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Thread: My growing setup. Any pointers?

  1. #9
    NECPS Editor Radagast's Avatar
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    @Chronos: I'm a newbie as well, but it really is amazing what setting your plants in a large water tray will do. I personally have my plants (mainly drosera) on a shelf with a 4-bulb T5HO fixture about 8inches above it. I do not have them in any kind of tank and they are full of dew. The temperatures are good because they're not in an enclosed tank, I don't need a fan, I can adjust the light as close/far as I want, and the humidity is just fine. People commonly use large storage bins (like the "under the bed" kind). These have lower walls so you can still look at your plants without having to look straight down at them, but still allow enough humidity. I currently have my potted plants set in a standard "seed starter" tray without any drainage holes. This would allow you to get creative and find a bin/tray that would fit your collection. Or as someone stated you could build something custom.

    Check out www.growsundews.com for more info on the tray method and how to set up your collection. Hope this helps.

  2. #10

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    I have been thinking hard about everybodys input and advice, all of which I am very grateful for. I realize this is not a perfect setup by all means. However, this is sort of what I can work with, i just need to maximize its efficiency.

    I realize they are not terrarium plants, but this is Colorado. These plants do not grow in the wild here, at all, anywhere, whatsoever, because Colorado is a hostile environment to these sorts of plants. Every time i have seen them they are in very well build large greenhouses at local nurseries, or in terrariums. I could try dumping hundreds or thousands into an outdoor bog, but I am not building a permanent fixture, I am just trying to do plant time lapse of carniverous plants. Once this series has been shot, I am moving on to cactus. I realize this will not be easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. I enjoy the challenge.

    A greenhouse / bog garden would be awesome, but very costly, and by the time i have it setup it will be too late to start filming them. Also, spending thousands of dollars is a bit out of the question for this project.

    To give you a better idea of what i am doing... www.biolapse.com

    I just need to keep them alive as i cycle them through the timelapse set I am building. When i am done with them, I plan to offer them for free, shipped for free, to anybody who would be willing to accept them.

    In their current environment they are all growing. The pitchers are constantly sprouting new pitchers, the flytraps new stalks, the Sundew even produced flowers (it was in terrible shape when i got it). The red dragon is a bit green, but it is growing. The Sphagnum is growing like crazy.

    So pretty much I am restricted to what I have or something similar.

    What i am picking up here is
    1) I need more light
    2) probably need more airflow.

    I think I may try moving them out of the aquariums and over to a large but shallow Bin as Radagast has suggested. This way I can get the light much closer. While I might not be able to build a perfect habitat, I would like to maximize my efforts using things i can work with.

    Thank you everyone!

  3. #11
    w03's Avatar
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    You are correct in that they need more light and airflow. However, I think that the light problem far outscales the airflow problem. Removing the tops from the terrariums would probably allow for adequate air exchange, and humidity would still be maintained by moisture evaporating off of the soil surface/water trays. On the other hand, several plants show clear signs of light deprivation. Although the flytraps are growing, they are getting longer and more spindly as you observed. These are indicative of etiolation, which is a plant's growth response to inadequate light.

    Can you provide the lumen (measures light intensity) and kelvin (measures color temperature/spectrum) ratings on your lights? Usually they'll have something like "2500 lumens 6500k" marked somewhere on them. This will help give a better idea of the light conditions that you have currently. Wild flytraps and sarracenia generally grow in full sun, with many tens of thousands of lumens per square meter. Many of the colors you see in healthy plants only develop in strong light as these pigments are used by the plant to protect itself in very bright light. Please reference this thread: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Light-Amounts .

    Just as as side note, if your nepenthes is growing entirely in long-fiber sphagnum, it may be too wet (especially as you keep it in a cup of water). Nepenthes generally like an more open and airy mix that is kept moist, but not wet. Low airflow and excessive water tend to cause root rot, which can very rapidly lead to the demise of the whole plant.
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  4. #12
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    I suppose i should add that i live in Colorado. Humidity is pretty hard to come by here, and i dont think carnivorous plants would survive. A greenhouse MIGHT be a possibility but not in the near future. So increasing light output should be a big priority?
    Doesnt matter about Colorado humidity..they will *still* be much better off outside than in a terrarium.
    yes, light output is a big priority..use the sun, outside. its bright and its free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post

    I realize they are not terrarium plants, but this is Colorado. These plants do not grow in the wild here, at all, anywhere, whatsoever,
    Doesnt matter..they will *still* be much better off outside than in a terrarium.


    because Colorado is a hostile environment to these sorts of plants.
    No it isnt..people grow VFT's and Sarrs sucessfully in dry climates.
    as long as they are always in a tray of water, they will be fine.


