I've been out of the CP business for far too long. Bear with the story, it's out of nostalgia! I have questions at the bottom for those who do not wish to read it. Thank you!
Yeah, if you're an older member of this forum you'll recognize me. I was like 12 years old when I joined. When I first got into CPs I loved them, I started growing them after doing a Science project on them in 7th grade. My friend Rashaud took the Venus Flytrap as his plant of choice, out of jealousy, I decided that "Hey, there must be more carnivorous plants out there to choose from, right?" so I chose the Butterwort, or Pinguicula.
I bought VFT seeds off of eBay and then started to grow these plants. I had about eighty plants at one point, all over my deck, they loved it! I had two four foot tall Sarracenias, and I have fond memories of when ants laid their eggs in my Sarracenia leucophylla 'hot pink''s pot, and then the entire colony was subsequently devoured. Yeah, good times!
I had a turning point when I was bringing my entire collection to a friend of mine, Ed, who owns a large greenhouse full of exotic plants [awesome Nepenthes are some of them!] offered to house my temperate plants for the winter. I was very thankful for his generosity, and since we lived in Wisconsin, I had little choice.
On the car ride there, I was in a horrible accident, I remember vaguely, me crying, picking up destroyed plants off the ground, which were bathing in radiator fluid. Some were smashed in the car, unable to get them out.
I lost everything. I bought a few more the next summer, not very many, but, still some, yet, they were unable to survive the winter. I brought them out in late March, they had been dormant since November, I had to. They started to show signs of recovery, but, a massive frost took them out. Shortly after, my Cephalotus 'German Giant' which I boasted about since it flourished in my windowsill with no extra humidity or anything like that for two years, with no extra accommodations [even in the winter] randomly died after flowering. I grew it from nearly seed, and it ended up with pitchers a little over an inch and a half.
I only have one Pinguicula now that I won in the auctions here in 2007.
I've been recently motivated to start again. I've learned my lesson. You can't grow anything in Wisconsin unless you got some money. Which I don't have. So, what do I do? I have some empty closet space, and space in the basement, I could utilize.
If I were to grow Drosera/smaller carnivorous plants, ones that could fit on a moderately priced/size grow-rack, what species could I grow? Would Cephalotus be possible again? [I absolutely love this plant in particular, it's the only one that stuck with me through it all, and alas, it died] Would smaller Nepenthes be possible? [I had a Nepenthes ventricosa in my windowsill, it didn't grow very big due to pot size/location, but, it had some pitchers and caught a wasp once]
Could anyone tell me some good brands of grow racks I'd need? Things I'd need to keep the humidity up? The Holiday season is coming. I have nothing to spend the large amount of money I'll be getting [Grandparents usually send a lot]. I was hoping to upgrade my computer, but, that's pointless, as it easily slams anything I throw at it that's not a computer game, and even then, I don't play anything graphically intensive [WoW, Diablo II and anything from Blizzard is about it! Haha].
That doesn't mean I'm rich though, I got a budget of around $200-$250. Plants will be my last concern, I can get them over time, a good set up is what I need now.
So, grow rack that will be able to be constantly heated properly with proper humidity, and the like is what I'm asking for, suited for carnivorous plants that are more tropical, not extremely large [N. rajah anyone?], and have similar characteristics.
I've tried to do my own research; trust me, but, it has been so long I have no idea what's good and what's bad anymore. I only have old fragments of information in my brain, I'm sure once I get back into it, it will mostly all bubble up again, but, for now, I'm rusty. I really could use some help. I need a hobby, I'm getting addicted to World of Warcraft because I have nothing to do anymore, and I really love carnivorous plants.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide, sorry for the obnoxiously long story/post. I posted this in the "Drosera" section, since, I'll probably end up with a lot of Drosera, maybe a Cephalotus down the line if I'm lucky, a few small Nepenthes and Pings, but, probably a lot of Drosera. I can grow Venus Flytraps/Pitcher plants outside during the summer, but, I won't go nuts and buy 80 of them since they'll just die during the winter, most likely.
Anyway, thank you so much for your help. I realize I haven't been here in a long time, but, hopefully that will turn around. You guys were always the most helpful and nice people I've ran into, and looking through some of my old PMs on here has brought back some good memories.