Blogs

 

Hacking together a grow light

<from the forum>
My 'test' light setup I'm playing around with is in a 30cmx20cm tank lined with mylar. I'm only using half of it - so estimate a 20cm x 15cm area that contains two small pots with drosera aliciae in them. Both were repotted from a crowded pot. Neither looks very well at the moment - probably because I keep experimenting on them ;-) both are about 10cm from the lights balanced on upturned plant pots.   The lights. Both on the same heatsink (20cm x 8cm) - I have 5 lots of 20cm 5050 led 'grow' strips with the red/blue leds. Claims to be 14.4w per meter. I also have 4x 3W COB leds (6500k).   I can run either or both.   Is either suitable for the two small pots? Is running both better? Is running the red/blue better? Is running the white better?   This setup is really just me playing around with LEDs and improving my soldering skills but I'd like to ultimately use this setup or one similar with more power across the small tank as a propagation/small plant tank especially for winter growing plants. Any advice from the group would be welcome. I find LED threads have some great ideas, but are hazy on just how much light is required.
</from the forum>   The light itself uses 1m of grow LED strip, cut into 5x20cm strips and soldered back together. This claims 14.4W of light in the ranges plants need. The white LEDs are all 3W COB LEDs of 6500k. The whole thing looks very very bright to me, but I've no idea if my plants would like it. I'm planning on growing chilli seedlings in it with some also on my window sill in the same room, see if there is any difference. If I ever get satisfied it works its going to be a germination/seedling tank for carns - probably cephalotus as I'm a bit obsessed with getting cuttings from mine. The heatsink does get quite warm. I've added a PC case fan powered from the 12v adaptor thats powering the strips and this seems to work quite well at keeping things cool.   I'd love to hear peoples thoughts - even if you're just telling me its not suitable. It was/is only ever really meant as an experiment in LEDs and electronics as its been a very long time since I've done anything in this area.

Yunzi

Yunzi

 

Free Darlingtonia seed

Have a small excess of Darlingtonia seed and i would be interested to see if anyone would like some of it let me know if you are interested and i will let you know how to recieve some there is no charge for the seed but if you send me a self addressed stamped envelope ill send the seed, how much seed you get will depend on how many people would like some LA guys and ladies of course Pirate. Please do not ask if you intend to sell them on, i was donated two cephalotus and its my way of helping people to get a plant they may not be able to afford thanks

Pirate.radio.dj

Pirate.radio.dj

 

Contemplating an outdoor bog garden

I guess I'm not alone in finding this hobby taking over my life! What started out as a cute idea for a novelty plant that might help keep down a few flies (which thankfully disappeared the day before the first CPs arrived) is taking on a life of its own. My latest thought, mainly motivated by the lack of space in the house, was to look into an outdoor bog garden. I reckon I'll have to wait until the spring for this, it's probably not the time of year now, but I can start dreaming. Also, being the impetuous type, once I've come up with an idea, I have to check it out right away. So, I went to the Bog Gardens section of the site with the intention of asking a question, and found that several people had got there before me. Great, means there are answers already! In particular, I found this excellent thread started by Floydsdad. This had several advantages for me over the other posts there. First, it was started last January, way before I got into this hobby, and has been updated ever since, so there's a good follow-up. Secondly, he's added loads of photos, so we can see what he did. Thirdly, and maybe most important for me (psychologically at least), he only lives a few miles away, so I can have confidence that if his bog garden can survive here in tropical sunny (ahem) Manchester. So, off to the phrontistery (fancy word for a place where you go to think) to plan this out. Hopefully I'll keep a record of what I did here.