    Every time i have seen them they are in very well build large greenhouses at local nurseries, or in terrariums.
    Thats only because local nursery happen to have large well built greenhouses..and if you see them in terrariums, you have found ignorant growers..
    of which you are no longer one!

    I could try dumping hundreds or thousands into an outdoor bog, but I am not building a permanent fixture, I am just trying to do plant time lapse of carniverous plants. Once this series has been shot, I am moving on to cactus. I realize this will not be easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. I enjoy the challenge.

    A greenhouse / bog garden would be awesome, but very costly, and by the time i have it setup it will be too late to start filming them. Also, spending thousands of dollars is a bit out of the question for this project.
    hmm..well ok then..and the fact that you want to give them away when you are done is great!
    your time-lapse project sounds cool! I wish you success with it..
    (if you can, you should try to give them away by the beginning of August, so the new owners will have time to keep them outside through Aug, Sept, Oct..
    so they can go dormant properly for this coming winter, and survive the winter..)

    and you dont need to spend thousands of dollars to grow them properly..
    in fact, growing them properly requires LESS money than you have spent so far!
    outside, in trays of water..done.

    Its actually much cheaper and easier to grow them well (outside)
    than it is to grow them badly (inside, in a terrarium)

    Scot
    Last edited by scottychaos; 07-09-2014 at 02:10 PM.

  5. #13
    The sticky ones are my favorite. Tacks's Avatar
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    Outdoor growing is ideal for Sarracenia and flytraps, but I believe Not a Number said that he grow flytraps indoors under lights and they look great. He just gives them a cold dormancy. The main reason Sarracenia aren't good indoors is that the tall pitchers make overhead lighting extremely ineffective (and that cold dormancy). This is much less a problem with S. purpurea. He can totally grow them indoors, especially for a short while. He just needs light!

    The plants you're growing don't need high humidity. Period. Stop thinking about humidity. The very evaporation of water off the media will provide plenty. They need light. Nothing is more important right now than light. Either with outdoor growing or with more, closer tubes indoors.

    I remember your thread about your project, and I'm really excited to see more of it. Don't be discouraged! There are common misconceptions about carnivores, one of the biggest of which is that they need super high humidity. That's only true of a few small groups of plants. Light first. Light is the number one priority. Carnivory reduces photosynthetic efficiency. Give them crazy amounts of light.
    Last edited by Tacks; 07-10-2014 at 12:41 AM.

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    This is all fantastic information thank you all. A lot of my questions have been answered!

    I ditched the tanks and went with a low tub, i have the T5 lights sitting just a few inches above the plants to maximize the brightness.

    I also got another smaller tub and put the Red Dragon and a couple of the weaker looking VFT;s in it, filled it a few inches of water, and left it outside while i was at work. It sits under a pergola with a slotted roof, giving 3-4 hours of direct light, then shaded/mixed for the next 3-4 hours, then a couple hours of evening light.

    So now they get more artifical light when inside, when the forecast predicts nice days i will put some of them outside to get some direct sunlight.

    Now to figure out how to keep my dog from drinking out of the tub.

    As for the T5's they are 6400k, i have 4 tubes, each is 4 feet long.


    Last edited by Chronos; 07-10-2014 at 05:35 PM.

  7. #15
    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jimscott;1155827]VFT's & Sarracenias are outdoor / direct sunlight plants. They need the solar energy and they will need a dormancy.[/QUOTE

    I agree of coarse but EVERY TIME I tell someone on a forum that they get ticked off real bad. I have resorted to ignoring threads of people that grow them indoors. I'm sick of explaining to them why. It's like banging your head against a brick wall.
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  8. #16
    For the love of Science! Dragoness's Avatar
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    I used to grow my Sarrs indoors, and while they did get a dormancy, they were pretty dull. I moved them outside last year, and they have done about 1000% better. They are much happier now, and I am much happier with them.

    It CAN be done, but as someone who has done them both ways, I recommend outdoors no matter what. As long as you don't let them dry out, they can tolerate quite a bit of abuse that would make other plants wilt. High and low temps, fluctuating humidity, etc. are no problem for them as long as they can keep their feet moist.

    Plus, no amount of canned light will ever make them look as pretty as the real thing
    Jen- My Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...00#post1154900
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