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Slow growing...or not ?


maxxima
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Hey everyone. Lately I've been thinking how hard it is to actually define a plant's needs, they just seem so adaptable. Take cephalotus for instance. I've always heard how troublesome and difficult it is to keep them, recommended only for experts.

June, 2010

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January 2011

cephaocak.jpg

Compared to my other CPs, I wouldn't call this a slow growth at all. I may be a bit of a radical grower but I've always treated them like a succulent; water often and in little amounts in summer, reduce watering in fall and water about once every 2-3 weeks in winter...I always kept them outside, never took them in during a frost or snow. I think they're very resilient when kept dry, just like succulents.

So I'm thinking; maybe there are just basic rules to keep in mind and the rest is about "trusting" the plant ? Or have I been just lucky and it's not a good idea to keep them so dry ?

Edited by maxxima
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Take cephalotus for instance. I've always heard how troublesome and difficult it is to keep them, recommended only for experts.

It's a myth IMHO. People fuss and pamper over them, blindly following this and that 'rules' from 'experts' without taking into consideration as to whether the plant is looking healthy or not under the imposed growing conditions.

Edited by mobile
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I've broken many of the Cephalotus don't's and never lost a plant due to them.

  • I've foliar and root fed them with liquid fertiliser
  • I've top watered them without being careful about getting the crown wet
  • I've grown them using the tray method
  • I've washed all of the media off the roots prior to repotting

This is not to say that they are indestructible of course, but given the right conditions they are tougher than many will have you believe.

Edited by mobile
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I've broken many of the Cephalotus don't's and never lost a plant due to them.

  • I've foliar and root fed them with liquid fertiliser
  • I've top watered them without being careful about getting the crown wet
  • I've grown them using the tray method
  • I've washed all of the media off the roots prior to repotting

This is not to say that they are indestructible of course, but given the right conditions they are tougher than many will have you believe.

Ditto to most of Mobile's list and I can add that I pretty much ignored them for several long whiles, during a few busy years in which I merely gave them a bit of water when they were at risk of drying out too much and I remembered to check them. Left outside in good sized pots they survived okay, but then I live in a similar climate to their origin.

I have even kept them flooded upto the main crown during warm weather (they often stand in deep water over lower crowns), as well as being left out until the sphagnum starts to go crisp. As long as they get air movement and the water does not stand for too long in their boxes, or trays, they do well. Recent unusual tropical humidity has caused mildew on a few plants low in my hot house, so those plants are now up out of the water where they get sun and wind, resulting in fungal death instead of Ceph death.

It is safe to say that my plants have not read the rule books either.

Edited by Marcus B
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I've broken many of the Cephalotus don't's and never lost a plant due to them.

  • I've foliar and root fed them with liquid fertiliser
  • I've top watered them without being careful about getting the crown wet
  • I've grown them using the tray method
  • I've washed all of the media off the roots prior to repotting

Exactly Carl I'm the same. Last year for instance, I felt that the media around my Eden Black had become too compacted so I did a total repot,washing the roots,nice fresh media(deluxe mix).This I did just before the start of the growing period,the plant seemed to enjoy it and looked the best it's looked.

I'm with you on those "Does and Don'ts" I do however spoil my plants in as much as they get the best of everything, nice big deep pots,hand mix media,Trichoderma,orchid grow,miracle gro,-I DON'T sing to them,that would be going too far and might indeed be to the detrement of the plants.

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Hey everyone, thank you for your input, it's wonderful to get so much feedback from more experienced growers.

I've broken many of the Cephalotus don't's and never lost a plant due to them.

  • ...
  • I've top watered them without being careful about getting the crown wet
    ...

...

I'm astonished really, what's wrong with top watering and a wet crown ? Isn't this how they get wet out there in nature ?

I've always top watered. And I don't even water the medium only, I also water the pitchers directly from above, getting them all thoroughly wet like it's raining heavily.

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I'm astonished really, what's wrong with top watering and a wet crown ? Isn't this how they get wet out there in nature ?

I've always top watered. And I don't even water the medium only, I also water the pitchers directly from above, getting them all thoroughly wet like it's raining heavily.

If you search around the various CP forums you will find numerous post and threads claiming getting the crown wet will cause 'crown rot'. So, I imagine that every Cephalotus in the wild must have it :tongue: Seriously though, I 'guess' that if water is trapped in the crown for extended period, e.g. in a constantly wet and/or high humidity environment, then it 'might' cause an issue, but in typical conditions with sufficient air flow/circulation, I have never seen it with my plants.

Edited by mobile
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I've always used "Canna" Vic. A reputable brand,but to be honest I've yet to see another type anyway.Those little 10 gram pots last me a couple of seasons.

Thanks, PRT :tongue:

I've been using 'RootGrow' - a culture of 5 mychorrizal fungi absorbed onto clay and zeolite particles - on my rare trees and shrubs, but I don't know if Trichoderma is one of them. RG certainly accelerates the growth of everything outdoors from Abies to Wollemsia...

I'll give Canna a go on my CPs, as it has just one microorganism to test, and you've used it successfully!

Cheers,

Vic

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If you search around the various CP forums you will find numerous post and threads claiming getting the crown wet will cause 'crown rot'. So, I imagine that every Cephalotus in the wild must have it :sarcastic_hand:

Didn't you know, that why they are so rare, they dissappear every time there is a decent rainfall in their area. :rainingsmile:

Meanwhile, I often water mine with a bucket, without taking care to avoid even disturbing the substrate as water runs over the whole plant, filling some pitchers and covering crowns. I have leaf cuttings less than 15 months old setting seed at present, and a plant that is a bit over two years old in its second season of flowering.

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