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Thread: I need a large crop of pitchers

  1. #9
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I've never had a problem with modest humidity. My old house never got over 60% and my Deroos' Alata went nuts grown as a houseplant. Since you have a greenhouse with controlled conditions, you might try using net pots, or orchid baskets; I've had excellent results with the former and always heard good things about the latter. I think one of the aspects frequently overlooked in Nep cultivation is root zone air circulation; in my experience, it's a major limiting factor. If you regularly experience humidity below 35%, you might need to keep net pots in shallow water trays to keep them from drying too fast; alternately there are ceramic orchid pots with holes in the sides that aren't quite as porous as net pots/baskets but still allow extra air circulation.
    The best primer on Nep cultivation I've ever read explained that Neps are touchier about what you don't give them than they are grateful for the things you do. Basically, if you get all the conditions (temps, humidity, media, watering, etc.) you can keep them alive, but if your watering isn't up to snuff, giving them extra light isn't going to make up for it. So if you've hit a roadblock in finding the conditions one of your plants likes, make sure to scrutinize the things you aren't able to give it. Sadly I can't find the article any more - it was on Barry's site but seems to have got lost in the big update. I think I saved it to a text file somewhere though, so I'll try to get him to repost it if I ever find a copy.
    ~Joe

    PS - Wayback Machine to the rescue! http://web.archive.org/web/200504040.../faq6010e.html

    PPS - Pond pumps may be cheaper than you think... I got a little 100GPH one for less than $12 last year for a terrarium project.
    Last edited by seedjar; 11-04-2010 at 11:44 AM.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  2. #10
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    I wish I could hang it, but my GH is only 5 x 10 x 6 high. I simply don't have room to let the vines have their way along the walls & ceiling. That's why I put it in a pot on a trellis. There is absolutely no way I can keep it indoors. It's too big, and we have no place for it, except in the living room with all four cats and super destructive puppy. That won't fly.

    I feel that my watering is good. I have tap water that reads 60-70 ppm dissolved salts. I keep this Nep in a 12 x 12 ceramic pot that is often standing in a little water. When that puddle goes down the whole plant gets soaked.

    I am not w coffee drinker, but I can have my sister brew up a pot, if it will help. I also have some MaxSea that I really haven't used. I'll give it a try.

    I will raise the humidity and temperature, and try to find a well lit section to place it. It's massive!!! The plant has always been happy during the summer, but stops pitchering in the winter. I hope that I can prevent that this year; I need to collect some pitchers for a "secret" project. If it works, you'll hear about it.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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    Frilleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Stinkpot View Post
    It's a Zilla 100 watt MVB. It was causing a form of sunburn on the eyes called photoketoconjunctivitis. It's what you get when you go skiing without your UV sunglasses. It feels like you have sand in your eyes. After I switched to a florescent with a better UV spread the problems went away.

    Yeah, that bulb will do better in a terrarium.

    Crazy! I have never had an issue with that at all. How close is you light to the lizard? None of my lights are closer then 12" some even 16". What do you use for heat? They need the basking light ( & heat) for proper digestion.
    Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=116427
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  4. #12
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    60-70 ppm was about where my Neps started to get cranky. You might try flushing the pot occasionally with rainwater.
    If you want to use coffee, go to Starbucks and ask for a bag of used grounds. Most of them have bags set aside specifically for gardeners. No sense wasting good coffee when the alternative is free.
    One thing I've started doing with my lankier plants is folding over vines while they're still soft so that they make a sort of S-curve as they grow. Bend the tip down, wait for it to turn back up and lengthen a little, then repeat. It looks kind of weird, but I like it better than just hacking the vines back, at least for the time being. You could always do it on a more subtle scale by wrapping the vines up and down the trellis, or around the perimeter of it.
    Also, I think that MV lamp is worth a shot, especially if you can rig a little reflector for it to help trap the heat. A thermal ballast - like a dark-colored barrel full of water - might help regulate the day/night temperatures a little better as well. It won't convert your space into lowland conditions; just help to make sure that the highs and lows are less extreme.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #13
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Frilleon, the lamp was at it's maximum effective distance, about 18 inches. This is a known issue that's been happening with all the MVB bulbs- they've changed recently. Goo check out beardeddragon.net for further details. Just about every brand has been affected.

