Buying heliamphora grown from tissue culture?

Tails and Scales in Toronto sells heliamphoras grown from tissue culture. They don't provide much information on their website so I've sent them an email and am awaiting a response. They did say that they will arrive bagged and in sphagnum moss, so I guess that means they're out of the bottle? I've never bought plants from tissue culture so I don't have any idea what to expect. Is there any special procedures I should take beyond normal acclimatizing by keeping it in a bag a couple of days, then slowly poking holes in the bag over a couple days before releasing it from the bag? How long would it take for the heliamphora bought from tissue culture to produce mature traps?
 

Chen

Plant
I sent Tails and Scales an e-mail a while ago but don't think I ever received a response. It was about which nursery the plantlets came from and the estimated size of the plant leaf to leaf. As long as the clones have been hardened off outside of sterile conditions and given a chance to establish roots you should be fine. Personally I would spend a few more dollars and find someone (e.g. private collector or reputable and specialized nursery) willing to sell a larger and more established plant.
 

Carson Hardy

Carnivorous Plant Addict
In my experience...

I have found that heliamphora take a loooong time to go from juvenile pitchers to adult pitchers. And even then, a small setback can cause them to revert to juvenile again...

If the price is right, I'd give them a go. I have had amazing success with plants that were shipped with adult pitchers, and only moderate success with juveniles.
 

WillyCKH

CPSC Moderator
Staff member
Juvenile plants can take 3-10 years before they reach full maturity (of course the type of plant is a big factor because some hybrids grow faster and some harder species can grow much slower). This is generally why the adult Heliamphora are usually on the more "pricey" side.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
I have a Heli from my tissue culture and it's reallllly slow. Finally after months a new, tiny pitcher. I do find that juvenile pitchered plants will mature but slowly. Still if it was easy, we couldn't brag about our plants.
 
Hmm, on second thoughts, I think I'll see if I can get a mature plant. I'll put a post on the "Wanted" section, but if anyone on here's got a H. minor, or anything else small and on the cheaper end, please PM me. For anyone who's curious, Tails and Scales sells some tissue culture heliamphoras for $25.00, with shipping in Ontario a flat $13.00.
 
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WillyCKH

CPSC Moderator
Staff member
Hmm, on second thoughts, I think I'll see if I can get a mature plant. I'll put a post on the "Wanted" section, but if anyone on here's got a H. minor, or anything else small and on the cheaper end, please PM me. For anyone who's curious, Tails and Scales sells some tissue culture heliamphoras for $25.00, with shipping in Ontario a flat $13.00.
I have H. minor with adult pitchers, if you're interested. Send me a PM :)
(Sorry, shameless advertising)
 
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ekmek

Plant
Hey, I bought plants from Tails and scales a little while ago. In particular, I got 2 nepenthes, one of which was listed as being 'out of tissue culture' The plants are all from Borneo Exotics, and reality is I think most (if not all) BE plants are from TC.

The more mature plant (N. robcantleyi x [sibuyanensis x ventricosa]) was a good size, good root mass, and had no issues adapting to my conditions, unfortunately, the same cant be said for the one listed as being from tc (N. bellii). At the time I got it, the bellii was like fresh out of tc and hadn't been hardened off at all, and it did not ship well (although it was in the mail for over 2 weeks). very little root mass, very thin leaves, very small plant.

both plants were shipped with the roots wrapped in some LFS, and then were placed in a plastic back with their label. they were then wrapped in paper and placed in a box.


N. belli.jpg

I will say that while it looks like garbage, it is still very much alive and producing new leaves. This photo was taken back at the beginning of August, 9th, roughly 2 weeks after I received it in the mail.

Honestly, I would purchase the more mature plants from Tails and Scales, but I would not recommend the ones listed as being out of Tissue Culture. It has been a while since I ordered and my experience is with Nepenthes, so assumably they have hardened the plants a bit more, and I don't want to deter you from buying Tissuecultured plants but you can find larger, more established and better priced Heliamphora here or from @WillyCKH's shop.
 
Hey, I bought plants from Tails and scales a little while ago. In particular, I got 2 nepenthes, one of which was listed as being 'out of tissue culture' The plants are all from Borneo Exotics, and reality is I think most (if not all) BE plants are from TC.

The more mature plant (N. robcantleyi x [sibuyanensis x ventricosa]) was a good size, good root mass, and had no issues adapting to my conditions, unfortunately, the same cant be said for the one listed as being from tc (N. bellii). At the time I got it, the bellii was like fresh out of tc and hadn't been hardened off at all, and it did not ship well (although it was in the mail for over 2 weeks). very little root mass, very thin leaves, very small plant.

both plants were shipped with the roots wrapped in some LFS, and then were placed in a plastic back with their label. they were then wrapped in paper and placed in a box.


View attachment 11245
I will say that while it looks like garbage, it is still very much alive and producing new leaves. This photo was taken back at the beginning of August, 9th, roughly 2 weeks after I received it in the mail.

Honestly, I would purchase the more mature plants from Tails and Scales, but I would not recommend the ones listed as being out of Tissue Culture. It has been a while since I ordered and my experience is with Nepenthes, so assumably they have hardened the plants a bit more, and I don't want to deter you from buying Tissuecultured plants but you can find larger, more established and better priced Heliamphora here or from @WillyCKH's shop.
I was actually looking to get the n. belli from Tails and Scales, but when I was doing research on the species, I learned that it hates having it's roots disturbed. Multiple people on forums report n. belli dying upon unboxing, but for those that survive the journey it it's supposedly an easy nepenthes to grow. It is recommended that n. belli be ordered potted rather than bare root. So I sent an email to Tails and Scales asking how they ship. Turns out they ship butterworts, VFT, and sundews potted, but nepenthes bare root. If I do decide to get the n. belli from them one day, I might see if they can ship it potted even if it costs me a little more.

Not saying the tissue culture wasn't a contributing factor, just something to think about should you decide to repot your n. belli one day. Here's a brief care-guide from an experienced grower:

 

Chen

Plant
I received the aforementioned N. bellii clone from Willy and repotted it without issue. I even took off most of the sphagnum moss around the roots and replaced it with new media. Regarding Joel's (NepenthesAroundTheHouse) comments on the bellii species he purchased back in 2003, you have to consider some external factors that may have caused his plants to die from transplant shock. What conditions were the plant grown in? (e.g., High humidity) Was the plant settled in for several months before shipping? How was the plant packaged prior to shipment? Was the plant acclimated to his growing conditions after repotting?
 
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