Cost efficient indoor/outdoor grow methods
I've been experimenting with indoor growing as of late due to problems outdoors. I really think I may live in an environment that is too extreme for carnivorous plants. Gulf coast, Texas. Summer temps are often over 100 and humidity can be 85+ with that temperature. I put my plants out in full sun... And they burn. Clearly they don't mean my full sun. If the sun doesn't get them, the rain might. It pours so hard all my plants droop, Venus fly traps close, and sundews run all their sticky goo to the ends and drip off. If they survive that, there is wind! Oh, yes, wind that blows hard enough to lift a 5 pound wooden planter box and throw it right into... You guessed it, my plants.
So that covers weather, let's cover nature. Frogs seem to love my plants. I go outside and find 3-4 stomping and jumping around in them. On my VFTs. If its not frogs, its caterpillars, worms or other large insects eating them. Something took a bite out of a closed fly trap and when it opened, it now has a big hole through the top :/ looks like that same something took a few bites out of my capensis x spatulata hybrid too.
So I tried growing indoors. My humidity is pretty high even inside- up to 60%- so I figured I could just get a 4 bulb, 4 foot t5 light, put them near a window, and give them that dual effect and it would work. Well, it kinda does... For some things. Most of my plants after almost a week now show signs they don't like it. Losing dew, some drying, etc. I don't know if its the heat or not enough humidity. My temp reader says it can be up to 85 right now due to AC problems. But surely that's not too hot? A lot of you guys enclose your plants completely with lights way closer than mine and they don't burn. I haven't figured out how that works yet.
So, now I ask for advice. What should I do here? I don't have a lot to spend. Right now, I have nothing to spend really. I guess my best option Is still outside, but I really think its just too unpredictable out there. Is there some sort of meshing or plastic box I could use? Anyone have any plans for something that will let in light, but be cool and resist insects and rain? I don't know of anything like that.
Thanks for any advice. I'm frustrated.
For sundews and things, I recommend the tray method to keep things wet and humid, especially for sundews. I find that they easily tolerate 85F conditions. Some acclimation is certainly acceptable, especially if they were just moved inside and are adapting to the new light. As for cooling, if you find it necessary, the simplest thing you can try is your own swamp cooler. I describe my version here. This will not cool your setup more than 5 degrees with your conditions. Also, you may want to get some reflective material, such as mylar, to better direct the light to your plants. The best thing I can say, though, is to just experiment.
This is a great website to start with and describes the tray method I'm talking about: http://www.growsundews.com/tray_meth...us_plants.html
Last edited by Sundrew; 09-06-2012 at 07:55 PM.
Well, I do put all of my sundews in baking pans and such. I don't, however, always use the same pot sizes and whatnot. I do know about root rot though and know not to give certain ones too deep of a water level. I use a quarter inch for most, and maybe up to a half for others with bigger pots and more grow media. In response to your link: I don't really rinse my soils and stuff too well though- mostly because I don't have a way to do to that. I don't want to buy that much RO water just for rinsing use. And its hard ro collect a lot of rain water to do that. I had some caught in a bucket I used for a while, but it got nasty and I poured on some other plants I have. I have seen little bugs and such swimming in ny pan water, so maybe this is part of my problem? What can I do about that? Let the pan dry between watering? Could probably scrub down the pan good as well.
Those pictures with the lights is what I want. I guess I have the wrong bulbs or lights or aomething. There's no way my lights wouldn't burn my plants if I did that. Funny, I was wondering if a plastic tub would work... And that picture uses a plastic tub. Interesting.
I know I probably at least need some reflective material, but I have nothing to attach it to atm. I think they get enough though, because the extrema under the light opened up its first 8 point stalk and was red pretty quickly. The dichotoma is a similar tale. I know if they grow up all stringy if they aren't getting enough light. Phew. Hard stuff.
If you put the lights right on your window the authorities may think you are growing pot unfortunately.....it has happened many times. Just be careful with that.
Lol, if I lived in a sub division that mat be an issue.
A little update: last night I took a smaller plastic tub, lined it with foil and placed a few plants inside of that as a test. Then I lowered the lights more. Hopefully it worked. Will see when im home. Going shopping for a makeshift terrarium supplies after wirk.
Okay, humidity seems okay. Now that the lights are off I'm getting more like 90% humidity in the small tub. I think It just needs to be bigger to maintain the humidity level I want. So, yeah, I think one of those big rubbermaid clear tubs would be nice. Going hunting for one and a dc/ac adapter tomorrow so I can get a simple rig going with a timed cooling system. I have HVAC experience so I think I can manage a small, self contained AC box to essentially do the same as your rig. I just don't have that much space to work with.
With me luck.
Last edited by Gigantea; 09-08-2012 at 08:01 AM.