The Full Guide On Cephalotus Follicularis Care

The Full Guide On Cephalotus Follicularis Care

In this post, we will give you the full guide on growing and caring for Cephalotus Follicularis, or the West Australian Pitcher plant. Cephalotus is a very beautiful, yet hungry-looking plant with its traps open to catch some prey. These plants are very popular among hobbyists, and are not too large to have in any home.

  • What are Cephalotus Follicularis and where do they come from? Facts.

Cephalotus Follicularis are beautiful plants which naturally grow along Esperance Bay in southwestern Australia. The climate in this area is somewhat mild, with warm and dry summers and warm, wet winters.

Cephalotus don’t experience cold weather, but it doesn’t mean it can’t survive short periods of cold and snow! If that is the case, these plants can survive short periods of freeze of about 30 degrees. In their natural habitat, there can be short periods of light frosts. You can find Cephalotus growing along the coastline of Esperance Bay, in wet areas near mosses, grasses.

  • What traps do Cephalotus Follicularis have?

Cephalotus have two types of leaves – simple leaves and ones that turn into pitchers. Simple leaves grow and wither – with new ones replacing them. These leaves don’t become pitchers and only perform photosynthesis. Other leaves grow and later transform into pitchers. Mature pitchers usually reach 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in height.

There are glands inside the pitchers that produce digestive juices. Small hair-like projections on the plant’s rim point downwards, making it very hard for insects to escape.

  • Cephalotus Follicularis species and cultivars

There is only 1 species of Cephalotus, but there are number of cultivars. Most cultivar names are unofficial and selected by people due to plant’s coloration, sizes and patterns. Some of the cultivars include:

  • Hummer’s Giant
  • Eden Black
  • Adrian’s Slack
  • Munich Giant
  • Vigorous Clumping
  • Big Boy
  • Dudley Watts
  • Nornalup Red Leaf
  • German Giant
  • Ivan’s Giant
  • Phil Mann
  • Slack Giant

Cephalotus Follicularis cultivars

Cephalotus Follicularis Eden Black

  • What soil do Cephalotus Follicularis need?

You need to grow Cephalotus Follicularis in light and nutrient-free soil. You can use the soil mix of one part sand and one part peat moss. Another soil mix is one part perlite and one part peat moss. Make sure not to use a potting mix for growing Cephalotus.

  • Which containers should I use for growing Cephalotus Follicularis?

The best types of containers or pots for growing Cephalotus Follicularis are plastic or ceramic pots with drainage holes and a tray or saucer underneath. There is a big variety of different pots, but make sure they have drainage holes. This is because your Cephalotus plants should not be left in a waterlogged soil. 5-6 inch pots are suitable for mature plants.

  • How often to water Cephalotus Follicularis and which water to use?

Use mineral-free water, deionised water, rainwater or water filtered with reverse-osmosis system. Don’t use tap tds water testerwater as it is hard and will cause accumulation of minerals in the soil. Cephalotus suffer if water’s ppm is higher than 50. Use a water TDS meter to check ppm levels in your tap water.

Watering your Cephalotus can be a challenge in the beginning. In their habitat, Cephalotus can be found in waterlogged soil for periods of time. But in cultivation, this often causes rotting roots.

The best solution for watering your Cephalotus is to place a saucer/tray under the container and have a low level of water dripping out. Make sure the level of water in the saucer is not too high, or it will cause rotting. Low level of water will allow airflow, and your Cephalotus will greatly enjoy it. Don’t let the soil dry out. Watering frequencies will depend on time of the year and temperature.

  • How much light do Cephalotus Follicularis need?

You can successfully keep your Cephalotus in a spot with both natural sunlight and artificial light. Cephalotus enjoy and show full colors in full sun, but part sun is also acceptable. If your plant is indoors, in a terrarium or greenhouse, or generally in winter, use artificial light bulbs.

The best bulbs to use for your Cephalotus are plant lights – these can be fluorescent bulbs or long fixtures with special LED grow lights. Use 40-60w bulbs. The number of bulbs will depend on how many plants you have. Hang LED grow lights 12 inches above the plants, and around 8-10 inches for fluorescent bulbs.

If using fluorescent lights, use bright fixtures to equal 40-50 watt (can be a total of 5-6 fixtures of bright T5 fixtures). Don’t use incandescent or mercury vapor lights, as they get too hot and won’t provide your plant with needed light spectrum. Cool white bulbs are good for growing plants.

  • What are optimal temperatures and climate for Cephalotus Follicularis?

Cephalotus Follicularis tend to survive hot summers in Esperance Bay, their natural habitat. But their prefer warm day Cephalotus Follicularis full guide on growing and caretemperatures, and cool nights.

Optimal temperatures in summer during the daytime are around 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius). But they can also survive hotter days, with temperatures ranging from 90-104 Fahrenheit (32-40 Celsius). This is what they sometimes experience in the wild.

