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Thread: Classic terrarium watering question

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    Like I said in the other classic terrarium post, I have several classic terrariums. I love them all, but the one problem I have with them is not knowing how often I should water them. I usually check the soil with my fingers and see how damp it is, but I don't know if this is a good way of doing things. I don't want to overwater, because that would encourage root rot. Anyone have any tips or past experiences with watering classic terrariums?

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    This very much depends on the species you're growing as well as the porosity of the growing medium, among other things. I've found that as a general rule, many tropical drosera, sarracenia, and terrestrial utrics can tolerate peristently waterlogged conditions; VFTs are in the middle; and neps, cephalotus and heliamphora liking wet but not persistently waterlogged soil. Of course, if the medium is extremelly dense and nonporous, then almost any plant will die from persistently wet roots (due to oxygen starvation).

    So if your drosera are in a part of the terrarium where the soil is constantly watery, then maybe it'll be ok....but not if your neps are growing there, etc., etc.
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    Well, most of the plants in my classic terrariums are tropical drosera and terrestrial utrics. The soil is made up of half peat/half perlite, so I'm wondering if I should just always keep the soil very wet. Your thoughts?

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    In that case, I'd avoid constantly waterlogged conditions. When I had a classic terrarium (admittedly, for non-CPs), I'd water until I saw water pressing against the side of the glass at the bottom of the terrarium, which signified the soil was completely wet and couldn't hold any more water. I'd then wait until the top of the soil was barely moist before watering again. I continue to do this for many of my CPs. You might perhaps try the same; it often mimics what happens naturally between periods of rainfall.

    I've found that with nearly all plants, it is easier to kill via overwatering than the reverse. Even my aquatic utrics have managed to grow fine on only very damp LFS....and they're aquatic! That's not to say you should deprive them of water, but just that they're less likely to rot if the soil remains damp most of the time instead of constantly waterlogged....especially in a terrarium where fungi and mold are dying to take hold.
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    Ok, sounds good. Thanks for the help [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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