You are here:

Carnivorous Plants/Cepahlotus leaf tip yellowing

Advertisement


Question
Cephalotus
Cephalotus  

Ceph set up
Ceph set up  
Hello -

I have a cephalotus "Hummer's Giant" whose leaf tips have become yellow tinged.  I am unsure if this is a normal part of the life cycle of the plant's non-pitcher leaves, as this is my first cephalotus, which I have had for a couple of months.  I have your DVDs, and have watched all of them, and have also read the culture information on your website.

My cephalotus is grown as follows:

- Indoors, under 6500K fluorescent lights, approximately 6 inches above the plant
- The temperature in the house ranges from 71-74 F
- The plant is bottom watered with reverse osmosis or rainwater, and the soil stays moist, but not wet.
- The plant sits on a water tray, which keeps the pot above the water but helps maintain a slightly more humid microclimate.
- The plant has been lightly misted once in the last month with dilute orchid fertilizer.

The plant was putting out new pitchers and leaves until recently.  It has now gone "quiet" but as far as I can tell the crown is intact with no signs of rot.  No appreciable pests are identified on the plant.

Thank you for your help.

Answer
Hi Angelyn,

Let me address your question first.  The yellowing is a normal part of leaf aging.  From the overall appearance of your plant this is not at all abnormal.  Your general climate conditions for a Cephalotus is fine.

Let's talk lighting.  The light your using is Glentronic's "Smart Plant Light".  I've had these in the past, and they are very cute, and a great concept.  The only problem, they are not even close to being bright enough for most carnivorous plants.  The only cp I've found that do ok under them are Mexican Butterworts.  Your plant needs much more light than this.  Cephalotus normally have shorter, stockier leaves with some red hues, and pitchers definitely have some red in them.  These big green leaves are a dead give away the plant wants more light.

Here's what you can do.  Try moving you plant to a windowsill with partial sun.  East windows work very well, but a South window will to.  If you only have a North window, try combining the light with the window.  In any event, the plant should have some direct sun for part of the day. The other option is to use stronger fluorescent lights.  A 23 watt compact fluorescent, 6500k, placed 6 inches above the plant on a 13 hour day would work very well.  One thing to be aware of when you move the plant to brighter light is that you will probably see some leaf burn.  This is very normal as plants make the transition from too shady conditions to normal light conditions for them.  Just cut off any leaves that burn and give the plant time.  Bump up your light fertilization to once every two weeks.

You also will want to consider a larger pot for the plant.  Hummer's Giant can get pretty good sized for a Cephalotus.  A 5-6" pot is a good size for them.  They have long roots, so tall pots are best.  We use a mix of long-fiber New Zealand sphagnum moss with some perlite mixed in.  You can also use a 50/50 peat moss and sand mix with them.  Like you're already doing, keep the soil moist, but not sitting in water.

Good Growing!

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

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Sarracenia Northwest

Expertise

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.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 8,800 questions answered since 2005!

Experience

Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower! http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/dvd

Education/Credentials

No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR QUESTION:
Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/careguides

For business questions:
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/contact


Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!


©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.