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Hello comrades, 

I have rescued a mix of plants from the garden centre recently, varieties listed later. I would like my new babies to grow to their best potential. I understand from the forums and experience that outdoor natural light is the best in terms of light delivery and plant health. This was definitely true when I was growing massive Sarracenias , Cape sundews and VFTs in South Africa despite exclusively giving them (relatively soft)  tap water. I now live in Oxfordshire with a West facing garden. I worry about them getting too cold (spring nights dropping to freezing, 10 during the day), not getting enough light (cloudy for most of the day), and getting picked apart by the hordes of birds frequenting my garden.

I was thinking of growing them in the shed. Impulsively I bought a cheap second hand 300W dual spectrum CFL with deflector. I measured it at 17k lumen. I'm convinced this should be sufficient light intensity to grow all of my plants. Is this overkill? I'm also mindful that 300W is costing me £20 a month to run so I have some cheap leds on order 60W blurple 20w 6500k white and a 100W citizen clu048 3500K that I plan to drive at 50W (130W total.) Do you think this would be enough to replace the CFL?

I've checked the temperature in the shed overnight and it gets to say 5 degC and peaks at 24 degC during the day under the lights. Is this too cold for my plants? I'm fortunate enough to work in a lab so I have unlimited supply of de ionised water that I give them.

Pictures of the set up attached, note how dark it is outside during midday.


Any advice from UK growers is much appreciated.  


VFT, Nepenthes hookeriana, Nepenthes sanguinea, Sarracenia, Pinguicula Tina, Drosera capenis, Drosera paradoxa.






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Hi MTech,

I have bought most of my plants at the garden centre. So a number of plants you have I have too (or think I have).

I know a bit about the  Pinguicula Tina. (the first to survie and flourish ) Officially they are not able to withstand cold tempetures or frost, but some of mine have survived some frost (-1 or -2). Yes they become stocky and small, but they do survive. The best care is a south facing window sill at 20 plus degrees. Normally mine are in the kitchen, so perhaps a bit more damp than other rooms. Too much direct sunlight will kill them much faster than a bit less warmth. They dry out much faster than they can replenish water with the tiny, tiny roots they have. So perhaps creating some shade to protect them from the light intensity could be advisable 

That Sarracenia can be put outside and will survive being frozen solid. So no worries there

I think I have the Nepenthes hookeriana. They do need a lot of light and warmth. I am afraid that going much lower than 17 degrees or so will kill them. I think the lights you have will be ok.

The Dionaea muscipula can probably handle everything you throw at them. 

I see I have mainly focussed on the temperature. I can't really fully judge whether the light is enough. I think with my limited knowledge that your judgement is right. 

I was wondering what you will be feeding them when they can't 'hunt' for themselves.

Perhaps some of what I said will help. Hope it will. Good luck.


Regards Rogier

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Thanks for your reply Rogier. Unfortunately I have no South facing Windows. I only have East or West facing, both of which receive only about 3 or so hours of direct light due to obstruction by other buildings, do you reckon these are enough light even with the cloudy weather, at least for now during the summer season? 

So my understanding is the cool shed should be ok for the Sarracenia and VFTs  and perhaps even the Pinguicula under the lights while the Neps need to be kept warm in the house on the window sill? I think the Sundews wouldn't mind either?

Should I maybe construct a terrarium for them? Was thinking once I get my LEDs to channel the heat from the heat sinks back into the grow space with fans to keep them warm; anyone have experience with this?





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you're welcome.

My kitchen window sill is not an all day sunny sill (the houses on the othersie of the road block much sun), but I think it gets a bit more than 3 hours. The plants do just fine. I guess yours will also do fine in summer. As I gather it (I am not a scientist, but do read wikipedia) your lamps will provide about half of the lumen the bright sun does where you live: so a cloudy day in a south facing window sill or a sunny late afternoon in the west. (okay, I'm cutting corners here a bit) And feed them some Gibberellic acid now and again. 

That sounds like a plan. The Neps in the house and perhaps the sundews too. The rest will probably manage just fine. 

A terrarium is indeed the answer for the warmth. I have no experience with terrariums. I focus on getting plants to withstand outdoors. I hope someone will help you out with advice there. 

Anyway, I think you have enough insight and experience to get it right, but I hope my thoughts help.

Regards Rogier

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That's funny. I do the same.

Perhaps you can make a nice place in your shed for the Woodlouse. On of the most ideal bugs to feed to CP's. Harmless, easy to catch and multiply fast enough and they attract big spiders and other hunters, which can also be caught for an occasional big dinner. Just a thought. Then again going out is good for everyone.

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