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Thread: Worth it getting a Terrarium for pings?

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Worth it getting a Terrarium for pings?

    Have been battling with whether getting a Terrarium is worth it for Pings? Im probably going to repot my pings into a more mineral based mix. (Im thinking probably the APS and Terfus, or a Mix of either one of those with Sand).

    I actually prefer the look of it (based on what im seeing in other people's pictures) and it makes me worry about root rot less.
    However, my humidity isn't great in our house, it sits about 39-45 ish most of the time. In Winter it can get down to low 30's in our house (Due to running the heat). Im in an open air setup, so I don't think misting would help.

    I also am running very TALL pots right now, probably too tall (They are 5.5 inch tall pots, I've seen suggestions that maybe 2x2 pots might be better?). If I change to a more well draining media, I wonder if the water level (1.5 inches right now) would be able to reach it. Otherwise I might try top watering (Since it seems like Pings seem to sorta like being a little dry perhaps)

    Anyways, i've gotten off topic: The Terrarium: I planned on getting maybe a 30 gallon sized one with my 2 foot long/4 bulb light over the top. With maybe using an Egg crate to push them closer to the light (otherwise they'd be around 14 inches away). With a higher humidity I probably wouldn't need the tray method I would think as much, and be able to top water when things look dry.

    Or is this not really worth it for the Humidity? (Im also going to grow sundews with them as well for reference.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Mexican Pinguicula do not need a terrarium; most could be grown as houseplants if you acclimate them to the humidity. They should be top-watered (with care not to soak the leaves too much) as is, whether they are in a mostly mineral soil or not (which they should be), and can tolerate a lot of drying out should one accidentally forget a watering day, and many rather need the dry period in winter. There are some species that prefer constant moisture (some moranensis forms, gigantea, emarginata, other homophyllous species) but even those can be tolerant.
    I would suggest looking up the Pinguicula index (pinguicula.org) for species info and cultivation recommendations in general.
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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Yeah I guess I was trying to 'force' them in my possible terrarium (potentially) with the other sundews (as i've seen others do the same thing with their pings)....but living in Mexico I can't imagine the humdity levels would be very high there either. I will be 100% moving to a mineral based media for my pings for sure however (it looks MUCH much more natural). I've heard the APS is the same as Turface (spelling), does anyone know if this is true?

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    jeff 2's Avatar
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    Bonjour

    I totally agree hcarlton .

    actually all my mexican ping ( except emarginata )are out door in calcareous substrate , with watering ( rain water) by the pot bottom in capillaritis ,every 15 days , from may to october .

    from october to may ( here in winter) dry or slightly wet , for the filiform completely dry except from moctezumae .

    you can also use the hydroponic method just river sand and perlite (vermiculite)


    NB: never forget that were carnivores they need to catch insects for food

    jeff
    Last edited by jeff 2; 07-15-2016 at 03:35 AM.

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Yeah, seems like a waste overall for the Terrarium front, I saw pictures of people with their Pings in terrariums with high humidity and the leaves seem to get HUGE!. But I also heard the smaller the leaves actually the better? (not sure if theirs any truth to this).

    Regardless most pictures they are NOT growing in a Terrarium, and I can't imagine Mexico having a super high humidity.

    That being said I think Im going to be switching to 100% mineral based media, if I do that should I let the tray dry out between waterings? (Or is that only if I use an organic media). I honestly sorta want to err on the side of caution but not sure how "Dry" these things can handle it.

    Outside unfortunately is not an option for my location.
    Last edited by Mercfh; 07-15-2016 at 06:46 AM.

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    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    Again, with most Mexi-pings, you have a lot of wiggle-room. Mine stay in a constant water tray, and only dry out when I forget to add water. They're kept in the same conditions (even the same trays) as several tropical 'dews and even some sarracenia seedlings. The only difference is in the media, with the sarracenia and sundew media being able to wick up much more water and stay wet, while the tops of the ping pots typically look bone-dry all the time.

    As for color and size...compactness usually indicates that it is getting a lot of light (good thing). Same with coloration. Pink / red coloration on pings that have the ability to do so is often desired, and a sign that the plant has enough light. Like most CP's (a few oddballs like D. adelae and most utrics notwithstanding) it's hard to overdo it with light, especially artificial light. If you're getting them to color up and grow compactly, you're doing your job right.

    Pot-size: 5.5" tall may be a bit much with an inert media, unless you keep the water-table higher to compensate, but there's also no reason to move down to 2" x 2" seedling pots, unless you just want to. I use 4"x 4" x 3.5" pots and that seems to work with keeping anywhere between 1/2" to 3/4" water table. I also keep multiple plants per pot (at least of small varieties like P. esseriana and P. cyclosecta) unless and until they grow out of them or start to get crowded.

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    I think when I repot to a diff media 4"x4" will be a perfect size, I have 2 smaller ones per pot in the larger pots.

    My pings look bright red/pink so I guess that's good? Light is about 6-8 inches above. I hope you are right about them not really ever getting "too" much sun. So many people's pings look green whereas mine are bright pink/reddish (Which looks good, but makes me worry something is wrong). My lights are Very strong though.

    That being said, if I decided to switch to a "tray drying" out method, WITH using more inert media (Like a 100% mineral based). I've heard these things can take a good amount of dryness and be ok ( I would hope so being in Mexico). I sort of want to err on the side of caution with the whole fungus/crown root rot thing. (Seems like they do better drier than wetter)

    My only other final question is on humidity: Any reasoning why the pings in humid climates/terrariums have WAYY bigger leaves? Or is having a lowish humidity not really a problem for them?

    Thanks for all your help! as you can tell I am a bit OCD about some of these things. I think I prolly over-estimate how difficult pings are maybe?
    Last edited by Mercfh; 07-15-2016 at 10:30 AM.

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    Grey Moss's Avatar
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    I'm not sure there is any correlation between plant size and humidity. The plants you've seen were probably under different lighting conditions and stages of maturity. The carnivorous and succulent growth also can be very different in size in some species of Mexican pings. All these put together could be the reason plants in higher humidity seem to have larger leaves than those that aren't.

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    I've also heard the healthier plants actually have smaller carnivorous leaves (not sure of any truth to that), but I guess it would make sense: IE getting proper light they don't need as much leaf surface area.

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    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercfh View Post
    I've also heard the healthier plants actually have smaller carnivorous leaves (not sure of any truth to that), but I guess it would make sense: IE getting proper light they don't need as much leaf surface area.
    If I had to guess, it's due to them getting -more- surface area while compromising with faster growth, ergo, smaller leaves that don't shade out the leaves below.

    Species has a lot to do with the size as well. Some are naturally massive, while others simply aren't. And like Grey Moss said, how mature they are plays a part as well.

    As for humidity, it's not really a concern. The plants will adapt as long as it remains fairly steady, even at a very low RH.

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