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Thread: Any Suggestions

  1. #9
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Work with what you have!

    My advice,
    is to work with what you have and what you can get!

    Since you have already been told "you can't" as your advice, I will offer some other suggestions. From what I have seen, we do all have different environmental conditions under which we try to grow our plants, and a lot of people do seem to be totally unable to grow many CP's indoors. BUT as I said, we all have conditions that are at least slightly different than everyone else, and so what works for one person may NOT work for someone else. AND more importantly, what doesn't work for someone else, MAY work for us!

    Indoor conditions as well as outdoor conditions vary dramatically from one person to the next. (Keep in mind, you are not talking to people living across the street, but in other states and even other countries!) Outdoor conditions especially vary so much, that what works for one person will certainly NOT work for everyone!
    I know people who live in an environment where they can easily grow H/L Neps, or Sarrs, or whatever... outdoors easily, with no real "expertise" of the grower! They may write and talk and even feel like they are great experts, but they do not have a hostile environment to deal with, or other obstacles to overcome; so their "expertise" has more to do with being lucky to live in an environment that the plants like to begin with.

    Okay, on to your situation at hand...
    Indeed, outdoors in full sun for most Sarrs, along with outdoor winter dormancy (IF you happen to life in a zone that will allow that) is the most ideal for the plant. However, seeing as you do not have outdoor conditions available, I will tell you what I would do if I were you...

    First off, put the plant in your 4 hour sunny window, AND position your CFL's around it to supplement the sun. If you have a timer for the lights, have it go on for 12-16 hours a day. (16 hours in summer, slightly less in spring and fall) It is better in my experience to get a timer, than to erratically turn the light on and off yourself. Make sure your timer can handle CFL's or Fluorescent lights, and has a 3 prong outlet. A local hydroponics store will have what you need if you can't find it elsewhere... the net is a good place too, but the Hydroponics store may be expensive (maybe not). If nothing else, they do have other nice growing supplies! (They are NOT just for pot growers!)

    Next, get yourself a few cheap T-8, 4-foot 2-bulb fluorescent light fixtures (new shop lights) at the local hardware center. Make sure the box says T-8 & that it uses an electronic ballast (NOT magnetic!). One light fixture is sufficient to start for one plant, BUT the more lights the better... and 3 fixtures is what I would eventually recommend! (T-5 fixtures are even better, but costly!) (I use household daylight bulbs 6500K or and over 80 CRI, but many people use whatever bulbs the store has cheap with decent results. The bulbs I get cost 2 for $5, so are as cheap as you can get already!)

    If you can get a light fixture with a decent reflector, even better! (I don't know why, but some idiots are designing these lights with dull metal or dark backing strips which do not reflect light at all! If the bulbs are spaced apart a bit it is better also, and white painted reflectors are decent for reflecting. If necessary, a piece of tin foil folded carefully and attached to a poor reflector will improve it some, but be careful to keep it away from the bulb ends to prevent electrical contact! (The middle of the bulb is the brightest anyway, so don't worry about the ends.) Reflective mylar is better (hydroponics store or internet again) but not necessary.

    Hang the light over the plant, or rest it on a couple concrete blocks at the ends, so it is about 2-3 inches above the top of the plant. You also want to maximize your light, so put tin foil along the sides. I used to clip the foil to the reflector and let it hang down the sides to reflect light in towards the plant.

    This entire setup can be positioned in your sunny window, allowing the sun to hit the plant from one side. (Sunlight=Good!) Even that little bit of sunlight is helpful, although certainly not enough without supplemental lighting.

    This should get you off to a good start and keep your plant alive (not necessarily thriving) until you can read more about taking care of the plant, along with what you will need to do for artificial dormancy in the fall.
    Indeed, you will need to get 2 or 3 light fixtures going to give your plant a decent amount of light and get it to survive even remotely well, but it can be done. (And it is just as cheap to grow half a dozen plants as it is just one. You need the lights and trays anyway.) I have used larger wattage CFL's with decent results also, but find the 4 foot lights more versatile and useful, and possibly even cheaper in the long run. [CFL's with good reflectors are good for single plants, but we easily and quickly outgrow such a small setup, and end up with larger set-ups even when we don't think we will.]

    If funds are very limited, do a little at a time, BUT you need to get things rolling if you are to keep the plant alive. Otherwise it will simply slowly decline and die, as most do. (Most people buy these plants without knowing what to do at all, and simply kill them in a few weeks or months.)

    Be sure to do a "search" here on TF and read up on the "tray" method, and find out how to water your plants (you ARE using distilled/rain/ or R.O. water...right?).

    Many plants CAN be grown indoors! How well they do will depend entirely on the environment you create for them. It is entirely up to YOU! I hope to post some pics in another thread in the next few days, showing some Sarrs that have spent their entire lives growing indoors under lights. Keep an eye out for it, as I think you will be reassured by what you see.

    I also advise going to the library and getting some books out on CP's (preferably recently published, not 25+ years old... as techniques have changed some), and also searching here on TF and elsewhere on the net for info on growing. The information is all easily available if one looks around for a couple days. So I guess my advice is also to read and research as much as you can.

    While today's newbie is indeed next weeks expert, it is sad to see that people feel they need to be an expert to fit in and feel good about themselves. As pointed out elsewhere, people who have only been growing for a few months already feel a need to start giving others advice, even about plants they have never grown and situations they have never encountered. So keep in mind that you are getting opinions here, and that everyone has an opinion... not just experienced growers; and it can be hard to tell them apart.

    My last advice is to take what you hear as someone's opinion and as a guide. But ultimately you must learn for yourself what you can and can't do. Above all remember, what works for one person may NOT work for someone else! It is just the nature of things in dealing with the infinite variables involved when providing a healthy and required environment for a plant.


    [And also remember, the environment your Sarr finds ideal, may not be best for your future Nepenthes!]
    This is all just my opinion... take it for what it's worth and in how it may apply to what you need. I offer it with the hope that is may be of some help to you or others.
    Good luck!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  2. #10

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    Thank you GrowinOld. I looked online and found a 4ft shop light for $20. I have been using distilled water on the plant. I havent grown CPs since i was in Elementary School, and i know a lot has changed. I really appriciate your advice.

  3. #11
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Four hours of direct/full sunlight is probably the barest minimum amount for many carnivorous plants. You might be able to get away with it on your windowsill, although dormancy may be a challenge.

    The pluses are that the days are still getting longer and being in Denver the altitude should give you more intensity to the sunlight received.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  4. #12

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    Ok, well, i have gotten myself a nice set up, and at the end of this month i will go ahead and post some pics of the plants i have before the set up and how they look now. They are all lookin great.

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