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Thread: Misting Heliamphora

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Misting Heliamphora

    Some reputable sources I've read recommend misting Helis once or three times a day. I try to spray mine down whenever I think about it but the truth of the matter is that I don't often think about it. I've got some spare parts from another project, though, and was thinking about building a mini sprinkler system for one of my highland shelves.
    So what I'm wondering, for the purpose of my design, is this: what is it about misting that's helpful to Helis? Is it the constant input of moisture at the surface of the media? Wetting the leaves to prevent dessication? Foliar uptake of water? My suspicion is that it's specifically the act of topping off the pitchers with fresh water - reducing the amount of work they need to do to keep the pitchers from drying out.
    Does anyone have any insights for me? Thanks.
    ~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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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    I'm under the impression that they like misting to bump up the humidity because the leaves dessicate easily because they don't get that waxy-like leaf coating like hard neps do..I'm entirely sure I'm wrong though

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    The leaves on my H. heterodoxa are kind of waxy and slightly fuzzy, so I think they're build pretty tough. However mine do seem to show some symptoms of dessication... :/
    ~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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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Paging Av8tor and BigBella to heli thread...

    Mine seem a little waxy too, but they change color from pale green to dark green when they get misted (like tillies...) so I'm thinking that they do a lot of drinking in water through their leaves in addition to roots, whereas most plants just soak it in through the roots.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    evaporative cooling is a possibility, increased humidity etc.... but Ive had some issues with very young helis and excessive misting... wistuba also warns against it's overuse.

    Jimmy asked about this when he was building his system and installing a mist king, my advice to him was "fine.... just stop misting at least a couple hours before lights out.... just to be safe"

    I do like to mist some... just not a lot
    I would say a great deal depends on your specific setup.... temps, airflow, humidity etc

    condensation evaporating from a surface cools it, but condensation forming on a surface actually increases temp... (makes sense if you think about it and hit the hookah a couple times LOL)

    So probably not the black and white answer you wanted huh Joe..... hehehehe but do i ever give one of those
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 08-12-2010 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Their environment would tend to suggest that as well, what with the fog and all. I'd love to get mine into a terrarium with a fogger but I don't have the room (for now... muahaha.) And anyways, I really like the look of growing things as houseplants. So in the meantime I was going to try to use a little fountain pump and some irrigation sprayers, maybe with a little film canister barrel on them to direct the spray. I'm thinking my Neps (or more specifically the moss they grow in) and orchids will also appreciate this addition. I'm wondering if I can get away with just a downward spray that fills the pitchers and waters the media, as opposed to misting all sides of the leaves. It'll probably be better than nothing, at least...
    ~Joe

    PS - Ah thanks Av. I don't think evaporative cooling is really much of a factor... It's like 55-60F here in my apartment this morning. It gets warm in the afternoon but never much in excess of 80F, and that will be over with in a month or so at worst. I guess to some degree I'm trying to automate my watering, since I can't always check my plants daily. Also, my setup is my east-facing bedroom window under 6 T12 tubes, where all of my smallish highland plants live. They get full sun from about an hour after sunrise to two hours before high noon. There's also a constant breeze, which is usually pretty humid except during summer days when the fog burns off around 10 or 11. Potted in peat/perlite/pumice with a healthy Sphagnum colony at the top, 8" x 12" deep pot with a drainage layer at the bottom. Sits in water sometimes like the rest of my Neps, never really gets to the media/roots though.
    Last edited by seedjar; 08-12-2010 at 09:54 AM.
    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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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    combination of occasional mist and drip irrigation might do you well, you can do that on the cheap

    I bought a system from http://www.dripdepot.com/ for that very reason, but have yet to use it

    low pressure mist nozzles and drippers...

    (from some of the pics Ive seen of Jeremiah's greenhouse he uses it or a variant of it)

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    In the pitchers? I was been considering doing a real cheap rig with 1/4" tubing just feeding pitchers directly on a throttled flow, but haven't been inspired enough to go fish around my big bin-o-aquarium-junk for parts.
    ~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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