My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

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Briar

 
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My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:58 pm

I'd posted this on another forum, thought I would copy and paste it here.... hope it helps someone

Briar
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First the disclaimer..... There are as many methods as there are growers. Some grow beautiful helis using methods totally opposite from these. It is not my intention to imply that you must follow these recommendations to be successful. I present this guide as what "I"do and what "I" believe works best for "me" based on "my" years of experience and research. Your experiences could vary greatly based on your specific conditions and needs. My heils are grown indoors under totally artificial conditions.

Take from it what you want, leave what you don't.

Nothing more, nothing less


So you got a new heli and you don’t know what to do....
(per request from a friend)

Background....
When new helis arrive, their roots are usually stressed or sometimes nonexistent. This poses the problem of desiccation via transpiration and evaporation. In other words the plant's water loss exceeds water intake and it dries out. At some point in this process the damage incurred exceeds the ability of the plant to recover and death soon results.

Some of the factors at play are:
Vegetative mass
Root mass and condition
Substrate type and texture
Substrate moisture content
Temperature
Humidity
Airflow

The plant gets the majority of its water via the roots through osmosis. When the roots are stressed or nonexistent then obviously their ability to process moisture is reduced.

The majority of water losses are through transpiration and evaporation. These loses are directly related to the vegetative mass, ambient temps, ambient humidity and airflow rates.

Bagging the plant during this phase is a common practice. This helps buy the plant time until the tender roots recover from the damage incurred in shipping and transplanting. We want to keep the humidity levels high, airflow low and temperatures reasonable. Then as the plant heals we slowly acclimate through a gentle introduction into the new environment. Sometimes the more aggressive approach of trimming back the vegetative mass is also used.

A similar problem occurs when a plant is grown under tender conditions. In this case it is not so much root issues as much as it is acclimated to a more highland condition. A plant will not use energy developing moisture holding capacity if it is not needed. This would be a waste in energy.

Finally, sometimes we encounter both conditions at once. In any case the procedures are basically the same. Take steps to reduce moisture loss until the capacity for moisture intake is sufficient.


Now my standard procedure step by step...

First I soak the new division in a Trichoderma atroviride brew...
Source: http://www.ampacbiotech.com
(I also use a T. atroviride drench monthly on all my cps/helis. Since I started these routines I now longer have any issues with heli sudden death syndrome)

Image

This has several major benefits IMHO... First it makes sure the plant is fully hydrated, secondly it softens the roots preventing as much handling damage as possible. It also makes sure the plant is well inoculated with the beneficial Trichoderma fungi. I will often let the division soak for a couple days prior to potting or shipping.

Substrate prep is next...

My experience has taught me that one of the best all around Heli mixes is 1:1:1 LFS/Perlite and APS (Aquatic plant soil) Of course YMMV ;-)

(APS is sold in the states under the names Shultz APS, Pond Care aquatic plant soil, and Turface... I do not recommend "kitty litter"nor "Oil dry" products)

Image

Over the years I have found some other blends that grew the plants a little better maybe (Cypress bark based mixes). However, they required way too much attention. The LFS/Perlite/APS combination has provided me a very good level of performance while maintaining low maintenance requirements. APS is really the key here, it holds moisture while providing good structural strength with no compression issues.

Perlite is nothing more than an aggregate really, it provides zero nutrition and zero moisture buffering. While many use it with great success, I found 1:1 blends of LFS and perlite to have inadequate moisture buffering and poor root strength.

Next I place a shallow layer of cypress bark to protect the pot's drain holes from clogging.
(Cypress bark is highly resistant to rot and pest issues)

Image

Followed by an initial layer of my substrate mix forming a mound in the middle.

Image

Taking the division (In this case with good root structure) I straddle the mound with it. This insures good root separation.

Image

Then simply fill the pot up without packing the substrate... I simply tap the pot on the table to shake the substrate down into place without root damage.

Image

Now fill the pitchers up with a weak fertilizer mix, I like 1/4 strength. Most any fert will do fine, but I prefer orchid ferts or the popular seaweed based product.

If your grow area humidity is less than 80% or so, it is a good idea to bag the plant until new growth is observed. Then slowly acclimate the plant by cutting off the bag's corners and continue to open these up slowly over the next few weeks.

Image

I have over a 95% success rate using these methods with all species of Heliamphora if the divisions are of good quality. With rootless divisions, I have over a 90% success rate. My methods are almost identical for those with the exception of a deep top layer of live sphag. I also cut open any unopened pitchers to facilitate watering and feeding. I feel feedings are critical for rootless divisions, we are asking the plant to produce root growth with a very limited ability for nutrient uptake. Pitcher feeding during this time provides these much needed nutrients.

Image

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Full sized image: http://bluegrasscarnivores.com/13mm/helirackwide2.jpg

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Bottom shelf is my "nursery" area for immature plants/recent divisions/more common species/duplicates/etc.