Yossu

Yossu

 

Feeding the plants - our adventure into grossville UK

Well, having just posted a rambling without any real content, I just remembered that we did something today that has some slight content. I asked about feeding the plants with worms and suchlike, see http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=56190 for the interesting discussion that followed. I was surprised at the variety of things people shove into their plants, having previously thought you should let them fend for themselves. Well, there was this fly buzzing around our house today, and it was really annoying me. I grabbed the net I use for pulling dead fish out of the tank (not that this ever happens, ahem) and managed to catch the fly. It wasn't easy, but it became personal when it evaded escape for the first few times! I'm sure it stuck it's tongue out at me as well. Well, I wasn't going to stand for that, so I gave chase and got it. By this time, I had an audience of amused and curious little girls, who wanted to know what I was going to do with the fly now I had caught it. When I said I was going to feed the VFT, there was chorus of excited squeals, and a dash for the dining room windowsill to get a good seat. Having fed the plant, I happened to mention that we could also feed them other bugs, and there was an immediate stampede into the garden, where every stone was lifted in search of anything that moved! The VFT ended up with a gala dinner of a worm, a slug and the original fly. One of the N. Bloody Marys got a slug and a millipede, and the S. Chelsonii got two slugs (one not very alive by this time, and shoved down the pitcher by me). A good time was had by all (except the bugs I guess), and the plants got fed. I promised them that we would feed the sundews with bloodworms and/or fish food next. You didn't know that growing CPs was a spectator sport, did you? Have a wonderful weekend.

Yossu

Yossu

 

Yossu's brand new blog - will anyone read it?

Just discovered that I can create my own gallery and blog here, so I get even more chances to witter on about nothing! As I'm in my bedroom, using an iPad and contemplating a late afternoon nap, I don't have pictures to display (other than the sole picture in my gallery, which isn't even a CP), so this will be pretty content-free. Much like what will follow I guess! If my addled mind remembers, I'lll post something CP-related when I next get to my computer, and bore you all stupid with my ramblings! Have a great weekend.

Yossu

Yossu

 

Water Propogation 2015 Progress . . .

Hello all who stumble across this. . . . . .. I originally read an interesting post by NialFM and rather than fill that with nonsense I thought it best to start this blog and link it from there Producing plantlets of VFT and drosera via water immersion technique http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=55419 So, what's going on here? - After reading the above experiment I decided to have a pop myself. I have the time and patience so why not?

gricey

gricey

 

From now to the future.

Well it has been fun getting my little Drosera capensis from seed to flower. Planted first set of successful seeds on 2nd October 2013. Germinated on 25th October 2013. First true leaves 5th November 2013. First flower spike seen 28th June 2014. Now between the sowing of the seeds and the flower I had fungal problems, mishap with environmental change and fungus gnats but I have now some very healthy and strong plants. Now thanks to a kind member on the site I have more than enough seeds to fill my house a hundred times over with Drosera. Things I will be trying in the coming months and in the new growing season: Leaf Cuttings. Different types of growing media. A large scale Drosera setup. Wild moss types as surface cover. All in good time but hope to have some on the go very soon.

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

Flower flower flower

After the mutant faulse alarm and nearly losing my plants to a strande blackening of the leaves I have my first flower spike emerging. Even I can tell this is a flower spike, well I'm 90% sure it is I may post an image on the forum so keener eyes than mine can confirm it. Fuzzy little thing it is.

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

follow up of entry 1

So.. I went to repot my Drosera and i noticed a flower stalk only 1 inch (3 cm) long!!! first time I've seen a real flower stalk forming! Així que .. me'n vaig anar a replantar meu Drosera i em vaig adonar d'una flor de tija només 1 polzada (3 cm) de llarg! primera vegada que he vist una veritable formació de tija de la flor! Also .. Ich ging zu meinem Drosera umtopfen und ich bemerkte einen Stiel nur 1 Zoll (3 cm) lang! erste Mal, dass ich eine echte Blütenstiel bilden gesehen!

NateCarnivore

NateCarnivore

 

#1

So, I'm new to the world of meat-eating plants, but I would like to collect them. At this point i only have 2 kinds of Sundews, a Venus flytrap, and a Nepenthes Pitcher plant. The Sundews are D. Aleciae and D. Adelae. My Nepenthes is N. Ventricosia. I'll post updates on them! ~NateCarnivore P.s. My sundews keep sending up root based babies... Do I divide them, or will it kill the mother???

