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Thread: Tropical Greenhouse?

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    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    Question Tropical Greenhouse?

    i was wondering if it would be possible for me to maintain a small greenhouse, yearround for carnivorous, and other plants. the house im thinking about is the same kind as pineapples GH. i live in MD, so what would i need, like heaters, swamp coolers, humidifiers, etc. any suggestions? what sort of house would be easiest, highland or loland? (i want neps) any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    mass's Avatar
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    those won't hold heat in the winter.

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    Class 5 Nepenthes hoarder lance's Avatar
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    Heres what I posted when someone else wanted to place a GH... I grow my LL Nepenthes in my GH all year round.


    now first off you should make sure to do is to get a solid greenhouse.. no flappy plastic ones or they won't last for squat. Next you should choose the location for your greenhouse. Now since Nepenthes grow tropical, I would recommend making a highland greenhouse because theres more highland nepenthes than lowlanders. Also, some lowlanders can live ok in highland conditions. Now to make your greenhouse highland you'll have to place it somewhere where theres partial shade in the hottest parts of the day, especially for the summer ( remember here the sun is in the sky in the summer...straight up). My greenhouse, which is exposed to full sun, was incidentally made a lowland GH by mistaking where to accurately put it. Now, once you've found a good place to put it where it receives a good amount of shade in the summer and some sun in the winter (because of the low sun), now its time to think of the cooling and heating options. This is VERY IMPORTANT... trust me! My GH has a very complicated cooling system that incudes a ro filter, a storage tank, a pump ( for the pressure), a mister (which is connected to the pump which is in the storage tank), and a fan to circulate the mist. Sure, the rainwater barrel to feed the misters is a good idea, but judging on the amount of water I receive its not a big amount of water like in the tropics where it rains once a week. The best would be to get a RO unit and hook it up to a big containment jug just like I have. A simple heater would cover the heat when ever it gets below 50 degrees. Now, the lucky thing about where I am is that I usually get a night time fog that comes in. Lowlanders like humidity generally whenever, but its important that Highlanders get the most humidity at night. Infact, you might not even need a mister system but only a air conditioner or a swamp fogger since the place would be cooler then my LL GH. Anyways... thats about all I can think of. If your doing it on grass then paving in 4 corner cement palets no less then 3 feet deep would be good to hold on to the structure so it stays put in a storm. I know it seems like a lot of effort (especially with the thermostats you'll need) but in the end it pays off with some beautiful nepenthes to show for it!

    Hope this helps!
    - Lance


    In addition to growing plants, I design and build RC planes powered by Tesla batteries. Check out my progress at www.chargedplanes.com

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mass View Post
    those won't hold heat in the winter.
    Um... Well this greenhouse is kinda tricky.

    It holds heat. It actually heats up really well... As long as its in the sun. If you want it to be warm in the snow, you'll want it in 100% sunlight for as long as possible. It doesn't hold heat from the day at night, but it does hold heat if you heat it from the inside with an electric heater... That's what I did. With a heater, swamp cooler, the greenhouse, the mods, ect... Basically just the equipment to run it... It's going to be around $700-$800. I had to buy the greenhouse with christmas money, then install heating/cooling with Easter money, ect. Now I have to sell off my other hobby to have enough money to buy plants lol. If you don't like the costs (I didn't know what I was getting myself into) then you may just want to go with a huge grow rack or a terrarium...

    With my climate, the greenhouse works really well as highland intermediate for 90% of the year. There's a few days, plus a good amount of summer, that are lowland, but highlanders will survive it. My local nep store, which has a very good reputation and deals mostly on the internet, has talked to be a lot about temperatures and humidity. They said that sometimes the humidity gets down to 40% in the greenhouse and no big deal. They also told me that one day when it was 90F outside (this was in March) that the greenhouse was over 105F. All of the highlanders looked great. They don't keep many ultrahighlanders, but I've seen densiflora and singalana there. I actually bought a singalana from them and it withstood 92F + 30%- humidity.

    If you live close to the ocean in MD, the temperature won't change as much as it would inland... Never been to MD, I have no clue what its like. I just looked it up and it can be down to 0F in some parts and 10-15F in other parts... I would hate living in that part of the country because heating/cooling would be a nightmare lol... It gets like 10000F in the summer and like -1000F in the winter.

    If you want to know any specifics about the greenhouse, let me know. It's a great greenhouse for the price, and much better than any you'll find on the market. It's not necessarily the greenhouse that is the problem, its the outside temperature.

    Oh, and in winter when it was like 70F outside, the greenhouse was over 105F in the sun. When I installed the shade cloth, it doesn't go over 90F in the full sun on a 70-80F day. Cover the long sides and roof in 50% shade cloth and you're good.

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    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    which way would be best for the GH to be set up? i man which compass direction would be best for the endwalls (ones with a door on one end) to be facing, if the house is say, in our west-facing backyard? does it even make a difference? also, what do you guys think about a humidifeier adding cool mist, and a ventilation fan/louver vent system for cooling? how much difference would it make if i covered the northwall with inulation of some sort?

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    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/p...n/exhaust-fans

    i have an idea. if i get a greenhouse, i want to take this fan, and instead of the typical design of a fan-driven cooling system, where the fan blows air out of the GH while air flows in through vents, i want to reverse its direction, an use it as an "intake fan" i would place a humidifier in front of it on the inside of the house, to add cool mist to the in-flowing air. louver vents on the opposite end of the house will expell hot air. this would eleminate the need for a separate circulation fan for the humidifer. how would i do this? will the fan work installed backwards? could i somehow reverse the polarity and cause it to spin in reverse? is this idea even possible, or am i just being an idiotic noob?

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lance View Post
    now first off you should make sure to do is to get a solid greenhouse.. no flappy plastic ones or they won't last for squat.
    - Lance
    What Lance said. Friends don't let friends buy cheapo greenhouses. If you buy a kit that cost less than $1000, then don't expect it to last, don't expect it to be water-tight, don't expect it to hold in the heat worth a $!#%, especially in a cold climate (Pineapple is in CA, so his comments represent the Cali perspective), don't expect it to stay in one piece if you site it where its going to get hit hard with strong storm winds, etc, etc. Buying a decent greenhouse (aluminum and heavy double wall polycarbonate types) is much more important in a cold climate, where heat retention is really important, otherwise you will struggle to keep the night temps above 40F on really cold nights and your heating bill will be $2000 for one winter. (arbitrary figure, but not unrealistic) Cheap greenhouse kits = false economy.

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