Death of cephalotus growth points?

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Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Crazy4plants » Sun May 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Hi guys,
I have a healthy,adult cephalotus. The pitchers and non carnivorous leaves were both growing large and very rapidly. Suddenly, the largest growth point turned yellow and died. The rest of the plant is fine, but I think the second largest growth point is dying too, as growth from it has completely stopped. The small immature growth points are still growing very well. Does anyone know the cause for this? It is growing in sphag and I top water away from the crown with no tray. The temps have been around 60-70 for the last few weeks.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Jds » Sun May 17, 2015 6:06 pm

Watch these videos.These videos might help you.
https://youtu.be/FmGY8VrnZFg
https://youtu.be/LLUTNcGsNNU
It's easy to grow Carnivorous plants if you don't stress them by unwanted excessive care :)
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Matt » Sun May 17, 2015 10:59 pm

Crazy4plants wrote:Does anyone know the cause for this? It is growing in sphag and I top water away from the crown with no tray.

I've had it happen to many of my adult cephalotus too, after top watering them. Now I never water from the top. People say that using trichoderma (beneficial soil bacteria) helps prevent this from happening.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by SEWinans » Mon May 18, 2015 12:51 am

I had this happen to my oldest cephalotus a few months ago!! I had been top watering as well. I repotted it as a last attempt to save it. Then ALL of the remaining pitchers dried and fell off. I gave up on it and assumed there was no saving the poor thing. Such a tragedy as that plant has grown vigorously for me for years now. Surprisingly, now that I've left it alone it's showing signs of new growth. There is hope after all! :)

Perhaps top watering is the common denominator here.

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Leathal_Traps » Tue May 19, 2015 1:52 am

Not to insult anyone, but I find it ridiculous to think that top watering could kill a plant. I mean if you think about it top watering and using the tray method are practically the same, except the fact that the crown gets completely wet when top watering. As an experiment I even grew a ceph in a yogurt cup with no drainage, with water levels on top of the growth point, the plant did just fine. A member on terraforums Mobile also did basically the same, his plant grew perfectly fine as well. Lately I have had a few plants go black from the center out, which I am almost 99% sure was caused by Pythium. What I used to do is fill my terrarium with water about an inch, and let the plants absorb the water, sadly this permitted the spores to spread from one pot to another, killing my biggest cephalotus which was flowering. I have also found that heat "activates" the pythium bacteria, although once the pathogen is in the pot, heat or cold nothing can be done. I have bough trichoderma to apply on all my cephs as a preventive measure, so far no deaths but it has only been a week or so. I have never had a cephalotus crown turn yellow, currently I top water all my cephs, and they grow just fine, so who knows. Maybe by watering from the top a bacteria that is found in the surface of the soil makes its way down to the roots? Who knows. During my upcoming vacation I will be writing an article regarding all my experiments and experiences with cephalotus. Sad indeed that these plants can collapse so quickly, if only we knew why we could prevent it. Good luck ;)

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Matt » Tue May 19, 2015 2:34 am

Leathal_Traps wrote:Not to insult anyone, but I find it ridiculous to think that top watering could kill a plant.

You start your post with this pretty decisive statement, but the rest of the following paragraph doesn't really make it clear as to why you believe that statement. What makes you think it's ridiculous that top watering could kill a plant? I now routinely lose flytraps in one of my greenhouses where water condenses on the ceiling and sometimes drips down on the crown of the flytraps and causes them to rot. In this case, top watering definitely kills flytraps.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Leathal_Traps » Tue May 19, 2015 2:56 am

Matt wrote:
Leathal_Traps wrote:Not to insult anyone, but I find it ridiculous to think that top watering could kill a plant.

You start your post with this pretty decisive statement, but the rest of the following paragraph doesn't really make it clear as to why you believe that statement. What makes you think it's ridiculous that top watering could kill a plant? I now routinely lose flytraps in one of my greenhouses where water condenses on the ceiling and sometimes drips down on the crown of the flytraps and causes them to rot. In this case, top watering definitely kills flytraps.


