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New Ceph and My First!

Just got in a new little cephalotus follicularis and am so excited for it to grow!

Here is how it came potted....

And then decided on re potting it, but I did not disturb the roots...

Every time I see a new Ceph, I realize just how badly I want one. Post lots of pictures, I'll be living vicariously through them.
Took me a while to build up the courage to buy one with all the horror stories.
I really love your ceph :)
Nice ceph! I have been wanting to buy one but I am really nervous about it. Guess i'll just have to wait until I am more experienced. Where are you keeping yours?
Have a small ten gallon terrarium with a computer fan and homemade humidifier that keeps it at about 78% humidity which seems high in my opinion. Hoping to get by on the experience of others with this purchase as I search through all the old posts. Already have a nice little database of info.
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I was nervous taking the plunge too, and when mine arrived in January it almost lost all of its leaves haha. But now it's growing really well on my windowsill and I can't wait for it to make real pitchers.
Nice plant and good luck with it!
Congrats, that's a nice looking ceph! lotsa little pitchers
Hey :) nice ceph. Congrats !
You will enjoy it!

Be carefull on watering!
Its the major problem with ceph(root rot)

  • #10
Every time I look at some ones care sheets it always seems different. Can you post your watering habits I would like to get some suggestions.:)
  • #11
Just keep the growthtip dry. You can put a tray underneath and just refill that try instead of top water. I personally top water in a circular fashion on the edge of the pot as to not get the plant wet.
  • #12
Beautiful new Ceph! I was also nervous about taking the plunge into the unknown. I agree that everyone seems to have their own success with these guys. I think it all depends on the climate you're growing in. For example when I first received by Ceph last December I tried following other suggestions. I kept the little pot in a plastic baggy at night. For about 3 months I did this with no real progress. Then I thought, forget this, I'm going to try another way. I took away the plastic bag completely, placed it near my windowsill and supplemented with a CFL and air moment from a ceiling fan. The plant exploded with growth to my surprise!

As for watering, I don't have the best technique but it seems to be working for me. I use the weight of the pot to gauge. After a few weeks you can feel when it feels light and when it needs water. Also I've noticed that when the plant is feeling a little dehydrated the older pitchers start to close a little. After adding water, a few hours later the lids open up again to their previous yawning state! I only top water, I'm too afraid of root rot with these guys.

Just my two cents... Once again, congrats!
  • #13
Thanks for the techniques, I have been using a tray and am far to scared to attempt top watering. My only adult pitcher has been sealed shut since it arrived. Am not sure if that is bad or not...???
  • #14
That means it's still developing.
  • #15
If you look at the photo closely Heli you can tell the pitcher was open before shipping. Cephs always take a big hit when shipped so the lid closed is to be expected. Give it time and it will start sending out pitchers. Lots of light, good air movement and keep it damp and all will be fine. I water when the pot feels quite light compared to fresh after watering.
  • #16
I suspect that the wide range of growing tips you read from different people are an indication that this plant is far more forgiving than some people think. That doesn't mean you can completely ignore any one of its basic needs (light intensity, temperate limits, soil requirements) and expect to get away with it, because if you mess up the core needs, you will get into trouble. What do I do? Mine are potted in deep ceramic containers (almost 2X as deep as wide) and they are glazed white or pale beige on the outside, to prevent the absorption of heat from sun (Cephalotus likes the soil to remain on the cool side). My soil mix is mainly half coarse sand and half (washed) Canadian Peat, with some fine orchid bark and horticultural charcoal mixed in, accounting for maybe 20% of the total volume. Whatever soil you mix, if water doesn't drain through it in a matter of seconds, then its too dense. My plants are on the south wall of my greenhouse where they get full sun exposure, minus whatever percentage of light the twin-wall polycarbonate absorbs as light passes through it. (No more than 15%, I believe) I use either rain water or reverse osmosis water, so my H2O is really, really clean. Aside from the occasional ant or box elder beetle I pop into the pitchers once in a while, my plants get almost no feeding. I will occasionally apply a tiny bit of Orchid fertilizer (say, 6 drops in a quart of water, at most: very dilute) to the soil, but only a couple times a year. I suspect they would do fine without it. As for winter dormancy, I know many skilled growers who have grown plants in terraria for decades without ever giving them a dormancy period, so I suspect winter dormancy is not an absolute requirement. Since my plants live out in my greenhouse, the drop in light intensity and photoperiod in the winter triggers a dormancy cycle for my plants. They slow down growth and switch to making non-carnivorous leaves for a while, and then in the spring, they flower, followed by a burst of new pitcher growth. I cut the flowers off, since they clearly slow the plants down and rob it of energy. In spite of hand pollinating between different clones, mine refuse to set seed anyway, so its pointless to let 'em bloom, IMO.

Thats pretty much it. I have found them very easy to grow as long as the three basic needs are met: soil, temperature range, and lots of bright light. So, my first Cephalotus was acquired in June 2011 and it was smaller than yours is now. This is what it looked like a few weeks ago (it has grown since this photo, now exceeding six inches across):

  • #17
You have a truly beautiful Cephalotus and hope mine will grow as beautifully as yours. I have made a schedule for watering and hope the plant accepts it.
  • #18
You have a truly beautiful Cephalotus and hope mine will grow as beautifully as yours. I have made a schedule for watering and hope the plant accepts it.

Good luck. Keep in mind that in its natural habitat, it often grows on sandy slopes where water is almost constantly trickling through its root zone. I suspect that if all other conditions are right, it will tolerate staying quite damp. However, I would not advise letting it sit in a tray of standing water.

Here is an update pic from today, about a month after the previous photo. With any luck, yours will look as good as this in a years time!:
  • #19
Some yellow pitchers....


I guess it has to lose a few for proper acclimation. Yellowing is a precursor to a dead pitcher correct?
  • #20
Yes, mine first become yellowish, than brown :)