Terrarium plant advice
Posted 07 December 2012 - 15:21 PM
PS. heres some gratiutous photos of my happy place :)
Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:19 AM
As for pitcher plants (Im a nepenthes fan) most of them end up getting big, needing cooler nights or needing a dormancy period (as with sarracenia) however, smaller, lower growing sarracenia can do OK in terrariums for a few years. Im growing sarracenia purpurea in a blown glass terrarium under t5 grow lights with good results. although I know the plant will tucker out in a few years due to no dormancy, the plant was cheap and when it croaks i will re purpose the container. I have it growing in lava rock/sand/peat/pure living sphagnum, with utricularia livida as a companion plant. I have been thinking of trying sarracenia psittacina in a glass terrarium next. its a low growing american pitcher plant that grows into smaller rosettes.
of you want to really get into CPs, I think nepenthes are the best. in fact, its my favorite genus of plants. you could try the smaller growing lowland to intemediate species, or even try some of the smaller growing highlanders that are considered to be forgiving of occassional higher temps. if you want more advice on these let me know.
Whatever you do, lighting, humidity and temp are important. I would suggest using grow lights - you didint mention your lighting plan in your post but your London windowsills are probably wont supply enough sun for CPs. t5 grow lights are the way to go in my opinion.
Also speaking from experience, i grew heliamphora minor and heliamphora heteredoxa x minor for a few years in a terrarium under lights and found them to be forgiving of the higher temps and easy overall. they grow slowly and stay small, but you have the have the correct soil, good drainage
And of course always use distilled water!
How is that answer?
- Ony likes this
Posted 12 December 2012 - 22:27 PM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:05 AM
2 t5 bulbs should work well. I mix 6400K with 3000K which gives warmer light. It almost appears orangey-pink compared to the 6500. It may bring out more reds in the plants and makes them look better viewing wise in my opinion.
CPs are so addicting! Let me know how it goes.
Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:03 PM
Posted 13 December 2012 - 13:05 PM
The plants which are all doing quite well so far are: Drosera capensis, D. adelae, D. aliciae, D. spatulata, D. prolifera (new runner cutting), D. regia (seedlings); Cephalotus follicularis (motherplant and 2013 leaf pullings) the leaf pullings have really appreciated the move to this environment; there's also Utricularia longifolia and Nepenthes x [aristolochioides x spectabilis] in there (but not under the propogator cover) plus Heliamphora x [heterodoxa x minor] under an individual dome. These last 3 plants are also doing very well.
The seed kit sounds interesting but it might take a while to fill your terrarium. Btw I wish our own weedy anthuriums looked half as good as yours do. Perhaps we should move them near the T5's.
Good luck with your setup, it would be nice to see some more pics of the final outcome.
Edited by Gaz, 14 December 2012 - 08:37 AM.
Posted 14 December 2012 - 00:29 AM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 14:56 PM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 19:44 PM
Posted 16 December 2012 - 19:18 PM
As far as the trade off between closest lamp distance and baking a plant, it depends on the plant and the kind of lighting. In the case of T5HOs, you can move them up to a few inches from the plant without any serious damage from heat. In the case of HIDs, it does depend upon the wattage, but you need at least 12" of clearance. It also depends what kind of plants you are growing. Nepenthes are very sensitive to sunburn. They can burn under 150W HIDs if they get too close. However, sarracenia's are very resistant to scorching. However, despite the heat those lamps throw off, they are still much more efficient than T5HOs. A single 400W HPS lamps throws off as much light as 10 54W 4-foot T5HO lamps [Source: ACF Greenhouses]. If you had an array of 10 T5s, you would end up producing more heat than the single 400W lamp.
Even if you don't have HID's, I'd still encourage you to give utrics a try. I found them to be absolutely delightful plants. Like any plant or animal, you have to respect it for what it is and what it needs. If you don't have the high light, then choose a variety which will have stolons that you can still appreciate, and stolon shape/size can vary greatly between utric species and deserves appreciation in its own right. I would especially recommend the terrestrial utrics. Even if I didn't have HIDs (and at the moment I don't), I'd still give utrics a go. They are wonderful, underrated plants. In fact, once I get my sundews re-established, I'd like to trade some of them for utrics.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:24 AM
You will be limited by space in this situation - only about 2 feet wide so look for CPs that stay on the smaller side.
I have success with such setups with nepenthes but also heliamphora, a few utrics, a few butterworts, and one sarracenia over the past year. Youre gonna love using the t5 lighting!
You mentioned N. bloody mary. I looked it up. looks like a good starter nep for you! May end up getting big after a while tho because ventricosa and ampullaria can end up being larger growers.
If you can figure out a way to keep your flat cooler in the summer that will open up your options for nepenthes. I had trouble keeping the nepenthes cool in my last apartment myself, and lost quite a few plants. I moved into my new condo that has central air about a year ago and im now building my collection back up.
Keep us posted on the tank/enclosure that you end up getting and then we can give you more advice on appropriate plants
Posted 18 December 2012 - 00:42 AM
Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:45 AM
I dont think nepenthes would do well in a London apt under lights unless in an enclosure. im speaking from experience growing them in nyc. they will grow leaves but wont pitcher due to the low humidity.
If you do go with an aquarium tank, You can always vary the amount that the tank is open on the top in order to control humidity.
With water trays, the humidity will be more around the base of the plants.
the tops of the plants will still dry out too much, in my opinion.
nepenthes like 75% humidity or higher.
drosera also prefer very high humidity to create the sticky dew that they are known for.
what about an enclosure with a sliding front or a front door that opens?
you might be able to get away with sarracenia without the terrarium as long as their substrate is on the boggy side.
Posted 18 December 2012 - 14:56 PM
Posted 18 December 2012 - 15:09 PM
Posted 18 December 2012 - 15:43 PM
Posted 18 December 2012 - 16:21 PM
Edit: I wish it was true that nothing dried out here, my big aquarium loses about 20 liters of water *per week*. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother topping it up, two days later and the waterline is below the rim anyway. Maybe that will help with the humidity though.
Edited by Ony, 18 December 2012 - 16:27 PM.
- Math_U_M likes this
Posted 19 December 2012 - 23:19 PM
Im in the states so I have few options for good looking terrariums (I feel like europe is ahead of us on this.) I wanted an ADA tank but they are so hard to get. I think im going to get a Mr Aqua rimless tank and have a glass top made. Right now im growing my baby neps in a humidity dome, which is about 20" wide by 8" deep.
Since neps get big and vine, and we only have 30" of space, its important to look for smaller growing species, which IMO tend to be more tender and finicky about humidity. I personally would not waste my time trying to grow them out in the open, as I know they love humidity and will be so much happier in a (partially) enclosed enviroment where humidity can be kept high. Its not really an issue of just "not drying out" For example, many of the species like to grow in living sphagnum moss, and like to touch the tendrils or even bury them in the moist moss in order for pitchers to form. Its hard to grow nice living sphagnum without a greenhouse or terrarium in the colder climates like london and NYC. Ive tried to grow living sphagnum under T5 lights on top of gravel in a tray of water in my NYC apt and it didnt work.
I know many people grow neps on windowsills successfully, so Im not trying to push the terrarium idea on you. I just think you will have more options and more control of your growing, and will be happier with the results.
Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:34 PM
My seeds arrived! I have:
Sarracenia sps (hmmm useful!)
D. Binata var dichotoma
Ive bagged up the VFT and sarracenia in some moist filter paper in the fridge and I'm planting the rest in the pot provided. Very excited now.