserv posting. It is interesting to see that someone has tried, and apparently had success with CP hydroponics. I did contemplate an ebb and flow system but they are typically more space consuming and a little more complicated to build than DWC. I'm also interested in the fact that he had success with passive hydroponics on Nepenthes, as I have tried this in the past and was not very successful so it may be worth a re-visit.

As you can see from my VFT hydroponics experiment, the plant is still alive and growing - though now in winter dormancy - so I find it interesting that Barry has found hydroponics not to work. There are many different types of hydroponics though and a myriad of different nutrient solutions and additives, so it is possible that some may work and some may not. Ultimately time will tell if my plants survive, especially over extended periods. The VFT has only really had half a season in hydroponics so who knows what might happen to it when the season starts again next spring.
 

Not a Number

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We don't know the long term out come because he never posted any thing further on the topic - just those 3 messages. He posted on other topics through out 2000. But then the archive only goes up to 2003.
 

seedjar

Let's positive thinking!
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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mobile, I've also had success with something like passive hydroponics with my Nepenthes. Many growers report that pure water is one of the best mediums for rooting Nep cuttings. I keep all of my large plants in baskets and trays. Presently I use a mix that includes Sphagnum and bark (I only recently found sources of good inorganic aggregate) and let the trays go dry between waterings, but in clay, rockwool and the like I think the pots could be kept in water continuously. My results have been incomparable to my experiences growing Neps potted in mostly organic mixes. I would encourage you to keep experimenting.
~Joe
 
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Messages
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IMHO, most of us are borderline hydroponics anyhow... the only difference between what some of us do and an ebb and flow system is the automation.

What makes this approach sweet IMHO is the constant bathing of the roots with oxygen

Cephs get 40% of their nutrients from their roots, so they should do well

Av
 

elgecko

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I saw this post when you first made it here.

I had to chuckle when I went to Inside Urban Green, been several weeks since I snooped around the website, and I saw your ceph there.
 
Joined
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I saw this post when you first made it here.

I had to chuckle when I went to Inside Urban Green, been several weeks since I snooped around the website, and I saw your ceph there.
I'd never heard of Inside Urban Green so thanks for making me aware of it. I wasn't aware that I was 'Adventuresome'

I see that they have my winning Heliamphora minor picture on there too :)
 
Joined
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Location
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Well... it's bad and good news. A while back I decided to add some seaweed extract to the nutrient reservoir but, unfortunately, the Cephalotus objected to this and all the pitchers started to shrivel. To rectify the situation, I flushed the rockwool and cleaned out the reservoir. Since then the plant has been making a slow recovery and has started to put out pitchers again:

pic7.JPG
 
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