Temperatures in winter will be much lower, and Cephalotus can survive frost and snow for short periods of time. The temperature in winter ideally should not be higher than 68 degrees F (20 degrees Celsius). Ideal temperatures are between 50-68 degrees F (10-20 degrees Celsius). The lowest temperature that Cephalotus can survive for a short period of time is around 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 Celsius).

  • Cephalotus Follicularis winter dormancy and care

Cephalotus need lower temperatures in winter, and that is when they become dormant. Growth rates become slow and plant’s leaves don’t turn into pitchers. During three months of winter, the plant will rest – and this is essential. Below we will discuss how to prepare the plant for a winter season. One of the main requirements for winter is dropping the temperatures to 50-68 degrees. Avoid heating unless the temperatures drop below 35 degrees.

  • How do I prune the Cephalotus plant?

You can remove old Cephalotus pitchers or leaves that become brown and dry. Drying leaves can signal lack of light. But generally, old leaves will die and turn brown as new ones grow.

  • Can any pests attack Cephalotus Follicularis?

Scale and fungi might infect Cephalotus leaves and pitchers if the air is too humid and there is lack of light. You will need to use a fungicide to get rid of fungus (white stuff on the plant’s leaves or soil). Scale looks like white dots on the leaves. If you notice few of them, remove them by hand and rub the affected spots with alcohol to prevent spreading.

  • Keeping Cephalotus Follicularis in a greenhouse

Greenhouses are good spots for Cephalotus plants. High summer temperatures will suit hot greenhouses, but you will need to drop the temperatures in evenings and winter. This can be inconvenient, but you can move your plant to a cool house or indoors for three months in winter. You can also use a potable mini-greenhouse, if you don’t have a large outdoors greenhouse.

  • Keeping Cephalotus Follicularis outdoors

You can surely keep your Cephalotus outdoors if the temperatures allow it. This is one of the carnivorous plats that Cephalotus Follicularis growing and carecan live outdoors without special humidity requirements. Choose a sunny to partly sunny spot and place your plant there. Make sure temperatures are preferably not higher than those described above. If evenings are too hot, take the plant inside and place in a cool spot, as they require cool evenings in summer.

In winter, you can keep your Cephalotus outdoors if temperatures are not too low. If temperatures drop below 50 degrees (+10 Celsius) it is ideal to place the plant indoors, on a windowsill. But keep it away from heating devices as plants must become dormant. You can also keep your Cephalotus in a bog garden, that is not waterlogged all the time.

  • Keeping your Cephalotus Follicularis indoors – windowsill

As we have discussed above, you can keep your Cephalotus outdoors if temperatures allow it. If however, you don’t have any outdoor space to keep your plant, or if temperatures don’t allow it, you can keep the plant indoors. In summer, you can keep the plant on a windowsill, so that sunlight can reach the plant. Mist the plant few times a week to increase humidity levels slightly.

If there is no sunlight and generally in winter, use plant growing light or fluorescent bulbs to provide light. In winter, move your plant to a cool spot with the maximum temperature of 68 degrees. Keep the plant away from heating devices.

  • Keeping your Cephalotus Follicularis in a terrarium

You can keep your Cephalotus in a terrarium in summer, but choose a rather large tank and keep the lid open most of the time. Your Cephalotus doesn’t require high humidity levels. Hang the grow light on top of the plant. In winter, make sure temperatures inside the terrarium are not higher than 68 degrees. Otherwise, move the plant somewhere cool for dormancy.

  • What do Cephalotus Follicularis eat and what can I feed them?

Cephalotus have rather small pitchers and don’t need big insects for feeding. Your plant will catch insects itself, but if you are keeping it indoors or in a greenhouse, there is a chance that it won’t be able to do it. Feed only few bugs once in two-three weeks and check that pitchers are empty before feeding more insects. If you want to feed your Cephalotus, choose small bugs such as ants, small mealworms or crickets. You can feed freeze dried insects, too. Skip feeding in winter. Don’t feed your Cephalotus any meat or cheese, as pitcher will rot and food will smell.

Cephalotus Follicularis care and growing guide
  • How often do I need to repot my Cephalotus?

Transplant your Cephalotus once in 2-3 years, in late winter when the plant is still dormant. Be careful with plant’s roots.

  • Do I need to fertilize my Cephalotus plants?

If using any fertilizer, get one for acidity loving plants. The best fertilizer for Cephalotus is an Orchid fertilizer. Dilute this fertilizer greatly (1 teaspoon per 1 gallons or around 4 liters of water). Spray on the foliage only once a month.

  • Cephalotus Follicularis propagation

The best way to propagate Cephalotus quickly is with leaf or root cuttings.

  • Leaf cuttings: To get leaf cuttings, pull leaves from the petiole that emerges from the main rhizome. Petiole is where a leaf attaches to a stem. It will take around 2-3 years to get a plant from leaf cuttings.
  • Roots cuttings: When the plant is still dormant, expose its roots and cut its rhizome in half (get some roots too). You will need to wait for shoots before potting a new plant.