Cephalotus or the West Australian pitcher plant can be a little tricky to grow. It has a tendency to suddenly keel over and die! It is worth persevering though. They can tolerate sun or shade but we would recommend a bright position but put of full sun. The traps tend to be greener but larger if in a shadier position. We grow ours in our tropical house.
The larger leaves and traps form if they are in shadier conditions, and the plant has more colour if kept in the sun. 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 too water logged – 12cm depth is fine. Let the plant dry out just a little between waterings. Use rainwater or soft water.
Cephalotus appreciates cooler temperatures, but are best-kept frost free. Keep just damp over winter.
Use 2:1 peat:sand.
Grow from leaf cuttings -lay leaf on a damp mix of compost and place in propagator. Root cuttings can also be taken by cutting the root into 5cm long pieces and treating 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.