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Thread: Grow shelf advice!

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    farmertom's Avatar
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    Grow shelf advice!

    Hi yall, ive been growing cp's for a few years here and there, and since I'm somewhat settled in my current place, I thought I'd set up a more permanent grow shelf. I dragged a free-standing wooden shelf from the backyard to my bedroom's south-facing window, put a few trays of live sphagnum and cp's in, lined the open sides with Mylar, and stuck a small ultrasonic mister in a dish above. It seems to be working pretty well for being so affordable, but I have some questions.. I live in the north san francisco bay area by the way, so right now nights are cool in the 50s and 60s, days in the 60s and 70s; outside humidity is pretty good (around 50- 60%, and my mister runs from 7 pm to 7 am), with a lot of foggy days but also bright, cool sun.

    Most of my plants are highland nepenthes, and they seem to be doin well, but I'm slightly anxious they might be getting too much moisture with the constant misting- I'm imagining that lots of mist without really good lighting could be less than great.. The mister usually only runs at night though, so would that help mitigate some of the issues seen in high-humidity/lower light conditions?

    For instance, i just moved the n. Veitchii to the lower shelf, out of the splash zone, where it still receives as much light as possible, but isn't just getting blasted at night. (I'm ready to admit that I'm still totally bewildered by that thing- is it a highlander or what? Why does there seem to be so much disagreement around that?) I think the veitchii's happy, but it's such a slow grower on the natural light we have up here right now (and maybe the temps indoors? I crack the window there for a good nighttime drop), that I cant tell if I'm doin it right. The n. Spectabilis x aristolochioides, glabrata, ventrata, veitchii x maxima, one mini mystery Nep, and fusca seem pretty happy, but growth has been slow (I'm guessing light too low/natural cycle too short). The ventrata has developed a sooty mold problem- I know it's mostly just unsightly, but are there any good 'natural' treatments? A light application of diluted cedar oil burned the peristome of the one pitcher I tested it on. Should I quarantine it and just get a small fan for better air flow?

    The heliamphora heterodoxa x minor is doing really well, and very quickly put out a whole new big beautiful pitcher. The cephalotus is also happy and pitchering quickly, as are droseras binata multifida 'extrema', marston dragon, and d. Regia (really good growth on that lil thing). I have pinguiculas moranensis, laueana, and rectifolia (huahuapan) out of the misters direct line of fire, and all are growing well, if a little lackluster in color (light again, huh). The darlingtonia is right under the mister and happily doin his own thing; the tiny Utricularia alpina promptly and mysteriously died, as did the n. 'Gentle'- I figure every now and then you just lose a few, but id appreciate any cultivation tips I missed!

    I also have a sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora and drosophyllum chillin on the porch outside, and both seem happy. I guess my main questions are whether or not this is a good set up for the plants I have, and what can I do to dial it in? I feel literally left in the dark in conversations about artificial lights (sorry) but I did order one of those terrible cheap chip-on-board LED panels on ebay to supplement the south facing window. I'd appreciate any and all thoughts! Thanks!

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    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    Hi! Welcome to TF

    I think that getting a fan would help with the mold issues as well as help keep the plants from staying too wet. Of course, the best thing to do would be to monitor the humidity of your house. As long as you are above 50%, you'll probably be able to grow most highland Nepenthes just fine.

    While I'm still getting my toes wet with Nepenthes, it seems that N. veitchii has clones grown from plants that originated in highland and lowland areas. I do not know what this means for those clones taxanomically (would they be forms? Or are "forms" something else). Either way, people usually find the clone that best suites their conditions, though if yours is growing fine, highland or not, you should be ok.

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    farmertom's Avatar
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    Hey there, thanks for the welcome! Been lurkin here for a lil while, finally had to post

    our humidity is pretty good here right now- I'm in the 'maratime coast' zone (great view of the bay from here!), and it's still the tail end of our mediterranean wet season. I use the mister primarily to boost humidity and ensure a deeper temp drop at night, but I'm wondering if close to 90%+ humidity every night might be considered too much? Like I said, the shelf's open on the front and back, for general air flow, but the mold on the n. x ventrata has me guessing...for now it's definitely going into time out by itself until the mold clears up or I find a really stellar hippy treatment that doesn't cook my lil dudes.

    The n. Veitchii I have is the Bareo form- green/gold pitcher bodies, reddish/gold peristomes- beautiful plant, but because it's growin so slow, it's hard for me to really be confident in the conditions I have it in. So far, the next leaf in line is still securely tucked in the last one, with seriously perhaps a few millimeters of visible leaf revealed since late october.. I have it in what I consider well and truly highland conditions, but I keep shuffling it around into different lil microclimates within the set up, depending on the latest conflicting views I can find, ha.

    I'm thinking about just goin out to get a T8 set up if I can- seems like lights and a fan might pull everything into line, but I'm wondering if I should have it as close to the plants as is usually suggested if it's only supplemental lighting? I appreciate the gorgeous colors and healthy plants folks get with the 'spaceship in the basement' setups, but I want mine to be a pleasant display as well as a high functioning grow area, whatever that happy medium is

    Thanks for reading, and I'll get some pictures up as soon as Dropbox stops pullin my leg with the ole 'are you sure you even uploaded them' nonsense..

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