The genus Heliamphora is made up of 23 species endemic to South America. They grow high above the clouds in the Tepui mountains of Venezuela. The weather can be cold and rainy, but when the sun comes out the plants get a ton of light. Heli is from the Greek word helios, meaning “sun’, so they also go by the name sun pitcher plants.
They secret a sweet nectar which attract prey, mainly small insects. The pitchers are covered in fine downward facing hairs that direct prey deeper inside. These hairs make escaping impossible. The insects tire and fall into the plants digestive fluid. Enzymes break down and absorb the nutrients.
Heliamphora prefer cool days around 75/80F and night time drops into the 50’s for success. Because they require a lot of light, many growers have great success indoors with LED and T5 grow lights. Though many do well around 60F. Moist, bright, and good airflow is key.
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