Beginner's question - can I grow heliamphora on my windowsill?


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Hello,

As those who have had the misfortune to read my previous ramblings will know, I'm still very much a beginner at keeping CPs, but am very taken with the pics I've seen of helis.

At the moment, my entire collection (bar one big nep that hangs in my kitchen) is on my dining room windowsill, in or over two water trays. I'm interested in getting more, but am limited in that I don't (yet) have a greenhouse, terrarium, outdoor bog garden or sense!

Would I be able to keep helis? Most of the pics I've seen look like they are grown under bright light. Can they be grown successfully in daylight, albeit on a bright windowsill.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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I have grown a few acclimatised ones on widowsills and whilst they tend to grow ok in the summer months, they require more lighting during the winter months. In my experience, without supplementary lighting, they never look their best when grown this way.

 

There are a few pictures of one of my windowsill grown Heliamphora from a few years back here: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=35950 and here http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=42167&p=300469

 

As you have observed, they tend to be grown under bright lights and this is often in terrariums, which typically means in a high humidity environment. This means that to grow them at lower humidity they require acclimatisation.

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You could just jump in with both feet.

 

Keep an eye out for a fish tank (e-bay/local paper and such). Preferably one that has slight damage and is no longer suitable for Fish (much cheaper).

 

With little initial outlay you can grow a huge variety of plants and exercise your artistic side too.

 

As mobile points out Heliamphora will need supplementary light at this time of year or you could keep your house at 5C to slow their growth (very popular move I'm sure).

 

Another point is that you should, perhaps, try one of the cheaper and commonly available hybrids (heterodoxa X nutans?) first. Hybrids are generally more tolerant.

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I have grown a few acclimatised ones on widowsills and whilst they tend to grow ok in the summer months, they require more lighting during the winter months. In my experience, without supplementary lighting, they never look their best when grown this way.

 

There are a few pictures of one of my windowsill grown Heliamphora from a few years back here: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=35950 and here http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=42167&p=300469

 

As you have observed, they tend to be grown under bright lights and this is often in terrariums, which typically means in a high humidity environment. This means that to grow them at lower humidity they require acclimatisation.

All I can say is WOW, what a beautiful plant! If you can grow one like that on a windowsill in Scotland, I'm sure I can manage on my windowsill in Manchester. We're also not blessed with the sunniest weather, but my windowsill gets a lot of light, so should be OK.

 

Thanks for the reply. It's off into heliland for me!

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You could just jump in with both feet.

That's one of my problems, I tend to get too excited and jump in without looking first! I'm being unusually sensible this time, and asking in advance if this is suitable!
 

Keep an eye out for a fish tank (e-bay/local paper and such). Preferably one that has slight damage and is no longer suitable for Fish (much cheaper).

 

With little initial outlay you can grow a huge variety of plants and exercise your artistic side too.

As it happens, we have a suitable fish tank, which is currently home to a dwindling number of fish! Between the kids, the turtles and the CPs, I don't have time for all these pets!

 

I was thinking about using the tank for helis, but the wife isn't so happy. She wants me to get more fish! However, given the comments I've had, I think I will give it a go on the windowsill first, and if things go well, maybe look at a tank later on... along with the bog garden, the greenhouse, etc  :laugh2:

 

As mobile points out Heliamphora will need supplementary light at this time of year or you could keep your house at 5C to slow their growth (very popular move I'm sure).

As it happens, the room in which the CPs live is badly heated, with big windows. It tends to be quite warm in the summer, as the sun comes in through the windows, and cool in the winter, as the idiot plumber that put in the radiators put the pipes in the air space below the floor, so the radiators barely get warm! Sounds like good conditions for the helis!
 

Another point is that you should, perhaps, try one of the cheaper and commonly available hybrids (heterodoxa X nutans?) first. Hybrids are generally more tolerant.

This all started as I saw someone selling some helis in the sales section here. He has two heterodoxa hybrids and a minor, so I'll probably go for one or two of those.

 

Thanks for the help.

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I grow about five Heliamphora on a windowsill witch flowed for me for three years on a run,then I put them in the greenhouse and as not flowed for the last two years.

Now I grow all my Heliamphora on a windowsill.

thanks for the encouragement!

I've ordered one, so we'll see how it does.

Do they go dormant? I'm just wondering what to expect?

Thanks again

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They don't go dormant, though in winter, if not given supplementary light, the pitcher production will slow down and those produced will be very flared.

 

With regards to the one you have ordered, if it has previously been grown in a high humidity environment, under artificial lighting, you would need to acclimatise it else you risk losing it.

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They don't go dormant, though in winter, if not given supplementary light, the pitcher production will slow down and those produced will be very flared.

What's the best thing to do then? Should I let them grow winter pitchers, or get them some lighting?

If the latter, do you have any suggestions for something inexpensive? I'm spending way too much on this already!

 

With regards to the one you have ordered, if it has previously been grown in a high humidity environment, under artificial lighting, you would need to acclimatise it else you risk losing it.

OK, thanks for the warning. I'll check with the seller what conditions he's got.