Sorry, I didn't mean to be aggressive. The logic behind that statement is that plants get rained on in nature and they survive, so why wouldn't they when cultivated? Although a bog is obviously different from a greenhouse, what about it could be so different to the point where water on the crown could cause rot? In the case of your flytraps it would be different since it's constant dripping vs a watering the plant every x days, depending on the environment. Also the fact that I top water all my cephs shows that there must be some other variable causing the rot, although top watering could be one of many factors that might lead up to it.

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by tish » Tue May 19, 2015 7:00 am

i briefly read the comments and have a quick thought. i was thinking the same as LT about Ceph and Vft getring rained on in nature and wild with no issues. But quickly decide against it as we.do not monitor the wild ones and who knows. Some wild ones die of crown rot some wont due to "Fittest survive" Or perhaps some thrive due to higher terrian, quick evaporation and low humidity.

sorry to jump in.

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Matt » Tue May 19, 2015 5:39 pm

Leathal_Traps wrote:Sorry, I didn't mean to be aggressive. The logic behind that statement is that plants get rained on in nature and they survive, so why wouldn't they when cultivated?

Comparing plants in cultivation to plants in the wild is misleading. There are many, many differences between nature and cultivation that impact how a plant might respond to the same stimuli.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Leathal_Traps » Tue May 19, 2015 11:29 pm

Matt wrote:Comparing plants in cultivation to plants in the wild is misleading. There are many, many differences between nature and cultivation that impact how a plant might respond to the same stimuli.


I could not agree more, but it was something that I wanted to point out. Even if you forget about wild plants vs in cultivation, I personally top water ALL of my cephs, and I have plants that flowered using this method. What I am trying to say is that top watering alone cannot cause death, because otherwise my whole collection would be dead, there must be some other factor. Perhaps its a combination of many factors ( most likely) or maybe it just occurs under very specific conditions.

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by SFLguy » Wed May 20, 2015 4:06 am

I think I remember someone growing them in almost flooded conditions, so they can definitely grow in a variety of conditions
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Crazy4plants » Wed May 20, 2015 6:45 am

If it helps anyone I'm growing on a n east facing windowsill and I wait for the soil to get lightly moist before watering. I try not to get water in the crown. The room has good circulation and lower humidity. Maybe fluctuations in temps is the cause? Our temps and sunlight levels have been very inconsistent here in CA the last few weeks.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by tish » Thu May 21, 2015 12:49 am

LeathalTrap,

can you share what soil mix you use for the cephs again? maybe i did ask and forgot as i was very amazed by your watering method :)

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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Daniel_G » Thu May 21, 2015 12:03 pm

In some cases I think everyone has to work out a growing method that works for them. What I've noticed over the past few years growing is that there is no "one size fits all" guide to growing Cephalotus. A man I know top waters all his plants with little regard to where it lands, and only waters again when there is no sign of water beneath the pots. Another use on the CPUK forum left his Cephalotus outside through the UK winter, and it survived! That's what works for them. I personally have lost Cephalotus to my winter, and have lost some to root rot from the tray method. I've also lost them to crown rot from careless watering. That's what definitely doesn't work for me.

As for growing mixes. Well, there's quite a few differing prescriptions of the best ever Cephalotus growing mix. Each one works for that specific grower.

But to cut this response to the size it should have been, top watering works for some people and doesn't work for others. Simple as.
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Re: Death of cephalotus growth points?

by Leathal_Traps » Thu May 21, 2015 11:09 pm

tish wrote:LeathalTrap,

can you share what soil mix you use for the cephs again? maybe i did ask and forgot as i was very amazed by your watering method :)

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My soil recipe is very complex ( sarcasm). Its 100% better gro spahgnum moss. I use this mainly because I have had great success with it and because it is cheap, but I've found they grow in practically anything, ranging from pure sphag to pure perlite to pure peat and every mix that exists in between.

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