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How I grow Cephalotus

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Plant Whisperer
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Mar 20, 2014
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After noticing that numerous people seem to have trouble growing Cephalotus, especially about over-watering, I think I should share my secret to giving Cephalotus the perfect amount of water. I use "African Violet Pots".
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These are self-watering pots, but do not use a wick to water. Instead the pot the plant grows in is made of extra porous clay, and sits in a reservoir of water. It keeps the soil damp, but not too wet and not too dry. The plant pictured has been in my care for about 3 1/2 years, and grew very rapidly in this pot. It has worked so well for me that I am surprised to see that no one else uses these. The drawback is that these pots are very expensive (mine cost $12) so I only have one. If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts.
 
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Dave S.

NECPS President
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Jun 23, 2003
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Northern MA
Thank you for sharing this idea. I had not thought of using that kind of pot for cephs before, but it makes sense. I try to keep them damp, then I allow them to dry a bit before watering again.
 
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Athens, GA
I've used those for Drosera and VFTs before. What I like is that they insulate the root zone much better than a standard pot. I have a feeling that they may work well for plants that need cool roots, like Darlingtonia and Drosera regia. Never gave Cephs a shot in AV pots though.

I scour yard sales and pick them up for 50 cents a piece most of the time. I have a collection of ~20 or so.
 

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I've grown bout 10-15 Cephs in the Oyama African Violet pots with ok results.

Another similar and cheaper method would be Slack potting, info here http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3190.html

Of coarse the pricey AV pots look nicer.

I've been playing around with growing them in sponges recently with good results, its way to early to say if this is a good option or not. However, if this method works long term as well as it has short term it would fix the watering problem all together.

Leaf pull started in a "seed starting sponge".

DSC_0250 by randallsimpson, on Flickr
 

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Plant Whisperer
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562
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SC
I actually do grow cephs using the slack potting method, with similar results. The sponge theory is very interesting. What kind of sponge do you use? I just might give it a try.
 

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Oct 29, 2008
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They are the generic seed starting sponges that fit into the Styrofoam floating blocks, if you google "seed starting sponge" a few options will pop up.

I tried these on a whim and was shocked when they started to grow from the leaf pull and was even more shocked to see a healthy root system when I removed the plug. About a week ago I took a few more leaf pulls and planted them in a normal dish sponge just too see what happens.

As with anything new and untested, don't try this with anything you are not willing to lose.
 
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