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Thread: On the aesthetics of grow racks.

  1. #1
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    On the aesthetics of grow racks.

    I was just reading the thread about Frysters cool new grow rack:

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=108367

    and it got me to thinking about something that has been in the back of my mind for many years..

    A co-worker of mine is a houseplant fanatic..bonsai, orchids, rare troical plants of all kinds..
    he has a big giant grow light suspended from his basement ceiling, shining on plants sitting on the floor, enclosed in a big reflective mylar "tent"!
    the plants are awesome! but I really dont care for the "display" they are growing in..
    this, and the post on grow-racks, got me thinking again on this topic of "display vs. growing conditions"

    I have nothing against grow racks! I think they can be very cool and allow you to grow a lot of plants you could not grow otherwise..and they provide an excellent environment for many plants that is much better than the growing environment they would have *without* the grow rack..(like just on a windowsill for example.)

    but....

    I would never want to have a grow rack!
    why??
    because I think they are ugly, expensive (for construction and electricity) and they hide the plants away from view!
    you have to open it up just to see and enjoy your plants..
    sort of like having an aquarium that is all covered up.
    I would actually prefer to simply NOT have certain plants, instead of having the plants if they need a grow rack...even if said plants would be very cool to have!

    I want my plant displays to "look nice"! I want my plant displays to be aesthetically pleasing..I grow VFT's and Sarrs outdoors in mini-bogs on my deck..they look nice all summer, and are very low-maintenance. The only "work" they make me do is collecting rain water for them, and spending a few hours putting them away for dormancy every autumn..other than that, they go happlily on their way with very little fussing on my part.


    Looks nice + Low maintenance = what I want.
    even if that decision results in LESS cool plants that I can have and grow.
    I am willng to give up the "more cool plants"..

    as opposed to:

    Grow rack,
    which looks bad (IMO) + more work and maintenance = not what I want.
    even though having a grow rack would result in MORE cool plants I could have!

    I prefer to forego certain plants for the sake of aesthetics and low-maintenance!

    I hear many of you saying "are you NUTS?! having the cool plants is SOOO much better"!
    and thats fine!

    Im not at all implying its in any way BAD to have a grow rack!
    to each their own..there is planty of variation in this hobby, and thats all good.
    Im only saying its "not for me"..
    and yes..I am a little jealous of the cool plants a grow rack allows others to keep!
    but even still..not for me.

    So im curious..how many people would choose either:

    a. Pro Grow-rack, because having the plants is cooler than the work it requires or the "look" or the expense..its all about the cool plants!

    b. no Grow-Rack, because dont want the look or the work or the expense, and can accept less cool plants as a result.

    thanks,
    Scot

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I can't think of any plant that NEEDS a grow rack. Grow rack are used for for the grower's convenience. You really lost me when you started talking about cool plants that can only be grown on a grow rack because this plant doesn't exist.

    And as far as this expense you talk about.... grow racks are waaaay cheaper compared to a big aquarium. Add a stand (and maybe a nice canopy) and that cost goes even further up. Personally, I've lines all 5 sides (the fifth side is the bottom! ahahahaha!) of my terrarium with mylar. I just look at the plants from the top and I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything.

    That being said, you can really do whatever you want with a little ingenuity and plenty of cash

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustLikeAPill View Post
    I can't think of any plant that NEEDS a grow rack. Grow rack are used for for the grower's convenience. You really lost me when you started talking about cool plants that can only be grown on a grow rack because this plant doesn't exist.
    I didnt mean there are plants that can ONLY be grown with a grow rack..
    but there are lots of plants that be grown much better with a grow rack!

    For example..If I had a grow rack, I would fill it with nepenthes and tropical sundews.
    so I can control the light they get to make them healthy and happy.

    *without* a grow rack, all I have is windows...in the winter, in Rochester, NY,
    those windows are quite dark and cold.
    we have 5 months of winter every year, and many days are heavily overcast all day,
    and its dark at 4:30 in the afternoon..and to get them as close to window as possible so they get the most light means they are quite cold...windows suck in the winter!

    The 10 nepenthes plants I could grow inside my grow rack would not be happy at all if I tried to keep them in those windows!

    So grow rack would equal lots of cool plants growing very nicely in controlled lighting, warmer, and probably more humid.

    No grow rack = im not going to even bother, because I know they wont grow well at all.
    So I have only one nepenthes in one window, which is not happy all winter.
    I dont want to get any more nepenthes at all, because I know my winter growing conditions are very poor.
    If I DID get a grow rack, winter is a non-issue for those plants!

    so grow rack = more cool plants.
    no grow rack = quite a few less cool plants.

    My VFT's and Sarrs are fine all winter, because they are dormant..they are at 35 degrees and pitch dark.
    not an issue for them.

    Scot

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    You don't need a grow rack to grow anything. Just get a terrarium and good lighting. You'll need a fan and maybe a heater. You don't think that's attractive? Well it is if you don't cover it with mylar.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustLikeAPill View Post
    You don't need a grow rack to grow anything. Just get a terrarium and good lighting. You'll need a fan and maybe a heater. You don't think that's attractive? Well it is if you don't cover it with mylar.
    you are totally missing the point!
    im not talking about terrariums at all..not a part of this discussion.
    but ok then...

    Scot

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Lol, well I don't understand. You seem to have this notion that it's either a grow rack or a dark window and that's not the case at all.

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    conditions dictate how you grow..........ive got VERY low humidity and if i want to grow large nepenthes AND have them pitcher i need a growrack type setup, though my "grow racks" are in a large closet sized "room" i made in the basement about 6-7 feet on a side. also have all of one south facing window so without added light i cant grow much for CPs. if i had south facing windows i would grow most of my sundews and pings like house plants in nice pots out on display, however my Nepenthes would still be confined to my basement grow racks........one of these days ill build a sun room so i can display my larger tropicals but until then its a no go.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Man I wish I had Fryster's grow rack! This is what I have, or shall I say been forced into, for so-called "aestheic reasons":








    Notice I have the rack about a half foot of the southern exposure of the living room window. And the top shelf has an artificial light & submercible heater for the
    Petiolaris plants and B. liniflora seedlings. However, as you say, we have long, dreary winters, being only an hour's drive from one another. The light isn't really enough and the sundews aren't as dew-laden. The plants are all green, as opposed to red.

    I have another small rack, with one shelf and a light, that has a planter of Neps and a Devil's claw plant. I also have one window sill each in our bedroom and one in the boys' room with several CP's.





    I think that if one has the capability, a combination of approaches can be used. love window sills, but I just don't have enough of them. Racks are great but unless you can afford a bunch of artificial lights, plants get awfully etiolated.... especially in the northern climes.

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