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Thread: You win some, you loose some

  1. #1

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    Hey all,
    Im going to start this topic as a newcommer. A very annoyed newcommer. You see, i have a problem. I can grow some plants very well, and others very suck. The weirdest thing is, its usually easier plants that i end up killing.

    My plants are in a 20L tank with three flourecent terrarium bulbs no more than a foot above the plants (at most). I have a glass cover that the lights sit on that i keep open about two inches to let some air in and out. The humidy hovers between 45 and 85% (usually around 60%). The temperatures have been fluctuating, but mostly between 50 and 85 degrees. I mist the asian pitcher plants and the sun pitcher every night and a couple of times a day to keep the humidity up. I use reverse osmosis water and the lights are on for 15 hours a day.

    As for the plants that i have grown successfully;
    N. Ventricosa (both normal and 'red')
    Dionaea Muscipula typical
    D. Spatulata
    S. Purpurea
    H. Heterodoxa x Minor (new, but seems to be doing ok)
    N. Gracilis var nigrapurpurea (again, new but doing ok)
    D. Scorpidos (some problems at first, but now doing well)
    D. Zimbabwe (Hasnt gorwn much, but hasnt died either)
    S. Alata (young enough to fit in the terrarium)

    Now for the bad list for whatever reason, these plants didnt work;
    D. Capensis (tried several times, with several plants. The gorwing head turns grey, than dies and spreads)
    D. Regia (was doing very well for a while, gorwing in spurts, than it just stopped and died, though i have been told that they can come back sometimes)
    D. Aliciae (i seem to have problems with small rosette sundews)
    D. Borneo 8
    D. Sessilifolia (both of these apear to be on their way out)
    S. flava (might make a recovery, i changed some things)

    If you have any thoughts, or if your in the same predicament, let me know. I morn the plants greatly (esspecially the d. regia. I loved that plant... little nice guy). My only thought is that it might be a bad infestation of soil knats. I have been told they are relativly harmless to most plants. But the ones i was talking about were mostly young plants that might have been overwhelmed. To counteract this i have tried moving sundews and pings closer to the infected pots, in the hopes that the plants would eat the adults.

    any thoughts? Let me know.

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Terrariums are unnecessary for a lot of sundews, especially D. capensis, and I don't think they're good for regia either... I seem to remember hearing that they are prone to mold due to the still, humid air. The Sarracenia should go outside - I don't think any reasonable fluorescent lighting rig could fulfill the needs of an upright pitcher plant. Do some searches on the forums for the Drosera that you've got in the terrarium right now and see how many of them actually need humidity. The rest should be removed from the tank. All of my Drosera, both the tropical indoor ones and the outdoor ones, do just find with humidity dropping into the twenties almost every day.
    Best luck,
    ~Joe

    PS - While misting is a definitely good thing for Heliamphora and Sarracenia, Drosera mostly dislike it, I think because it washes away their glue.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  3. #3

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    Yeah. I know about the misting. i never mist the Drosera. They are on the other side of the tank from the Heliamphora and the Sarracenia and i am very careful not to hit the sundews. Is there a happy middle ground for humidity between the plants like the sunpitchers and and ones that dont need as much like D. capensis. Like 40%?
    ~jeff

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well, that's just the thing... you don't need a middle ground. Just take the Drosera out of the tank. Then you can give the Helis and Neps the humidity they want, and the Drosera will get the air circulation that they like. Drosera don't need necessarily dry air - I suspect you could grow plenty of different Drosera in totally saturated air, so long as it was well circulated.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #5

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    hehe, the thing is, being in the tank protects them in many ways, not least of which from my housemates cat. Should i try to increase air circulation... like by blowing a small fan across the openining in the tank?

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well if they need to be enclosed, maybe try getting a small muffin fan in the tank with them... I'm not totally sure. I only grow Neps in a tank, and they love still air, so I don't have to manage this kind of situation. If you had a fan blowing across the top, I have a sneaking suspicion that it will change the humidity much more than the air circulation, and that might not make your Neps happy. But in a pinch, it's worth a try.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #7

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    I've often wondered why people claim that misting is not good for sundews. Although I don't mist mine, I would assume that most of them recieve a fair amount of rain in their natural habitats. I leave some of mine outside to the open elements and they get rained on quite frequently. It does wash the dew away, but it usually reapears the next morning, it also washes the carcases of consumed insects away, which probably is not a bad thing.

    JJ

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I think it's just that most sundews are accustomed to seasons where rains are punctuated by consistently dry periods. They also get brighter light outdoors than your typical CPer terrarium. My cape sundew does fine out here in the NW coastal rain, and starts to get sticky just hours after it begins to dry, but when it lived in a tank briefly with my first Nepenthes, where I would mist every morning for the Nep, it did horribly. I think it just exhausts them... I would guess that making the goo takes a fair amount of sugar, so replenishing the supply every day would leave little energy left for other needs.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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