Albany Pitcher (Cephalotus)

Cephalotus, or the West Australian pitcher plant, can be a little tricky to grow. It tends to keel over and die suddenly! It is worth persevering, though. They can tolerate sun or shade, but we would recommend a sunny position but put of full sun. The traps tend to be greener but larger if in a shadier place. We grow ours in our tropical house.

The larger leaves and traps form in shadier conditions, and the plant has more colour if kept in the sun. However, they can suffer if allowed to overheat, so beware of hot temperatures in a glasshouse, particularly in the spring when the sun comes out before vents and doors are open. A cool greenhouse is ideal, or an east or west windowsill.

Use a water tray or saucer, but don’t let them get to water logged – 12cm depth is okay. Let the plant dry out just a little between waterings. Use rainwater or soft water.

Winter Care    
The Cephalotus appreciates cooler temperatures but is best-kept frost-free. So keep damp over winter.

Use 2:1 peat: sand.

Grow from leaf cuttings. Lay the leaf on a moist compost mix and place it in the propagator. You can also take root cuttings by cutting the root into 5 cm long pieces and treating them in the same way.

Pest and disease
Prone to mildew, but you can use a proprietary fungicide as directed. Watch out for botrytis, especially in tightly packed plants. Scale can sometimes attack them.

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