My young Australian pitcher plant, cephalotus follicularis. I wanted a ceph for years, but was daunted by taking care of completely new type of carnivore that is 1) expensive and 2) apparently fickle and difficult to care for. As lovely as they are, Venus fly traps and Sarracenia are gratifying and easy.
Cephs have come down in price, averaging about $30 - $40 instead of $60+ like they were a few years ago. Their soil and light conditions are also quite similar to Flytraps and Sarrs, so I took the plunge last April and ordered a Ceph from Cook’s Carnivores.
I panicked at first. It came potted in a black, plastic pot. I knew it would get too hot in California direct sun, so I set to repot it, and promptly broke off some roots. FUUUUUUCK.
Okay, no repotting. Pack some perlite in there and don’t do anymore damage. I decided to clip a paper towel around the pot to bounce sun light instead of absorbing it (thank you, photography degree) and hopefully keep the plant cool in summer heat.
It seemed like months went by and I didn’t know if my plant was alive or dead. All the pitchers it had upon arrival died off, which happens often enough to not be an indicator of anything. SUPER HELPFUL, PLANT. THANKS A LOT!
But some green leaves remained and eventually, I saw little fuzzy bits on the plant. And one day, I was like, “Hey, it’s got new pitchers on it!” Cephs are notoriously slow growers, so it was extremely gratifying to see.
So lessons learned: 1) Don’t panic. 2) Don’t be afraid to trying a new, challenging aspect to your hobby. You just might surprise yourself.
Good advice! Plants can often surprise you with their determination to pull through…