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Carnivorous Plants/Cepholatus and heliamphora night time temperature drop

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QUESTION: Hello
I'm a little confused as to exactly what the night time temperature drop exactly consists of
I read the parameters set in your care sheets and watched the volume #3 video to try and help
In the video segment on cepholatus  I recall it referring to hot days in the summer however I have mine growing inside the house it runs about 74 with the AC on 24/7 Is a night time drop still nessesary? I assume the temp will drop to ambient room temperature once the lighting is turned off for the night.

As for the heliamphora it's grown in a small fish bowl with pebbles and water in the bottom. I reduce the temperature in there with refreezable ice packs and get it down within range but I don't know how long it holds it there. I'm sure it's a few hours. Is there a required time?

ANSWER: Hi Cory,

If your average room temperature is 74F, you have no concerns with these plants.  That is relatively cool, and both will be fine without a need for dropping the temperature further.  

In nature Heliamphora would be in the 70's during the day, and 50's and night.  For most species I've not found it necessary to cool the plant at night unless your day temperatures are high, and nights don't cool such as in the Southeast U.S. You are in an air conditioned house, however, so it's already cooler. In our greenhouse where our plants live day temperatures are in the 90's during the summer, so we mist them frequently to keep the ambient temperature down.  We normally get into the 50's at night in the summer in the Pacific Northwest.  Do always try to keep water in their pitchers, however.

Cephalotus comes from a maritime climate in Southwestern Australia where day temperatures would be similar to ours in the 80's with the cool nights during the summer.  Winters are cool and rainy.

Keeping roots cool is always desirable with these plants, and one way to do that is to use terracotta clay pots.  The evaporation that occurs from the sides of the porous pots has a dramatic cooling effect.  You just have to be very conscientious about watering since you'll have greater water loss.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.cobraplant.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your answer your help is appreciated
I have made a discovery. I purchased a small thermometer for the room they grow in
The house AC is set at 74 as previously stated but the room the plants are in gets warmer due to the fact that there is a skylight and a shadeless window that has sun shining in to accompany the lighting setup I have
And it's more correctly stated at about 92-95 during the hotter and sunnier
So at this point I'm assuming a night time temperature drop will be necessary

At night I have been removing the heliamphora from the fish bowl and putting it in a cooler with about an inch or so of water for humidity. The plant sets on an upside down watering tray to keep it out of the water.
I then put in ice packs and a wired thermometer probe.
It held 57 all night long...
Will moving the plant from terrarium to cooler harm the plant?

Answer
Hi Cory,

In general moving plants around is a bad idea for any plant.  Plants don't move around in nature, so they are constantly trying to re-adapt the the changing humidity and light.  

You never mentioned what species of Heliamphora you have.  H. minor, H. heterodoxa and H. heterodoxa x minor are the most common plants in cultivation, and the most tolerant of varying temperatures.

Here's two much simpler approaches.  Transfer your your plant to a terracotta clay pot like I mentioned above.  Have a small fan to create a slight breeze near your plant.  The terracotta clay has a tremendous cooling effect on the soil, and this is the important thing for the plants.

The other approach is to put your Heliamphora in an appropriate sized aquarium with fluorescent lights.  For H. heterodoxa x minor I used a 40 gallon tank with a two tube shoplight with T-12, 40 watt, cool-white tubes on a timer.  I had a beautiful plant this way, and a stunning Cephalotus Hummer's Giant.  The tank sat in a room with a North window with no direct sun.  Bright window sun and a fish bowl sounds like a recipe for problems.  In general any kind of a terrarium in natural sun doesn't work because of overheating.  Artificial light in this situation gives you complete control.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.cobraplant.com

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