cool weather (50°-75°F) Heliamphora enjoy 50-75%
sun. During warmer weather, the sunlight should be reduced
to about 50% to avoid overheating the plants. Tall, thin
or spindly pitchers indicate too much shade. Using sunlight,
the average foot-candle reading (using a light meter) runs
from about 700-1,000 foot-candles. If you are growing indoors
in a terrarium, fluorescent lights work very well. Many
growers use cool white tubes only, however, experts recommend
that a mixture of 50% fluorescent plant lights, such as
Gro-Lux™, and 50% cool white provide a better quality
light and produce better red pigments. Under fluorescent
lights, keep the plants fairly close to the lights, 4-5
inches below them. Keep the terrarium cover clean of dust
and dirt as this can dramatically reduce light. Optimum
light readings using fluorescent bulbs run from about 580-750
foot candles. Do not use spotlights, as these are too hot.
Water: Do not allow Helaimphora to
dry out completely. They benefit from moist media and
occasional flooding to wash away any accumulated salts.
Use relatively clean water such as rain, distilled or
purified water. Tap water can be used in many localities
if the water is low in salts. Low levels of chlorine
do not seem to be a problem.
Humidity: This should be from about
65-90%, with 85% being close to optimal.
Temperature: Cooler temperatures are
best, from 50-80°F. Night time cooling is advised,
rather than a constant temperature. Most Heliamphora
can tolerate daytime highs up to 95°F for short periods.
Some of the rarer species such as H. tatei and H. ionasii
require colder nights (45-58°F), but most others
live happily with night time lows of 55-70°F. Do
Planting Mixes: A mixture of 40% perlite
and 60% long fiber sphagnum works well and the ratios
can be varied as long as drainage is good and the media
doesn’t dry out too frequently. Keep the growing
crown above soil level when transplanting and do not
allow live moss to cover the crown.
Feeding: Feeding is usually not needed,
but adding a few small insects every few months can be
beneficial. You may use very diluted Miracid™ fertilizer
in the pitchers. Use 1/4-1/3 teaspoon of Miracid per
gallon of water and put about a tablespoon of this solution
in a few pitchers every month or so. Do not fertilize
the roots. Trim away dead leaves and flower stalks. The
flower stalks of Heliamphora can get over a foot long
and may bend around terrarium covers, but do not lower
the plant away from the light as it will get too dark.
The developing flower stalk can be trimmed away at any
time. Older, larger plants may need to be divided if
they appear crowded.