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Thread: Humidity trays?

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    Can humidity trays like the ones used for orchids, gravel on the bottom then filled with water, be used to {happily} grow a Heliamphora (heterodoxa x minor) on a windowsill that only gets direct sun from 7[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]0a.m. to 12[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]0 noon? Thanx, L.A. Traphole

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    It will depend alot on your normal growing environment. The humidity tray thing does very little for raising the humidity around plants placed on it. More of a perpetuated myth that you can raise the humidity around a plant by using one.

    If you want to retain the humidity around the plant you need to either replace it quickly or contain it. An ultrasonic humidifier next to the plants would be one method. Or a plastic container with side walls at least several inches higher than the top of the plant.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    What are humidity trays? Are those the one with a little hole where you water your plants? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] I live in a small city that is my excuse [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] .
    \"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.\"
    -- Oscar Wilde

    http://www.nasarracenia.org/

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    Thank you Tony for enlightening me about the trays. What you suggested about the humidifier and plastic panels sounds too expensive, cumbersome, and unsightly, so can you suggest any other ways to provide humidity to the plant. Will a larger tray filled with water placed under the pot and the regular water tray generate enough humidity for a Heliamphora? Should I just abandon the tray idea and stick to frequent misting? Thank you

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Travis,

    Humidity tray, is a tray with gravel and water in it, on which the pots are placed. The water level remains below the top of the gravel. In theory it would raise the humidity level around the plant. In practice the moisture evaporated off the gravel dissipates within a very short distance from the top of the gravel.

    LA Traphole,

    A larger tray would not make any noticeable difference. Frequent mistings might help a little but only for a short while, as well as cause a very large up/down humidity swing which might stress the plant. I would also be worried that excess moisture would accumulate in leaf axils and potential cause problems with disease. Wetting a plant frequently as opposed to having it in a steadily humid environment are two very different things.

    If you can't maintain decent humidity within a large space by using some sort of humidifier then your only other option is to enclose the plant to some degree.

    You could put the plant in a small glass aquarium with the top off or partly off.. some moist sphagnum around the pot would help keep humidity levels higher around the plant. As long as it wasn't sealed up too much since you mention giving it natural light.

    The other possibility is you could grow it just fine without any modifications provided your local humidity is sufficiently high enough. And you have nothing like AC or a dehumidifier running.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Huh, that is interesting? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img] I can try that with the plants that are outside of my terrarium (outside air is dry). Thanks, Tony

    Travis
    \"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.\"
    -- Oscar Wilde

    http://www.nasarracenia.org/

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Try what? A humidity tray?

    They are totally ineffective at raising the humidity around a plant sitting 4+ inches above the gravel.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    LA Traphole,

    Los Angeles is much too dry. A humidity tray won't provide enough humidity for a heli. Five hours of direct CA sun is a little excessive. I would aim for 3 hours with 2 hours of bright shaded light.

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