Category Archives: Heliamphora

Winter Greetings

Winter greetings all! I hope this finds you all well and that this winter season has been good to you and the plants. Now that it is winter and the plants are asleep, activity in The Asylum is ramping up. This winter season is a busy one indeed. I’ve been doing some cleaning, trimming, moving plants about, and even some sorting of seeds (Yeeessss, I know – many of you asked about seeds. And divisions. So stay tuned for that update…)

Here’s a small selection of photos from around the garden. First shot below is a doozy. What a complete mess this is. Yeah, I gots my trimming work cut out for me. Most plants have long since put away the glory of the season past. They are once again clothed in the sleep of crispy crunchy pitchers. Soon enough, this place will be bursting full of life again…

Time for clean upDormancy

And of course, my trusted garden helper – my katana, puts some work in…

Quick clip: Slicing through Sarracenia.
Sorry for the quality. Filmed in slow motion (120 FPS) on the mobile device

Sarracenia oreophilaSarracenia oreophila section – all squared away.

Dionea clean upDionaea, Pinguicula, and Drosera (Drosera out of shot in background) cleaned and organized.

Sarracenia oreophilaDormancy: Sarracenia oreophila

Sarracenia alata - Maroon ThroatSarracenia alata – maroon throat
A few pitchers still hanging on.

Sarracenia leucophylla x "Eva"Seedling: Sarracenia leucophylla x “Eva”  pitcher still vibrant.


And while the Sarracenias sleep, the Nepenthes crew bask in these cooler temperatures. Watching the Nepenthes and tropicals grow during the winter helps break up the monotony of all the lifeless pitchers. I like them ‘cuz you know, I always have to be growing… *something.*

Nepenthes ventricosa x tiveyiNepenthes ventricosa x tiveyi

Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioidesNepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides

Nepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensisNepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensis

Grow TankAnd finally – back home is the grow tank. I turned an unused 50 gallon tank into a refuge for some Heliamphora, Cephalotus, Nepenthes, a Pinguicula and Drosera. There’s a variegated vanilla orchid growing in the corner and a mounted staghorn fern (Platycerium coronatum) that was not taking too well to the cooler temps in the greenhouse. Be looking for updates from the grow tank in the future.

Heliamphora heterodoxa flower

Heliamphora heterodoxaHeliamphora heterodoxa flower

Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor

Heliamphora heterodoxa x minorHeliamphora heterodoxa x minor

Heliamphora Divisions

Heliamphora divisionsHeliamphora divisions

One of the awesome and dangerous things about being in this greenhouse, especially in the winter, is that I’m able to try my hand at new things. I’ve only begun to play around with Heliamphora, and so far so good! I mean, I’ve had one for a few years, and it did (and is still) doing well. But yeah, more pitcher goodness for me to play with now! I recently got the itch to break things apart and… I did. (See the photo above.) Heliamphora seem quite brittle when compared to Sarracenia. With the Sarracenia, I would just break and tear rhizomes up like a Karraayyzzayyy hungry honey-badger. When I was splitting the Heliamphora apart, quite a few sections of plant just kind of fell apart without having any root attached. DOH! So I just stuck that rootless piece of greenery it in some media anyway. The media that I’m using is just a lighter mixture of long fiber sphagnum, peat moss, and perlite.

I was a bit worried and asked around if other Heliamphora growers have had success in propagating Heliamphora this way. Turns out that many folks have! Check out this article by João Roberto Gabbardo on the International Carnivorous Plant Society site. Very cool! Well, the humidity in the dome is high enough that I don’t really have to worry too much about it, but I threw a large Tupperware bin over them anyway to keep the humidity up. It doesn’t get that hot either under the dome as I have shade cloth that keeps things cool. I’ll keep that Tupperware bin for a while until I see the new growth really take off. Others have had success by bagging the pot (covering in a plastic bag) and placing it in a cool yet bright location. Heliamphoras are awesome. All this is new for me and I look forward to sharing my Heliamphora adventures with you all!