Carnivorous Plants/cephalotus


I have a 2 year old Cephalotus follicularis, the total diameter of the plant is about 2" it is growing in a 6" pot in a Nepenthes growing mix together with my other Nepenthes on a bright light window with a few hours midday sun, I water with rain water, my question is the plant has about 4 small pitchers of about 3/4" (20mm) in size and a number of smaller pitchers grouped together, but as soon as a pitcher grows to the size of about 20mm it starts to get brown and dye off but the other pitchers keep growing but never get bigger then that size and then dye off, what can be the problem? please help, thank you

While it's possible to keep both Nepenthes and Cephalotus in the same soil mix, you have to be very careful about its composition.  Cephalotus requires a slightly courser mix than Nepenthes.  Nepenthes is much more adaptable, but Cephalotus has more specific needs when it comes to drainage and aeration.  Based on the symptoms you described, it's likely that the soil mix is too wet for Cephalotus.  (You didn't mention the composition of your soil mix, so I can't comment on whether or not it's appropriate for either your Cephalotus or Nepenthes.)

For now, I recommend transplanting the Cephaltous into its own pot using equal parts peat moss, perlite, and river sand.  Top water the plant when the top of the soil begins to lose dampness.  Allow the water to drain through.  

Also make sure the plant is getting several hours of direct sunlight.  You mentioned a few hours of midday sun, but make sure it is directly on your plant and not simply indirect lighting.  Lack of sufficient lighting is a common mistake many growers make.  

After making these changes, you might see some pitcher die off within the next 2-3 weeks.  This is normal after transplanting.  The amount of die off will also depend on how severely the roots were affected by excessive moisture.  The plant will also take about 6 months to fully recover.  This normal for a very slow growing plant.

For more information about growing Cephalotus, read our general care guide on our main website.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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