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Watering heliamphora

watering water Heliamphora

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#1 Elaol

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:05 AM

How to know when I need to water Heliamphora and how much water to pour in?

#2 Andreas

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Hello Elaol,

generally I would speak you have to avoid two situations: The soil becomes bone-dry and the soil stays waterlogged for a longer period! Heliamphora can cope well with a fluctuating level of moisture. In fact this is how they grew best for me. Before you water again let the soil dry until it is only damp (which means slightly moist).  This way you can avoid rotting of roots!

By the way which soil mix do you use? A peat based soil mix can keep moisture longer than dried long fibred sphagnum moss. Living sphagnum is critical because it needs to be permanently wet to stay alive or at least to look healthy!

When do you know if you should water? If you see the surface of the soil dries out then it´s slowly time to water again. You may have to check the moisture level of the soil - perhaps with digging your finger a few cm deep into the soil to feel how dry or moist it is. You can also check the level of moisture of the soil with a spit of wood put deeply into the soil. If you pull it out of the soil a few hours later you can see how much the wood has become moist and to which extent. It is possible the surface of your soil is already dry but the lower half is still very moist. In this case you should only water as much until the dried upper half is moist again - maybe best done with a spray bottle.

From my experience I can only recommend you not to let the pots of Heliamphora stand permanently in water!  If you water via "tray method" (pouring water into the saucer) only let the pots stand in water for maximal 24 hours. If there is still water in the saucer after 24 h, remove the water from the saucer! Wait a couple of days until you water again. Well, this depends on your climate! Bosnia-Herzegovina has a very warm climate especially in summer I assume (unless you dwell high in the mountains ;) ). So, on hot summer days it can happen you need to water daily. Fresh (new) water is always best for Heliamphora! Water that stays in the tray for several days and become 'stinky' can become troublesome for Heliamphora! When I started growing Heliamphora I´ve had losses due to micro fungi which have spread in the vascular tissue of pitchers and/or the rhizome resulting in a so called "sudden death" of the plants! The danger for such a fungal infection increases in wet and hot conditions!

In your climate it is important to have a good (air) ventilation during hot days and a slightly lower humidity. Humidity can temporarily drop to 50% (if not even as low as 30% for already hardened plants) between noon and late afternoon and should be high from evening to next morning.
You can also water from above instead of watering through the saucer. If you water from above water as much until excessive water flows through the drainage holes of the pot. Then put the pot into a dry saucer. I apply this method by using a pressure sprayer. The fine drops of water soak into the soil consistently without densifying the soil (which can happen if you use a watering can). Wait until the soil has dried to a slightly moist level again before you apply the next watering.

I hope my English is not too complicated for you to understand. :blush:

As a summary:

Never let the soil of Heliamphora dry completely out!
Never leave Heliamphora standing in the same water for more than 24 hours!
Water again after the soil has dried to a slightly moist level.


Plus: There should be always a little water in the pitchers. They can be filled to 1/4 or 1/3 of the pitcher height.


Good luck!

Andreas

#3 Elaol

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:55 PM

You have one big <3 from me!!!! Couldn't find that information anywhere. OK, I've got it now :D I equipped terrarium with CFL 6400K 23W light, I've put aluminum foil in order to get light reflection and I've bought hygrometer and fan. I've prepared bottle for misting (distilled water inside). Terrarium has one opening 3x3cm and other very small holes for ventilation. Fan will be above that larger opening and will blow to the bottom. Plant will be on the other part of terrarium so it doesn't get on direct "wind". I will use white sphangum peat. I thought 50/50 peat and perlite. Now I only have to find a way to water without opening terrarium for too long because of humidity. I will use this bottle for misting to water it, so I also get fine drops of water. Thanks a lot for this tutorial and feel free to add anything you think it is needed.

Here is the picture of terrarium:
Posted Image

Edited by Elaol, 09 June 2014 - 08:54 PM.






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