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Heli growth rate question

Do some helis grow slower than others, in nature? I ask because my H. chimantensis is moving at a snail's pace, when my others are pumping out pitchers galore. Is it just me, or is this species the villosa of the heli world?
I would assume that this is natural because I have the exact same thing happening. All of my helis seem to be healthy and all are throwing new pitchers out like crazy except the chimantensis. In the time that my uncinata has produced 5 pitchers the chimantensis has only produced 1 new pitcher which hasn't even fully opened yet.
Thank you for the feedback! That makes me feel better.
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Maybe there is some kind of specific micro-condition that the species in question needs compared to other Heliamphora? Maybe something like how N. northiana requires special care in the substrate department, or how N. villosa needs especially colder nights compared to some highlanders. It would be great to hear Butch's feedback.
Maybe there is some kind of specific micro-condition that the species in question needs compared to other Heliamphora? Maybe something like how N. northiana requires special care in the substrate department, or how N. villosa needs especially colder nights compared to some highlanders. It would be great to hear Butch's feedback.

Was definitely hoping he'd chime in here.. Heliamphora are a whole new world for me. The few I have are doing extremely well (imo), so of course that makes me want to learn everything I can about them.
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I've noticed that for whatever reason, if you plant them in pots that are a few sizes too big for them they tend to grow out faster. This is most evident in smaller plants. They seem to appreciate some elbow room. That all being said though, H.chimantensis is one of my slower growing plants.
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Good to know..
My chimantensis isn't stalled, just slower than the others. I do provide the same fert regimen to the helis as I do my neps. Is a monthly root drench adequate?
Is it ok to use the same media mix for all species? I seem to be having the best success with a fast draining, fluffy mix of live LFS & perlite.
Thanks in advance.. Merry Christmas!
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Monthly root drench should be adequate. I did that for years, but you may find pitcher feeding has less negative side effects.
Yeah, I use same mix for all mine...

Some species do grow slower, I'm not so sure its the species as much as the clone line though.
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Good to know, thanks again!
  • #11
Excessive airflow is a good thing though, yes? I think from what I've picked up from you over the years is:
-Lots of airflow and/or a cool breeze blowing over them
-light intensity matching that on the surface of the sun
-quick draining, light weight media
-good humidity
-well fed
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Also, are standard HL conditions adequate for most species?
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IMHO, airflow should be very gentle and temps should be between 78-60f
I've never seen the need for a diurnal temp drop
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... if only I had time in the day for trolling the internet, I wouldn't have to ask stupid questions. :headwall:
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  • #16
In the time it takes to write that sentence, one line of effective google search, is sufficient to find more data than you will read.
  • #17
In the time it took you to bicker over this, a simple question could've been answered.
Are we not doing the "people ask questions", "people give answers" forum discussions thing anymore? What've you got against people asking questions?
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Lol...ya I hate the just google it answers. If you don't want to answer then don't, and let somebody who does want to help help.
  • #19
I'm going to wander back to this, since I still have questions.
But first, I shall clarify.. I'm not anti Google-answers, I actually go that route quite frequently. But to be perfectly honest, more times than not I just want to chat about CPs with actual people. Reading & doing CP homework gets boring and drab after awhile. I miss the human interaction these forums provide. For the most part.. I can do without the pety squabbling that arises from time to time. But we are human afterall.
As for the remaining question..
When fertilizing helis via pitchers, is a pot flush still necessary? I notice my pitchers don't really retain much fluid, as it seems to drain out rather quickly. If root flushing is (most likely) necessary, then would a root drench and pitcher fill fert be too much on a monthly basis. I figure if I'm flushing the pot, then what would a full fert regimen (at 1/4 strength) hurt?
  • #20
I understand where Jen is coming from, but in some circumstances, I would actually advocate against solely "googling" certain aspects of horticulture, specifically because of misinformation made ubiquitous by the forum system. As well as all the useful information it provides, so much specious advice has been given, and has been made relatively permanent, through forum threads. In some cases, it's almost impossible to remember the thousands of posts one has made on forums, so that going back, years later, to edit any advice that may no longer be appropriate isn't an option. As a personal example, I used to tell people to use Turface in their Nepenthes mix, because I thought it worked well at the time, only to find it practically stunted root development in many species, specifically in smaller plants. I don't know where the hell or how many times I posted that information, so now it's just out there for someone to stumble upon. Obviously, that typically wouldn't happen in conversation, as people simply recant what they once thought and respond with what they've found works better.

The Facebook carnivorous plant groups that have sprung up are very useful in the sense that information comes and goes very quickly, as people from around the world comment almost immediately, with helpful or not so helpful information, and debate in a manner that is more similar to conversation than editorials in a newspaper. Unfortunately for those who refuse to participate in that particular website, an absolute plethora of information and photos that are being shared by hobbyists and professionals alike (and by "professionals," I mean active taxonomists and botanists who do not participate in forums) is being mistakenly overlooked. I'm sorry to advocate a website with such an abysmal user agreement, but it has simply become a much more proactive source of information - and one that has, noticeably, sucked some of that info from the forums. My continued participation shows that I still enjoy these forums, but I think some of the members here, who I'm "friends" with over there, would probably agree with what I'm trying to convey.

A little bit to your earlier question.. it's often a smart idea to avoid these "discussion" groups altogether and find pertinent information from sources outside the hobbyist tribe, whether from peer-reviewed journals, meteorological websites, or, if possible, correspondence with those who live in those areas. More often than not, hard evidence is what you should search for, but be wary of simply looking at raw, fluctuating climate data from these regions, as it's very possible there are other factors to take into account when trying to grow plants within those types of parameters. I would hesitate to grow anything with temperature highs in the 60s while still watering as often as that weather chart would indicate. Who knows what kinds of mycorrhizal or endophytic mutualists allow the plants to thrive in these conditions, not to mention the oxygen content of actively falling rain, because without them, perhaps they can't. I suppose this is where asking directly becomes so important. Butch is a self-taught pro when it comes to this genus, so it's better to ask than to potentially lose expensive specimens.

And to your last question.. you should always make a habit of flushing fertilizer from the soil, regardless if it's just in the pitchers. It will save you a lot of repotting work down the line when the media begins breaking down prematurely and may help in sparing you the heartache of watching a favorite plant die of rot.