Hello From New York!
My name is Rich and I'm from Upstate New York (Zone 5b). I'm 25 yrs old and working within the field of Mental Health. I've been into carnivorous plants for some time now, but never had an opportunity to get involved in the hobby. I've been doing loads of research; both online and through a book I'm sure you're all familiar with "The Savage Garden." I also have a fiancee that tolerates my love of CPs! It seems like as good a time as any to try this out.
Anyway...I've been changing my mind almost weekly about how I want to do this but so far this is what I've got:
1.) I've decided I want a nice little collection to start out, and I'd like to use the tray method. Space is somewhat limited in the current apartment.
2.) I have enough room for one of those adjustable cheap metal wire racks that are about 72"x36"x18"
3.) I'll set up one of those racks, and then obtain a T5 HO fluorescent bulb fixture; I'll likely splurge and buy the 4-bulb reflective hood to support expanding the collection.
4.) I'll attach mylar or something to foam/cardboard rectangles to fit snugly around 3 sides of the 1 shelf. I'll start with 1 shelf for now and see how it goes.
5.) I'll monitor the temp/humidity and adjust as needed. Thankfully I can have a mix of temperate and tropical as I can easily over-winter the temperate ones outside during the winter.
I look forward to starting this within the next couple of weeks and welcome any advice or feedback. Thanks!
Welcome to Terraforums Rich! What species do you have right now?
Thank you very much!
I currently do not have any CPs. I'd be starting completely from scratch. I do have a few other houseplants including Aloe, Prayer Plant, Devil's Ivy, Hoya, Mint, Catnip (for the cat). At work and at home I'm definitely known as the plant guy. I'd really love to get into CPs and have a great little collection. Ultimately I'd like to try propogating, trading, etc.
welcome to the forum!
whereabouts upstate are you? (just a city/town is fine)
im out in Rochester..there are several upstate New Yorkers here..
Do you have any outdoors space? or are you only considering indoor CP's for now?
If indoors only, you want to concentrate on Nepenthes, some Drosera, and some Pings..
(no VFT's or Sarracenia for indoors..)
I see you said " Thankfully I can have a mix of temperate and tropical as I can easily over-winter the temperate ones outside during the winter."
Actually, you have it backwards!
In our climate, you want to grow temperate plants outdoors in the Spring, Summer and Autumn, then bring them indoors for the winter!
(depending on the definition of "temperate"..im thinking VFT's and Sarracenia here..)
you need a cool indoor dormancy..like a refrigerator or a cool basement or garage..
35 to 50 degrees for the winter..colder is bad, and warmer is bad..
check out my webpage for dormancy ideas for those of us in the north..
Thanks a bunch! I'm getting very excited about starting this. I'm in Eastern NY (Albany County.) That's awesome knowing we have some upstate New Yorkers here.
Regarding outdoors space: Very little. My fiance and I have a balcony, but no yard (I'll be competing for space with her potted herbs and veggies...Time to buy a house? lol). Good point about the VFTs. That's the tricky thing about CPs, you read "advice" from people and it is great advice but only useful in certain zones! Glad to have some more folks here that experience similar weather! I do enjoy VFTs and plan to have some. I may be the only CP enthusiast who doesn't care for Sarracenia haha. I think having 1 or 2 VFTs on the balcony would be great, and I'd be able to keep them in the fridge over the winter.
When I get into a hobby I tend to go all out and don't hold back so this time I'm taking it slow and doing all of the learning that I can. I definitely want a nice variety, but I'm certainly not ready for a huge grow chamber with mist systems and other automation...Way over my head at this point! I've seen many pictures online and a bunch of videos on YouTube of people with really nice, healthy, colorful collections in a setup like I originally mentioned. I think that would be a good manageable size at least initially as I grow the collection.
sounds like you have the right attitude!
start small..nothing wrong with that..
VFT's on your balcony would probably work great!
I did plants on the balcony for several years..
keep asking questions!
I appreciate you sharing the blog. Inspired me to want to start one of my own once I obtain some CPs. I read through the entire thing tonight and what you do clearly works for our NY climate. I will def be copying your method. My idea resembles that one pic you have of the wire adjustable rack. I'll place the light on top, and probably enclose 3 sides with Mylar or something similar. I think that would offer me more grow space and room to expand...plus it's cheaper than the terrarium stuff I was looking at originally. I've seen many people grow just about everything this way from pings to cephs. It would also allow me to have some larger neps if I want them. Plus the ease of access from the front. Anyway after reading your blog tonight I have 2 plans for the summer, my grow rack and your outdoor growing technique!
Rich i too am from NY. I grow many plants. Where in NY are you from? I have some extra plants i need to trim away if your interested. I live in the Adirondacks and am taking a road trip to see the family by binghamton this weekend.
So great to have met a CP enthusiast also in NY. Im brand new to the hobby and just purchased my first CP (N. x Ventrata). Currently setting up my grow rack and slowly optimizing growing conditions. I believe we live quite close! I'm from the Northern Albany county area. Which plants are you looking to get rid of?
Rich: Welcome! I hope that you're having a great time with your N. x Ventrata. It's a pretty easy plant to grow and should do well for you, no matter what conditions you give it. Sounds like you're getting together a great setup for any number of species. Good growing!