    I use the florescent coupled with a halogen flood lamp for heat and to provide a really bright light to constrict the pupils, reducing the risk of damage that nay bd caused by looking up at the flo. UV.


    Seedjar:

    Each winter I collect what free water I can and use it to give everyone a boost. Someday we plan to install an RO unit. Someday.

    I like the ziggety-zaggety vines, I'll try that. The vines are really thick, but fairly soft. I think I can bend them. I also have some black paint; I can take a couple buckets, paint them black, and put them behind the plant. During winter the sun shines through the GH at a slant, hitting the ground only at the far, north, end. How does this sound: north wall-black buckets-oil heater-(a little space)-plant-sun. Or maybe: wall-heater-water-plant-sun.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
    My WWWs

  6. #14
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    The trick with training the vines without damaging them is to get the bend started before the leaf even beings to unfurl. I use loose twist ties (twist them so the tension is on the ties and not the vine - always leave wiggle room) or I'll wind a heavy cord or chain around the vine to weigh it down to one side if I'm having a hard time getting the bend started.
    The buckets will be most useful where they receive direct sun throughout the day. I recommend putting them to the south of, and slightly below, your pots, if it's possible to do so without cutting into the light your plant gets. Having some near the oil heater will help make things more efficient, too.
    Another cheap trick is to line the inside of your greenhouse with bubble wrap. (Flat side in, bubbly side against the wall.) But that assumes you have an affordable source of bubble wrap.
    ~Joe

    PS - Oh! If you've already got a big vine, here's one more thought; more growth points means more potential pitchers. If you can, tip your vine horizontal, preferably so that the tip is lower than the root ball. That should encourage the old sections of the vine to sprout new nodes. About two years ago my N. x. Margaretea was getting too lanky so I slackened the vine down on the stake I had supporting it, and it took on a sort of curvy "N" shape. Since then I've had a dozen or so new nodes pop from the root level and oldest parts of the vine, about five of which have kept going and developed into nodes bigger than the "leader." Even those that haven't bulked up just seem to be waiting for their chance, unlike other plants I've had that let underdeveloped nodes die off after a while.
    Last edited by seedjar; 11-04-2010 at 01:56 PM.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #15
    Frilleon's Avatar
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    Yeah I went and did the research. It's not all the brads but a lot of major brands. I also run most of my lights through a screen. Most likely why I have not seen the issue. My uyro's all have the same lights directly running on them Frilled dragon too. Then can hide from the light and also have a gradient in the tank (they can move away from the light). Anyway I didn't see any info. on actual cases where the MVB was the issue. All documented cases are for compact, T8 & T5 flo's. They do state that MVB can be an issue but no documented cases. Anyway this seams to be the leading site handling the issue: http://www.uvguide.co.uk/index.htm. Very intresting and this is the first time I have heard of it. I guess on my next round of new light's I'll have to keep an eye for this. I did just buy a new compact flo for my new cham but I have it outside the screened cage so I should be good.
    Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=116427
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  8. #16
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    The most publicized recall was the MegaRay MVB: http://www.beardeddragon.org/bjive/v...?f=34&t=121986

    Even now the bulbs are suspect.

    Other companies had similar issues about the same time, and you'd have to contact them about it before you heard anything. Bringing all this up, I remembered that mine's the T-Rex Power Sun, not Zilla as I said earlier. T-Rex seems to be having a problem as well, but we haven't heard a thing from the company.

    PKC has caused deaths, especially with babies. Not MVB, but rather starvation from either loss of appetite from the pain to the more extreme cases that couldn't see at all. I caught Teddy early on, when he just started squinting.

    Teddy and I are happy with our ReptiSun 10 tube. It may be a bit more trouble getting things just right, but that's half the fun!

    Please be careful with CFL's-- I have heard of cases where the bulbs were giving off UVC. (some of the regulars on BD.org have spectrometers.)


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Back to our regular scheduled program:
    LOL!

    As soon as I get home I'll take a few photos to show what I have to work with, and of the darn weed itself. it has at least three vinesthat are over five feet, and another three or four over three feet. Then more shorter ones. If I have room, I'll let a couple down to see what they do. The pot is 12" high; they can go well below the root ball, If I lay them on the ground.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
    My WWWs

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