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Thread: I have all the stuff...What next?

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    Okay, I have
    6 VFT's Small
    2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    1 Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant(5")
    1 12"wide X7" Tall glass covered container
    1 bag of sphag/pearlite mix
    1 bag of white sand
    1 water sprayer
    2 gallons of distilled water...

    How do I put this together properly so they don't die.

    I would like them to live long and prosper...

    Please be step by step specific...

    Thank you very much and I have to get this done by Christmas for a 9 year old boy who things CP's are cool....

    ttt

  2. #2
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi there

    Welcome to the forums. I don't know what "African Violet" companion plants are. But if its Drosera, then its a type of sundew. Having an ID on those would be good so we can tell if they are tropical or temperate plants. Can you post a photo of them?

    Are you planning on making a terrarium? Personally I don't recommend that but many people have CPs in terrariums and they do fine. One issue you have with mixed plants in a terrarium is the dormancy issue. As long as all your plants require dormancy, you will be ok as you can put the whole tank into dormancy.

    Mix the sand with the peat/perlite. You can do a 50/50 mix if you like. You can wet the soil down with the distilled water to make it easy to handle.

    Is the container only 7" deep? I'd say a 3" layer of soil. Then just plant your VFTs, sundews and Scarlett Belle. The Scarlett Belle will outgrow your tank eventually. Once you have everything planted, you can use the mister to clean the plants and inside glass of any soil that gets on them. If you cover it, don't enclose it totally or you'll get mold eventually. The plants need some air circulation to be healthy.

    Always use PURE water (rain, distilled, R.O. water) to water the plants. Keep the soil moist at all times. You do not have to feed the plants...they will do fine without it but most likely they will catch their own prey if not totally sealed off. Do not feed them any form of human food (like hamburger). Check the different forums for each genus for care sheets pinned at the top of each forum. That will help you too.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions.

    BTW...CPs ARE cool! There are hundreds of people here that will tell you so.



    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    rattler's Avatar
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    what PAK said.......most CP's are easy to grow once you understand them............granted i cant grow VFT's if my life depends on it but thats another story


    may i ask where in MT your at? im way up in the northeast corner in Wolf Point.
    cervid serial killer
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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    eh?
    Alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    rattler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (glider14 @ Dec. 19 2006,11:12)]
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    eh?
    Alex
    more than likely D. spatulata...............
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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  6. #6
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (tttman @ Dec. 19 2006,11:12)]Okay, I have
    6 VFT's Small
    2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    1 Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant(5")
    1 12"wide X7" Tall glass covered container
    1 bag of sphag/pearlite mix
    1 bag of white sand
    1 water sprayer
    2 gallons of distilled water...

    How do I put this together properly so they don't die.
    How exciting! I wish you the best of luck with your plants. If you can you should post some pics!

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Okay, I have
    6 VFT's Small
    2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    1 Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant(5")
    1 12"wide X7" Tall glass covered container
    1 bag of sphag/pearlite mix
    1 bag of white sand
    1 water sprayer
    2 gallons of distilled water...

    How do I put this together properly so they don't die.
    It seems you want to grow your plants in a terrarium, the thing is... I don't see a light source listed on your list. If you are going to go with a terrarium, PLEASE get a good light source. Most of these plants grow in full bright happy sun in the wild, so if you are going to grow them inside you must have a really really good light source for them to thrive.

    One thing to keep in mind: Don't not be afraid of making mistakes! Do your research and try your best. Don't be afraid that something may happen to one of your plants; if something does happen, you will gain experiance and be much more confident the next time around.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    -Joel from Southern California


  8. #8
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (tttman @ Dec. 19 2006,6:12)]Okay, I have
    6 VFT's Small
    2 CARNIVOROUS Drosera African Violet Companion Plants (1.5")
    1 Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant(5")
    1 12"wide X7" Tall glass covered container
    1 bag of sphag/pearlite mix
    1 bag of white sand
    1 water sprayer
    2 gallons of distilled water...

