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Thread: Plant Addict from Southern California

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    Bonnie's Avatar
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    Plant Addict from Southern California

    Hi All!!

    I'm a former gardener from Orange County, currently running a small specialty nursery out of my back yard (mostly terrarium plants and bromeliads). I've kept carnivorous plants here and there, mostly some of the larger nepenthes that can live outside in my shade house. I have two greenhouses, one that is currently housing my ferns, dischidias, hoyas, orchids, epiphytic neotropical blueberries, gesneriads, aroids, and begonias, and another that currently sits empty. I finally fixed my temps, from a blazing hot 130 degrees with fans and shade cloth, to a very comfy max of 78 degrees, and am thinking of turning the smaller greenhouse into a place for my cooler night loving plants. My bigger greenhouse has a min of 60 degrees, I'm thinking of letting the smaller one drop to 40 to 50 degrees, and trying out some heliamphoras, cephalotus, and highland nepenthes, and also moving my epiphytic blueberries over since those come from the Andes. I'm fairly intimidated by a lot of these plants, especially given the price tags, and want to make sure I do things right. I look forward to learning from all of the experts here

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    Happy hour.. Api's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have the basics down! I hope that you'll find that these plants are relatively easy to grow. I would also add some basic SA dews to the list, since a lot are less expensive than certain neps or helis and you can make sure your conditions are down pat for them.

    Best of luck,
    Brennan
    Brennan
    My growlist: http://bit.ly/VUE0ri

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    Starting with a drosera is not a bad idea and can definitely give you an idea of where your light and to some degree your humidity is at. What I would caution is that most droseras (especially the common SA varieties) have very different tolerance levels and cultivation requirements than the highland species. Two great examples are D. capensis which can take a huge beating and come back for more, and D. aliciae which is also pretty dang hardy. Both of these guys thrive in pretty wet, peatty environments which would probably kill a heli. If you rely on them too much as cultivation gauges, you could develop bad habits.
    In my mind, the drosera which comes closest is D. regia. D. regia likes cooler weather, does not favor dense soil or wet feet, and likes a good deal of light. The thing to keep in mind; however, is that D. regia likes to be fed (helis- not so big a concern). However, D. regia can cost more than say H. nutans or H. minor at times. It seems to me that if you want to go that route just get one of the easier helis. The other thing to keep in mind is that D. regia can be pretty tempermental and sort of a pain to really keep happy (I can tell you what I have done if you are interested at some point).

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    East_to_west's Avatar
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    I too am a socal grower (Santa Barbara), and although my climate is a bit different than yours, we're both coastal towns. I'm no pro but I'd be happy to tell you how I personally grow my outdoor plants which seem to be happy. Also, it you wanted, the Los Angeles Carnivorous Plant Society (LACPS) meets every two months. It's a fun meeting where you can have all your questions answered by people who grow in your area. Sadly there was a meeting this past saturday so you'll need to wait a month for the next one, but you can really get all the answers you need here. Good luck and welcome!

    -Greg
    Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    Bonnie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I keep missing the ones at the Huntington, they seem to fill up so fast. I have an annual pass there but would really love to get the CP tour. I wanted to go to the one before that at Cal State Fullerton, but unfortunately I was vending at the Green Scene out in the parking lot and couldn't leave my booth to go check it out

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to TF! The cheapest way to go to obtain plants is through our forum's Trading Post. There's almost always something being offered. And as indicated above, the local CP group would be another great resource. Also, a lot of us have extra seeds, if you enjoy starting from scratch. I have a couple sundew types and something called Byblis liniflora seeds.

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    East_to_west's Avatar
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    Bonnie, is there any plant's in particular that your looking for? It's against the rules here to mention vendors names, but I'd be happy to personal message (PM) you a list of a few reputable sources that you could buy a few nice plants from. Also, it sounds like you have a bunch of awesome plants that are non-carnivorous! I'm trying to expand into the realm of other epiphytes and bromeliads and such and would be happy to set up a trade at some point. I'm sure people here would be interested in seeing some photos of the plants you grow as well! Thats too bad you missed the meetings, you were right there at the green scene!! Ed R. at UC Fullerton was a super nice guy, and I could imagine that he might give you a private tour of his greenhouse if you asked. They have a bunch of cool specimens there, and the huntington has some amazing plants as well. I went to visit the huntington a few months back with my Mom and happened to run into Jim Folsom who's the greenhouse director (although I didn't know it) and he kindly took the time out of his day to give me a 5 minute tour of two of the greenhouses there. Either way, most people in this community seem to be beyond generous, especially to newcomers like you and myself. I've learned a TON from the people here in the past few months mainly from asking questions. I hope to see you at the next LACPS meeting if you can make it. Cheers,

    Greg
    Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    Maiden's Avatar
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    One more addicted welcome!

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