If it was grown in high humdity, what's the best way to acclimatise it? I don't have a fancy setup here. According to my humidity monitor, it's usually around 70% near the plants on a sunless day (most of the time now), although it does drop if the window is opened, etc. i try and mist the plants once a day. Would that be enough, or do I need to do more. Don't want to lose it!

Thanks for the great advice.

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Hi, I grow two heli's on my bathroom windowsill, Pulchella and minor (auyan tepui), but like mobile said I acclimatised it to the different conditions as they were grown in terranium prior to receiving it.

How did you do that? I want to give mine as much chance of survival as I can! Any tips would be very welcome.
 

Just out of interest who are you buying the heli's from? Mark

 

I'm buying a H. heterodoxa x minor from Ptaah, as seen in this thread. He sent me a pic, it looks very nice. I only hope I can give it the right conditions!

 

Thanks for the reply.

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Hi, that's where I got my h minor auyan tepui, h Pulchella and u quelchii auyan tepui, ptaah is a great bloke to buy from, I highly recommend him. The quelchii was just put straight on the windowsill and is growing away happily, with the two heli's I potted then up and then put them back in there bags and slowly opened them over a couple of weeks then I decided to take them straight out of the bags and they've been growing away happily without skipping a beat. I wouldn't do what I did as I grow a lot of high humidity plants there, utrics in section Orchidioides, highland nepenthes and Orchids. If I was in your position I would pot them up and then bag them, and slowly put a hole in the bag every week or so. Hour this helps a bit.

Regards

Mark

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I use food bags on plants I need to acclimatise, gradually making holes I cut in the corner larger over several weeks. Depending on the size and rigidity of the bags, I sometimes find it necessary to support them with small plant sticks.

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OK, thanks. Will give it a go.

 

What sort of humidity do you have on your windowsill? Just wondered how we compare. Mine varies from around 50-60% on a normal day up to 70-80% on a dull day, but dropping to 40-50% on a sunny day. How does that compare with yours?

 

Thanks again.

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Yeah mine is pretty similar 10% higher than yours but on a hot sunny day while there in direct sun in the morning it can let on occasions to 40 50%, I haven't had them on the windowsill for over a year yet. So overall I do have slightly higher humidity than you on average. I've also got the space to put them in a terranium if necessary.

Mark

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Hi Mark. Ptaah gave me the background on what he's done with them, so with the plastic bag trick, I should be able to pull it off. I give the plants a good misting pretty much every time I go past, so it keeps the humidity up. If necessary, I'll put loads more water trays out, maybe even do something specially for the heli if it needs.

 

Thanks again.

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You might find your humidity can get lower with the central heating on , in winter with the heating on mine can get in the 30's , but I am growing h.minor open to house environment under flo lights

As it happens, the room they will be in doesn't get that warm, due to the idiot plumber who insisted on running the pipes through the under-floor gap, without enough lagging. We have two radiators in the room, but they don't get much more than warm, never got. Doesn't bother me much, but the wife doesn't like the cool!

 

I'm going to keep an eye on the humidity now the heating has started to come on more. I can always add more water trays to keep the humidity up.

 

Thanks for the reply.

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  • 10 months later...

I doubt the lack of lagging is your problem Yossu.

Going off subject here but Google " balancing radiators" and try the method shown.

It got a rad at the end of my system that only used to get Luke warm nice and hot again.

Doesn't cost anything but a bit of time either....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Doesnt it damage the heli's in the summer? I read the temp shouldnt go over 26C? Im a bit concerned about my heli's bcs of that. We have a hot summerweek atm. 

I can't say for certain that this was the cause, but my two Helis (which had been growing really well) suddenly took a turn for the worse in the recent heatwave. See this post for details. Despite looking pretty dead, once I moved them into the greenhouse, they seemed to recover.

 

So based on my limited experience, I would say that you need to be careful with them during a heatwave, but don't give up on them if they do suffer. Stick with them, and they'll come back.

 

Course it's raining again now, so no need to worry!

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I doubt the lack of lagging is your problem Yossu.

Going off subject here but Google " balancing radiators" and try the method shown.

It got a rad at the end of my system that only used to get Luke warm nice and hot again.

Doesn't cost anything but a bit of time either....

Thanks for the advice. As is happens, we had the radiators balanced just recently, and it made a big difference to the room. Just wish we'd had it done years ago!

 

Not that this affects the plants though, as they were out of that room some time ago.

 

Thanks for the advice.

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I can't say for certain that this was the cause, but my two Helis (which had been growing really well) suddenly took a turn for the worse in the recent heatwave. See this post for details. Despite looking pretty dead, once I moved them into the greenhouse, they seemed to recover.

 

So based on my limited experience, I would say that you need to be careful with them during a heatwave, but don't give up on them if they do suffer. Stick with them, and they'll come back.

 

Course it's raining again now, so no need to worry

thanks Yossu, 

We still have temps over 30C here. So far my heli's are still doing good in the windowsill. They do seem to dry out rather quickly, so i stand them in a small layer of water that i let dry out. I read that in the heavy mix (pure peat) they should be kept drier. I am using 2x 6500K 75W growlights. Im planning to replace those for a cheaper alternative. 
Since I have little experience, Im not sure if this is the way to go. Can anyone give me any advice on soil, watering, light and temperature conditions ? 

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