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Discuss Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus plant care here

Moderator: Matt

By hungry carnivores
To begin - A little preface. The Cephalotus was my third CP, after D. Capensis seeds and a Deathcube D. Muscipula. Take this as an example that C. Follicularis is not a hard plant to care for, I think that it gets a bad rap, as it can be a little unforgiving once it is collapsing.

50% peat, 50% perlite. This is your cheap, standard soil mix, and it works quite fine. I'd wash it a few times to remove minerals, but if you have nice peat, this is a good idea.

25% Peat, 50% Coir, 25% Aggregate. This mix works well, especially if you are short on peat. I'd be sure to wash the Coir. This is especially useful if you come from South-east Asia, where peat may be on short supply but coir sure isn't. Aggregate = perlite, aggrofoam, pumice.

50% LFS, 50% Perlite. My favorite mix. Cephs do well in here. I keep my cephs in the 50/50 peat/perlite mix just because I save LFS for helis, neps, and utrics. Peat/perlite also tends to wick water easier, so I don't water as much for that mix. LFS/Perlite is a chunky mix, and may require more frequent watering.

10% Vermiculite, 50% Perlite, 30% Sand, 10% No damp off or other analogue. This mix is the best if you're scared of root rot, or are a beginner. I've put my cephs through torturous conditions, when I leave the house especially, and these always survive the best. No damp off is milled sphagnum, but this can be replaced for chopped LFS, peat, or even Coir.

Pure perlite. I put one of my cephs in here and forgot about it. It's limping along but we'll see how it goes, this is probably just shock.


Cephs tend to love water, but hate sitting in it. What an oxymoron :x . Thus, I bottom-water them using the tray method (With that low PPM water), I keep them sitting in 1/2 inch of water, when they're in a 6" pot. I change it out once in a while.

I keep my cephs in 80-100% humidity. They just grow faster. I have to water them less, too. Be sure to acclimate your plants to these conditions if they were not previously subjected to the same conditions you're providing.


They're pretty tolerant in my setup. At 80-100% humidity, with well-aerated but wet soil, Mine take anywhere between 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to provide an intermediate condition of about room temperature if they were subjected to shocking temperatures.


Cephs love light but can tolerate low light conditions. I used to keep them with my Queensland three sisters. Indoors is best for this plant, but if you live in a Mediterranean or tropical area, placing it outside could work. Typical CFL bulbs will do fine for this species.

Cephs are known to 'Redden up' in brighter conditions. This is just like a suntan and is simply a defence to the sun. It is not an issue with the plant and serves a purely aesthetic purpose. Remove supplementsl light if you don't want it.

Misc. Planting rules:

- Cephs HATE roots getting disturbed. Bag & Acclimate after repotting, much like a Heliamphora.
- Cephs cannot stand roots being submerged. They will hold out and suddenly crash.
- Cephs are easily overtaken by topdressings. This is an aesthetic issue, but could, by chance, rot.
- There is a slight mortality when dividing and repotting cephs. This cannot really be prevented, but high humidity and SuperThrive helps reduce losses.
- Cephalotus are some of the most finicky plants when it comes to water. Use the lowest ppm you can get. My tapwater is about 40 ppm and all my plants do just fine.


Leaf/pitcher pulls - The hard way, but these happen very nicely. I originally got my ceph from a few pullings. Stick em in sand. Humidity is a must. You'll see a plant within 6 months.

Division - My cephs divide quite fast, almost once every 6 months. Give divisions away, trade 'em, do whatever. Root them with a touch of rooting powder, or just bag them and let them root.

Companion plants:

Cephs can really be acclimated almost anywhere. I used to keep them with Pinguiculas when I used to top water. However, trays cause build up of minerals, so I now keep them either with my tropical Drosera and Utricularia or with my Heliamphora.

In a terrarium setup, I'd choose a nice carpeting Utricularia (Bisquamata, Dichotoma), and maybe a few pygmy sundews. This could make an interesting planting.

Good luck and Happy Growing!
Feel free to PM/Reply questions.
Last edited by hungry carnivores on Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Matt, Benny, Sundews69 liked this
By Benny
Posts:  530
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:46 pm
Great job HC! Good to see another ceph care sheet. I can second chomato, what about light? Other than that, I like it!
By hungry carnivores
Update- Thanks for all the support!

Added light, more rules, companion plants.
Benny liked this
By Benny
Posts:  530
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:46 pm
chomato wrote:Awesome, thanks for the info! Now I can continue dreaming about having one
Same, :lol:
By hungry carnivores
I'd be up for trading a few if you pay shipping and email a label to me? Otherwise I cannot, sadly, help you out.
By chomato
Posts:  324
Joined:  Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:36 am
hungry carnivores wrote:I'd be up for trading a few if you pay shipping and email a label to me? Otherwise I cannot, sadly, help you out.
If you're up for trading for some capensis, I'm game Image
By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  955
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
Honestly? Nobody really knows for sure, it's all just personal opinion, which is perhaps backed up by observation and/or some logical extrapolation, but nobody really knows. I will say this much however: It flowers very readily in the spring after a nice winter "nap". Does that really proving anything? Nope, it sure doesn't, but it is a handy little tidbit to keep in mind.
andynorth liked this
User avatar
By MikeB
Posts:  1934
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
Here is the climate for Perth, Australia (formatting courtesy of Google):
Climate for Perth.jpg
Climate for Perth.jpg (48.56 KiB) Viewed 3071 times
This will give you an idea about what the wild plants experience during the year. The winter temps are similar to those of Pensacola, Florida.

Reminder: The summer months in the northern hemisphere are the winter months in Australia, and vice-versa.
User avatar
By Panman
Posts:  6505
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
I think that adjusting the light levels along with a drop in temperature is what they need. What that low temperature is, I don't know. I'm going on 3 years with my ceph, so I am by no means an expert. It gets light from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour before sunset, automatically adjusted. In the summer the temperature ranges from 78 to 80. In the winter it ranges from 65 to 68.

Sase received, Thank You Chef !

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