HTH's
Av
Last edited by Briar on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Steve_D » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:09 pm

Instant classic. :) Thank you so much for sharing your techniques and experiences, Briar. I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, will find them very interesting and valuable. Topic converted to "sticky," meaning it will stay at the top of the Forum category and not be buried beneath new topics. Thanks again-- :D

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by jht-union » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:15 pm

This is very valuable information! There's not something like this in other places, I agree with Steve, and am glad it became a sticky, this will help me and others to understand how to grow these plants best.

Thanks for the effort you put in doing this! :) :D

jht-union.
Growlist: jht-union-s-grow-list-t8718.html?hilit=jht union's growlist

Looking for these species: post97520.html

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:50 pm

Steve_D wrote:Instant classic. :) Thank you so much for sharing your techniques and experiences, Briar. I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, will find them very interesting and valuable. Topic converted to "sticky," meaning it will stay at the top of the Forum category and not be buried beneath new topics. Thanks again-- :D


I consider the "sticky" an honour....

Steve, jht... et. al., thanks for the kind words

Butch

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by snapperhead51 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:56 pm

Very well done Butch ,a great explanation of your experience in growing these great plants , like the procedure to stop the sudden death syndrome too , but don't seem to have this here in AU the [Trichoderma atroviride] seems to be non existent or band here ?? or its just hidden away from us , or i just ant looking in the right places , but this is a very good tip , i need to investigate this more , as we all get that stem rot fungus when having helis in numbers , so your has stooped now with this process
thanks Butch for the info
J

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:49 am

snapperhead51 wrote:Very well done Butch ,a great explanation of your experience in growing these great plants , like the procedure to stop the sudden death syndrome too , but don't seem to have this here in AU the [Trichoderma atroviride] seems to be non existent or band here ?? or its just hidden away from us , or i just ant looking in the right places , but this is a very good tip , i need to investigate this more , as we all get that stem rot fungus when having helis in numbers , so your has stooped now with this process
thanks Butch for the info
J


John,

Thanks mate.... coming from one of the true heli gurus that is indeed an honour.

Ampacbiotech's product is actually a blend of T. atroviride and T. virens, and their atroviride strain is proprietary. I have experiemented with other Trichoderma spp. including the T22 strain but nothing else worked near as well for me. I first started using it quite a few years ago with cephs.... since then it's been part of my standard operating procedure.

You may want to touch base with ampac... I know of Cp'ers in the Far East, UK and Euro zone that source from them... they may ship to Oz, I dunno

Lot's of peer reviewed research on the subject... here are a couple examples:
http://bluegrasscarnivores.com/research1/trichoderma_research.pdf
http://bluegrasscarnivores.com/research1/trich_interactions.pdf

One caveat, it's not as aggressive against phytopathogens in nutrient rich enviroments, so don't apply at the same time you root feed.

Butch

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by snapperhead51 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:12 am

Ok Butch thanks mate , need some thing like this have all most 3 helis in the last several months with stem fungus , used huge amount of fongarid , saved them, but the plants looses most of the pitchers and has to re-grow again , seems mainly with nutans too ??and only in mid summer , so may be heat is a factor !!
J

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:26 am

Ah yes, some nutan clones do seem to be extra susceptible to the disease. I have experienced this myself when I first started growing some of the German H. nutan clones.

Dr. A. Fleischmann has isolated the pathogen and has writen some good theories on the subject. It is thought that the fungus may lie dormant in many if not most helis.

It does seem to become more active in warm temps.
(Dr. A. Wistuba, Dr. A. Fleischmann, and personal observations)

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by snapperhead51 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:35 am

Hay Butch , been asking around over here , there telling me the Trichodema has a short life when opened , have you found this or know of this, ,seems its not on the list of items allowed in to AU !! how unusual !! :roll: .
its been suggested by our authorities , I find who makes it and see if they can send me some through there export processes , do you know who make this stuff !!by any chance !.
thanks John

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:24 pm

John,

I guess it depends on the product, but what I use has a shelf life in excess of 7 years if kept refrigerated. I usually keep quite a bit of it on hand, so I get a lot when I do and keep it in fridge.

That being said, another product I tried (Commonly available T22 strain product) has an advertised shelf life of 6 months.

You can verify with a "poor boy culture" by putting some on a damp coffee filter, covering it and in a few days you will see the blue-green "fuzz"

At least this works with ampac's granular (havent tried with their flowable), I assume it should work with the rest.

Ampacbiotch is the manufacturere of their product John, just drop "Kelly" and email or phone call..... she is now a cp'er too (thanks to me LOL) and will know what you are wanting

Butch

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by snapperhead51 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:14 am

Ok Butch way to go there mate , getting the right people interested in CP's ha ha ah cool as :mrgreen:
will do that send a email to her , thanks heaps
J

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by snapperhead51 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:53 pm

Got a Answer from Kelly all ready , man you must have made a good impression Butch he he eh :evil: , she is looking into it for me now
thanks
J

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Re: My techniques for the care of new heli divisions

by Briar » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:05 am

Kelly is good people and a hoot to talk to on the phone, just imagine a sexy minnie mouse on crank LOL
She has become a very good friend over the years.

If it can be done, she will take care of it mate....


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