Suitable potting mix for Heliamphora


Richard Bunn
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Im like snapperhead51, i never let any heliamphora in standing water.oil.

I've been doing it for years, but I take care that the water evaporates away sufficient fast enough. I also use mesh pots, so air can get to the roots easily. I got the idea from looking at photos of Heliamphora in their native habit, where they were growing in or next to pools of water - sometimes even with some of the pitchers partially submerged. Remember though that I don't grow mine in high humidity, so maybe that makes a different?

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i water my plants almost everyday so the soil is very wet but over 9 or 10 years of growing them ive never had any problem. i use very open mix of sphagnum perlite and some peat in it and net-pots. i think they dont mind standing in water as soon as other factors are right (although i dont use tray method)

Edited by cpl
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My H. minor earlier in the thread is in a Sphagnum/perlite mix, but the Sphagnum has disappeared over time, probably due to it not liking being submerged, so it's primarily perlite and orchid bark that is left. I use very intense lighting and the plant seems to like such conditions, so maybe it's not so fussy with the growing medium?

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my experiences show that helis can grow well in any mix you will provide- pure peat even will be fine- medium isnt the most important factor for sure. imho the light and temperatures are the most important- much more important than humidity levels

Edited by cpl
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I've been doing it for years, but I take care that the water evaporates away sufficient fast enough. I also use mesh pots, so air can get to the roots easily. I got the idea from looking at photos of Heliamphora in their native habit, where they were growing in or next to pools of water - sometimes even with some of the pitchers partially submerged. Remember though that I don't grow mine in high humidity, so maybe that makes a different?

From my personnal experiences, the watering method have to fit with the others growing conditions.

If the ventilation is good, and the soil is airy, with moderate RH%, standing water will not be a problem.

Anyway, when i see your plants, i cannot contest your growing methods ! :)

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I shall only be standing in a cm of water at the very most as I shall be sprinkling into the pitchers and don't want to flood the thing. Instead I'll allow the standing water to evaporate or leave it in none at all for 24 hours every 5 days or so.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Interesting thread.

I've tried several mixes over the years from peaty ones moving to living Sphagnum moving on to dead Sphagnum with Pinebark and/or Perlite and now I'm back to peat.

Peat without the dusty part works very well under my current growing conditions.

I use very coarse peat (20-40mm) for adult plants and fine one plus perlite for younger plants.

Plants from TC root best for me in dead Sphagnum plus perlite.

All the best

Andreas

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Interesting thread.

I've tried several mixes over the years from peaty ones moving to living Sphagnum moving on to dead Sphagnum with Pinebark and/or Perlite and now I'm back to peat.

Peat without the dusty part works very well under my current growing conditions.

I use very coarse peat (20-40mm) for adult plants and fine one plus perlite for younger plants.

Plants from TC root best for me in dead Sphagnum plus perlite.

All the best

Andreas

I am a bit like you Andras in having tired many potting mixes , I went back to more live shag in my conditions ,with some fillers or bulk up put in , I believe its what works for one , may not work for others !. climate and country and growing enviroment can play a big part . may need to find what works for you!

Andreas, de-flasking your helis ,has that been a problem for you in the past

john

Edited by snapperhead51
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I am a bit like you Andras in having tired many potting mixes , I went back to more live shag in my conditions ,with some fillers or bulk up put in , I believe its what works for one , may not work for others !. climate and country and growing enviroment can play a big part . may need to find what works for you!

Andreas, de-flasking your helis ,has that been a problem for you in the past

john

Especially the way plants are watered and how often is very important when choosing substrates.

All the best

Andreas

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  • 1 year later...

Can anyone comment on the use of "aquatic plant soils" with heliamphora?

It is suggested on the International Carnivorous Plants Society's website to try it...

 

"The current consensus among North American growers is the best long term potting medium for Heliamphora is the one recommended by Butch Tincher: equal parts long fibered Sphagnumperlite, and aquatic planting medium (or aquatic plant soil). This is based on materials that are available in North America. Aquatic planting medium is a speciality product. It may be difficult to find in some areas. Check with stores specializing in ponds and pond plants. It contains the clay products arcillite(W) andzeolite(W) which hold moisture and nutrients but do not break down. Alternate soil mixes are just long fibered Sphagnum and perlite, long fibered Sphagnum and coarse sand, or the mix I use of equal parts long fibered Sphagnum, coarse sand, and aquatic planting medium."

  -  http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingGuides/Heliamphora.php

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Many growers have their special mix and swear by it, such as Butch's in TF. What is good for one however is not necessarily good for others, as selection of mixes can be dependant on growing environment. I've never used aquatic plant soil and I have excellent growth with the few Heliamphora I grow. I believe some US growers also use Turface, I think Butch might have at some time, but I don't think this product is available in the EU but lots of EU growers have great success without it.

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Hmmm interesting, I was thinking about giving Akadama a try in the mix, it's a soil for bonsai. Which I liked the look of as it lowers and buffers pH as well as holding nutrients, not breaking down quickly and allows good drainage.

It seems quite similar to Turface(which before now I knew nothing about. But now I know it's not necessary so I might not try it...

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In the states, Aquatic plant soil and Turface are identical... just packaged and sold for different uses.

 

Turface is much cheaper to buy... its all I have used for several years now.

 

13USD for a 18kg bag Vs. 25USD for a 4.5kg.

 

The APS with Zeolite added (Pond Care Brand) has so little zeolite there is no benefit, just marketing.

 

As others have said, what will work best for you is determined by your watering habits, your airflow, etc etc.

 

No one right answer, that being said.... after years of use now,  I still use  APS(Turface) /Sphag/Perlite

 

 

 

Av

(Butch)

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