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Cephalotus rhizome cutting in wood pulp


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#1 mobile

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 10:52 AM

A number of weeks ago I brought my Cephalotus in from outside, the largest of which had a flower stalk which had finished flowering. Being rather lazy, I decided to just pull the stalk out, rather than cut it, which resulted in me pulling out a length of rhizome, a pitcher and some leaves with it. I didn't really care as to whether the rhizome rooted or not, as it's just a typical, so I decided to try another growing medium experiment. We have a pet hamster and we use a by-product of the paper making industry as a bedding for it, that being a high temperature dried wood pulp. This material is absorbent and fibrous, which sort of reminds me of fibrous peat, so I decided to pot the rhizome in that. Figuring that it would probably offer very little in the way of nutrient or anything else beneficial, I decided to make a 'starter' solution to water it with so mixed some molasses, a vitamin tablet, trichoderma and mycorrhizal powder into deionised water and gave the wood pulp a good watering with it after planting the rhizome. I top water the plant with deionised water most of the time but occasionally add some of the 'starter' solution. Within a week or so of planting new leaves were visible and within the next few weeks more have appeared:

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As molasses are sugar, there is obviously a risk of unwanted fungal growth, though I'm hoping that the Trichoderma and mycorrhizal keep it at bay. There is also a chance that these they will digest the cellulose in the wood pulp, thus breaking it down. Time will tell, but as it's been growing well for a good number of weeks I decided to share the results.
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#2 ada

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 12:20 PM

Is there anything you wont try to grow plants in?
The fungal issue is a problem as you say,especially with the darker/cooler days now.
good luck with it Carl.

ada

#3 Daniel G

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 14:33 PM

Wow!
Just wow!

#4 Amar

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 16:38 PM

Is there anything you wont try to grow plants in?
The fungal issue is a problem as you say,especially with the darker/cooler days now.
good luck with it Carl.

ada


Hehehehehe...yes, why not try collecting one year's worth of cut toe nails and see if something will grow in it.

:Elffy_16:

#5 jimscott

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 21:25 PM

Gotta love it!

#6 mobile

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 10:17 AM

A quick update, as it's pushing out its first pitcher...

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#7 ada

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 12:17 PM

one week in,everything still looks good.
ada

#8 Daniel G

 
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Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:06 AM

Wow!
I can't belive it's actually growing in that!

#9 mobile

 
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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:54 AM

Wow!
I can't belive it's actually growing in that!

I find Cephalotus to be relatively unfussy as far as growing mediums go, within reason. I've been growing Cephalotus for years and I have not found a 'best medium'. I've found some that they will grow in and a some they are not so keen on, but all-in-all the growth rate difference between suitable mediums is minimal. I've been down the path of complex mixes, such as 'Charles Brewer's mix', which I'm told is not exactly what he uses nowadays, and many others and to be honest I can't really say I noticed much or any difference to growing in plain peat/perlite. When you think about it, many of the ingredients are inert, so combining them pretty much serves to increase or decrease air and moisture ratios. If you get an 'ideal' air/moisture ratio for 'your conditions' then things such as adding nutrients, be them salts or organics, can then start having an influence.

#10 mobile

 
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Posted 20 November 2011 - 21:09 PM

Update:

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#11 James O'Neill

 
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Posted 20 November 2011 - 22:18 PM

That's good growth in about a month.

#12 Martin Hingst

 
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Posted 21 November 2011 - 21:08 PM

Looks good Carl :smile:

but I would expect that other factors like light, temperature, and water, have a bigger influence on the growth rate and health. I guess under the right conditions Cephalotus could grow in a wide spectrum of soils.

Edited by Martin Hingst, 21 November 2011 - 21:08 PM.


#13 mobile

 
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Posted 21 November 2011 - 21:33 PM

I agree Martin. It's a combination of factors that influence growth rate and one of those is moisture/air ratio at the roots. The seemingly good property of this medium is that it is relatively open, therefore allowing good gas exchange, and also retains a good moisture level but does not get sopping wet.

#14 Daniel G

 
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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:34 AM

Wow!
Maybe i'll switch to this medium. It seem to be working really well!
:thumbsup:

#15 mobile

 
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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:55 AM

Wow!
Maybe i'll switch to this medium. It seem to be working really well!
:thumbsup:

I wouldn't recopmmend it right now. I've only been using it for a very stort period of time, so I don't know what the longterm stability and suitability of this material is.

#16 dchasselblad74

 
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Posted 22 November 2011 - 15:19 PM

Thats Unbeleivably Impressive Carl!!!! WOW!! I like your Ceph cultivating experiments,

very innovative yet simple but functional. Keep up the good work. :tu:

#17 mobile

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 19:32 PM

Update 19th December 2011:

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Approximately the same view taken on 20th November 2011, for comparison:
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And a few more pictures taken today:
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#18 Pato

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 21:35 PM

Impressive!!!
What type the light do you use? the pulp is always wet?

#19 mobile

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 21:48 PM

It's under a couple of 18W 2' fluorescent tubes, so not very intense. I keep the wood pulp damp, rather than wet. I use a pressure sprayer to top water every few days, usually just enough until water starts coming out the bottom of the pot. It's in a net pot to increase airflow and hopefully reduce the risk of mold.

#20 Marcus B

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 21:29 PM

It's under a couple of 18W 2' fluorescent tubes, so not very intense. I keep the wood pulp damp, rather than wet. I use a pressure sprayer to top water every few days, usually just enough until water starts coming out the bottom of the pot. It's in a net pot to increase airflow and hopefully reduce the risk of mold.


Net pots seem to work really well for my plants too.