NateCarnivore

NateCarnivore

 

Drosera, Sunny days and ants

Well we have had some good sunny days and I have taken full advantage by running out first light with plants and bringing back in as the cooler nights draw in. The growth of the plants from this is amazing and each plant is sending up new leaf shoots every day. Along with this they are catching a huge amount of food. in a matter of hours most of the leaves have something stuck to them. One plat got hold of an ant... I didn't know how it would cope with this and it didn't do well. Within a few ours the leaf was looking a little odd and I removed the ant but a few more hours on and the area where the ant had been looked 'burnt' for want of a better word. By that night the leaf was bent in half the section forward of the burn was flopping down and the area where the ant had been was soft and brown. Without checking more I can only conjecture on what could have damaged the plant, the speed of damage makes me think it is something like the formic acid that is doing the damage. I have no idea if in time this would have allowed the ant to escape unharmed as it was already smothered and didn't make much of an attempt to move when removed from the leaf.

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

My how they grow!

Well it has been a little while... All sign of the fungus gnat are gone thanks to some hand picking and a few brave mites. We have sun again and as such my little seedlings are now sending out new groth light anything. The harder task now is staying ontop of watering, they have moved onto rain water and looks like no probs there. Feeding is also something I will keep an eye on now as springtails just don't cut it for the size of the traps. I do hope in time to swap a few plants for something else but want to get them a little bigger before that happens. Oh and keep cats away from plants I was picking hairs off them for age after one got noto the windowsill.

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

I should have known if my plants were catching fungus gnats then there was a chance that the larvae could be in the sphagnum moss they are growing in. Sure enough they are I removed two with a pin but where there are two there are twenty. The two I removed I fed to the plants... oddly enough on contact with the dew they writhed and knotted themselves in the same way a hag fish does. I'm guessing this is to try and remove the mucus from their skin. Within seconds they have elongated to full length and gone rigid, it is hard to tell if they are dead or simply in paralysis by the mucus. I will test this at some point at greater magnification. At the moment I can only hope they are happy to eat the dead moss and not the roots of my plants...

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

Cold, dark and not fun for plants.

As I type this hail is battering at the window, Well it has been a little while since I added a page to my blog. My little plants are still doing well and feeding like mad but due to the low light levels growth has all but stopped. Each plant now has about eight leaves and two that have yet to unfurl. All in all the plants look like they have gone into a slow growth phase. I now see the importance of light for them, not that I don't know that all plants need light my ficus is also slumbering waiting for longer days but it does go to show that without light feeding of Drosera is little close to pointless. On the note of feeding one of my little seedlings has caught its first big prey, a fungus gnat. It is also the first time I have seen all of the tentacles come into contact with a trapped insect and the curl to engulf it. The leaf in question is only approximately two millimeters wide by four long and I am still having to observe any action with a magnifying lens. The dew on the seedlings comes and goes, some days it is heavy and visible with the naked eye, others it is only a very thin film over the glands only discernible with magnification. This has also let me see that the glands on the outer tentacles are on the side rather than on the top as in the ones closer to the middle of the leaf, I do not know if this is a trait of Drosera capensis and I will have to look into this. I have seen something the same in pygmy Drosera and labeled as 'snap tentacles' although the ones on the D. capensis do not show any faster movement than their counterparts. I wait like the plants for longer days so I can again see the rate of growth...

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus

 

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Getting bigger and feeding well... I have seen a slow down in the growth but I have this down to falling temps and light levels (still growing on windowsill). I just hope it doesn't get too clod for them but from what I have been told they are somewhat bomb proof. As you can see the little springtails have little chance, they are deep in the moss but from time to time must come up and get stuck in the tentacles.

Little-Bacchus

Little-Bacchus