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Thread: Terrarium of Death

  1. #1

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    Terrarium of Death

    I have a terrarium made of glass that everything has died in over a few months, but I don't know why. It is in my backyard in southern California and there is saran wrap on top to keep the humidity high. It gets a few hours of direct sun in the afternoon. The plants were watered about once a week, which was the only time the saran wrap was removed.

    I had a pot of Utricularia sandersonii and bisquamata in there for a few months, but today I found out it was dead. I thought it was because the soil was too dry but that was not the case when I took the soil out and it was still wet to the touch. I think I lost all of the sandersonii but there is still some bisquamata on the sides of the pot.

    I also had an 8-inch pot of Utricularia longifolia growing in New Zealand sphagnum, which was still also wet. Most of the longifolia in there was dead, though, and most of the remaining leaves were turning brown on top. There was a water tray under the pot.

    There were also three Nepenthes cuttings, of which one rotted away. A month ago the two remaining ones were still green so I thought they would root but they didn't. At that time two months had passed since I put them in the New Zealand sphagnum.

    What really baffles me is that I have two plastic tubs next to the terrarium where I keep most of my Utricularia and they are doing fine. One of them even flowered.

    Does anyone know what is wrong with the terrarium? Previously it was used as a fish tank but that was a few years ago. I moved the rest of the Utricularia longifolia into one of the tubs today, but I'd still like to use the terrarium in the future for germinating seeds and such.

    Here is a picture of everything dead:


    Here is a picture of the terrarium:


    Here is a plastic tub that I use to keep my utrics in. You can see the terrarium in the background.

  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Hot afternoon sun shining directly into an enclosed glass space = cooked veggies.

    That's my guess.

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    Hmm, I guess plastic doesn't do that then. It seemed to be what prevented the cuttings from rooting, and the plants in the best condition were out of the sun, so I think you are right. I wish I had realized earlier when the utrics started to decline after I put them in. Thanks!

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Closed terrariums can't be left in direct sun. After two hours in the sun, it probably reached 120F inside.
    Dude, you cooked your plants.

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    Do you know if it will happen with plastic too? My Utricularia in there are still alive, but maybe the large amount of water prevents the temperature from rising too high? Would utrics be fine in the shade?

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    Since that doesn't appear to be clear plastic it probably isn't getting as hot in there as it got in the all glass but I bet it still gets pretty warm. If it were me I would take the top off the plastic tubs.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Plastic will have the exact same effect. And if you leave them in there, the Utrics will probably follow suit very soon. Shade would definitely be better.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
    There is far more to everything than meets the eye.
    Growlist

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    Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimgrinder View Post
    Closed terrariums can't be left in direct sun. After two hours in the sun, it probably reached 120F inside.
    Dude, you cooked your plants.
    +1

    😟

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