Sign in to follow this  

Terrarium for Germination - worried about the amount of light

Recommended Posts

Hello, this is my first post in this forum, and one of the main reasons I join rather than just stalk all your old answers.

I've some experience with carnivorous plants and plants in general, also in bonsai, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I actually know what I'm doing. And I've none whatsoever with terrariums and artificial lighting.

I recently got re-interested in carnivorous plants strongly, and the only way to get plants where I live, with a few exceptions, is by ordering them online. Like living plants have hard regulations and even quarantines times here, I ordered seeds online.

So, to the point.

I builded a "terrarium" to grow the seeds now, and in the future to keep some of the plants I'll grow there.

I used a space that was originally build for a TV, but like I haven't had a TV for over 4 years I thought about giving this empty space a better use. Here is the thing



It's very simple, enough to keep the humidity and heat inside I think

Here is the thing that is worrying me. It's about 65cm tall, and worried about the amount of light.

Right now I've this LED panelin it.

This is how it looks:


(it's no finished yet)

I put some aluminum foil in the walls, and I also redirected the LED spot lights outside to the inside. It doesn't give much extra light, but you can see the plants inside better.

So, this is my question, is this enough light to germinate seeds? should I lower the panel? get another one? another source of light maybe? Should I forget about this wretched thing and just germinate them outside?

The seeds which I plant to germinate there are the following ones:

- Sarracenia seeds (already in the fridge) After their first year or so I'm going to put them outside.

- Darlingtonia seeds (also in the fridge) With this ones I wanted to try some inside, and some outside after they grow a bit, I'm worried about the high temperatures in summer.

- Heliamphora nutans. Now this ones are important to me. This ones are the ones which I more care about. I only have five of them (in the mail right now) and are really hard to find. I almost bought some plants from wistuba but I didn't have the courage, nor the money to import living plants. Also, this ones are really important because they are the main plant that I think to grow in this "terrarium" once the seedling stage is over. So any advice here would be very very welcome.

- Cephalotus seeds (also in the mail and really hard to find) I also only have 5 of them, and cant afford to lose them.

-And a bunch of nepenthes seeds (highland and lowland). Now, this maybe was unwise, but I found a seller in eBay who sold me 400 seeds for like 5 dollars, and I couldn't resist. I really don't worry about this ones, I've so many. Nonetheless, I want to give them the best possibly chances of growing.

Please, pardon the long post, and any mistake in my english, I had the luck of studying english in London for about a month, but I don't think it was near enough.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I might have asked a rather long or complicated question, or that it might be better placed in the propagation section... either way I got the cephalothus and heliamphora seeds today, and I'm gonna show you where things are standing right now.

So, I took some yoghurt bottles and put inside them about 3cm of mini-LECA at the bottom, then another 2 to 3cm of dead sphagnum moss (I can't get it alive here, although I'm succeding in growing some from the dead fibers). I treated it with an antifungal, and also, before doing this, I microwaved the LECA and the glass bottles. I put a seed in each and cover the bottle with plastic film. I'm planning on retiring the film once germination starts. To have different conditions, I put in 2 of them a 1cm layer of peat between the LECA and the moss, and also, I didn't cover 2 of them.


I proceeded to put 2 in my windowsill, with filtered light.


And I put the rest inside the terrarium, which now has an extra fluorescent light. I'm going to put a better set up this weekend, along with another fluorescent lamp.


Any advice?

Edited by El_Atu

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your seeds which u referred above need different conditions to get them to germinate.

However, if I were u and wanted advice would make my posts short and clear to get the right answers.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might get away with 10W of LED for initial germination but I do not think it will suffice for further growth. Personally I would put in additional fluorescent light fittings alongside the LED panel. Not only will this give additional light, it will also fill in some of the missing wavelengths that the LED does not have.

You might have fungal issues with the jar method you are using too, despite your preparation. In all cases where I have used enclosed jars I have had fungal issues.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your answers.

Right now I'm installing a 2 fluorescent bulb reflector, each bulb of 20w. This gives a lot of light. I'm gonna upload a photo later.

I was worried about fungal infection also, I wanted to raise humidity for a couple of days hoping it to help jumpstart germination and open them later on. I think I'm gonna open them now. Also I couldn't find a fan yet but I'm planning of installing one.

I was worried about the drainage also. I was taking care of kepping then just moist, without water at the bottom.

Should I take them out and put them in a more conventional germination tray while there is still time?

Sorry about the long posts, believe me, they were longer before...

Mobile, thanks a lot for your detailed answer, I read a lot of your post before even joining the forum. The heliamphora that you grow under LEDs is amazing, and that was one of the reasons I had the courage to try LEDs myself. So I'm gonna take your advice to the letter.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about your light right now, I would worry about the seeds in close jars were they are...

Cephs - one conditions.

Neps - other conditions.

Helis - different conditions.

Sarras and cobra - different conditions.

All this mean different temperatures, humidity, strat or not strat, amount of light etc.

It doesn't mean only to put them in jars under the light...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I know they have different requirements. But I have read that a lot of people have succeeded in germinating this seeds in lowland conditions, and only after germination worrying about specific conditions. But maybe this is a mistake

Right know I have temperatures of 26 Cº at day, and 20 Cº at night, and an humidity between 50% and 70%.

Longterm, I hope to keep the helis in there, and maybe some cobras. Sarras are going outside, also most of the nepenthes. I'm not sure what to do with cephs yet... Here spring is just starting, and it can get to 35 Cº in summer.

Also, regarding stratification, sarras and cobras are right now in the fridge.

I took your advice and I've opened the jars. I'm considering taking them out of them right now.


Here is the one thread where lowland conditions are mentioned for heliamphora seeds.

Dimitar, I actually know nothing about cephalotus, and I was hoping those conditions were good enough. I've seen your cephs! they are beautiful! congrats!

Edited by El_Atu

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this