Heliamphora ceracea

When you get used to the Heliamphora beauty, you want more of them. I set my sights on Heliamphora ceracea because it’s quite a departure from the neblinae look, while having some macdonaldae vibes to it—due to a close botanical relationship, experts say.

September 2019

After the roots, here comes the first pitcher! I’m quite proud, as this is my first try with a Heliamphora cutting.

The plant went through the long and hot summer unscathed, but the much cooler autumn nights will be appreciated, without a doubt.

Heliamphora ceracea
For a few weeks, there was a single old pitcher alive—the one in the blurry background. It started to dry out while the new one was growing.

July 2019

Fleshy roots! Here they are, barely digging into the soil. This is all I wanted to see after removing the small pieces of sphagnum moss that started to overgrow the plant itself.

Six weeks have passed since I received the unrooted cutting and the conditions have been mostly suboptimal, with two strong heat waves preventing suitable temperature drops at night, and cooking the terrarium inhabitants during the day. A range of 25 to 38°C (77-100°F) is way too high for highland plants, let alone stressed ones. Luckily, the heat did not last long enough to unsettle Heliamphora ceracea in its rooting process.

I can now remove the cloche that I placed on the pot to maintain sufficient humidity around the cutting. Several times each day, I took the cloche off to let excess heat escape, sprayed some water around the plant, and put it back.

Due credit should be given to Maciej Stelmach and Michael Schach for growing and sharing such robust clones.

Heliamphora ceracea roots
The first three roots. After I took the photo, I carefully added a bit of soil around them.

June 2019

I received H. ceracea as an unrooted cutting and therefore have the challenging task of making it root. The first few days are crucial in this regard, with the plant getting entirely new growing conditions, on top of being already stressed. The weather is quite warm at the moment, with about 25-28°C in the terrarium, but a heat wave is on the way. Fingers crossed…

I went for a slight variant of Mike King’s peatless mix (see the May 2019 entry on this page for more details), with a nice amount of pine bark choppings and perlite to offer drainage + air circulation + root anchoring material. I am curious as to how the plant will grow in that soil.

Heliamphora ceracea
Brittle leaves often mean a bit of breakage from shipping, but nothing to worry about.
Heliamphora ceracea
This is formerly the pot for Drosera spiralis, which is now outside of the terrarium. I added a layer of coarse quartz sand for extra drainage, as there is only a small hole, at the bottom, that gets filled up with soil easily. Hi Drosera schizandra.
Heliamphora ceracea
And there it is, ready to root. The few living sphagnum moss heads help the plant stay in place.

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