    How do I put this together properly so they don't die.

    I would like them to live long and prosper...

    Please be step by step specific...

    Thank you very much and I have to get this done by Christmas for a 9 year old boy who things CP's are cool....

    ttt
    Welcome ttt,
    you have a cool collection there!
    In the interest of your complete and in-depth CP education, it would be irresponsible of me if I didnt make the following statement:

    I understand you want this for a Christmas present, but you did make one potentially deadly (for the plants) mistake.
    this is the worst time of year to buy CPs..because they should all be dormant right now...not growing at all.
    it would be MUCH better to buy new CPs in the spring.

    but ok..since we cant go back in time, and you want these as a Christmas present, we need to make the best of the current situation.


    IMO, growing CPs in terrarums is a terribile idea, for several reasons...mainly, they dont get enough light, and they dont get the proper dormancy cues so they can go dormant in the winter..(those cues are decreasing light and decreasing temps from summer into autumn.)

    growing VFTs and Sarracenia outdoors is SO much better, on so many levels..
    they get tons of direct sunlight.
    they can feed themselves.
    they can prepare for dormancy naturally.

    With your current plants, trying to keep them alive indoors all winter will be a challenge, but it can be done..

    here is what I would do...IMO this is the best solution to keep the plants alive and healthy until spring. (IMO means this is my opinion only..others may disagree!)

    First, throw away (or return) the "bag of sphag/pearlite mix"
    because it probably contains fertilizer..fertilizer is bad.
    you want to use pure peat moss, or pure long fibre spagnum moss.

    adding sand, or not, is fine either way..personally I dont use sand, but some like it.

    Go to Home Depot or Lowes (or a garden center or similar store) and get nine 4" plastic pots..basic simple pots, like this:

    Pot picture

    the 4" size is perfect...they are cheap.

    The pots should have holes in the bottom, and no "drip tray" underneath..(or a removeable drip tray, because you dont need the tray)

    also get nine plastic saucers, "clear plastic plant trays" about 1" deep..like this:

    water saucer pic

    the 6" trays are a good match for the 4" pots.

    these trays will always have water..this is known as the "tray method" of growing CPs..

    you dont have to plant each plant in its own pot..you could put two VFT's in one pot, or even all six in one larger pot..but IMO it would be better to have each plant in its own pot..and..the collection looks so much bigger that way!

    dump the dry moss into a clean bucket or other container (one that hasnt been used in the past for cleaning soap or chemicals) and dump some of the distilled water over the moss to wet it down..you will have to knead the moss with your hands to make a mud-like mixture of moss and water..
    if its TOO wet dont worry about it, because the excess water can just drip out once the mixture is put in the pots..
    fill the pots half-way with the goopy moss mix, place a plant into the pot, and fill in the rest of the moss mix around the roots..the "soil level" should be right where the leaves leave the rhiozome..place each pot in a tray, and keep the tray filled with distilled water at all times..the result will look something like this:



    each plant, in a pot, each pot in a tray.

    then..the big issue..what to do with them until spring?
    the best thing is to just stick them in the brightest possible window..a window that gets as much direct sunlight as possible..and just leave them there until April or so..until the temps stay above freezing.

    then in the spring, put them outside, in bright sun, and leave them there all summer and into the autumn!
    then, by October of next year, you will have to begin thinking about dormancy for next winter...I see by your profile you live in Montana..you wont be able to keep them outdoors for dormancy, too cold.
    I live in a similar artic climate (Rochester, NY)
    this is what I do:

    Scot's Fridge Method Demo

    but you have plenty of time to worry about that!
    first things first...

    your plants should be fine..skipping just one year of dormancy generally isnt too big a deal... its not a great idea, and should be avoided if possible, but it probably wont kill the plants.

    depending on the species of the sundews (drosera) they might or might not need a winter dormancy next winter..but you also dont need to worry about that right now...you have 10 months until you need to make a plan for dormancy.

    keep us posted!

    Scot

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