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Thread: Not sure how to plant...

  1. #1

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    Not sure how to plant...

    Hi all,

    I'm brand new to CPs and tomorrow I'm taking delivery of three Sundews and two VFTs. Now, I want to add them into an existing terrarium I have. The terrarium currently houses some moss, two bromeliads, a tilandsia and some kind of fern. The medium consists of a mixture made of peat moss, vermiculite and some potting soil. I've now had this setup for about 3 months and it is now fairly established with the mosses putting out new growth, the fern doing very well with new leaves and the bromeliads in good health.

    I am aware of the fact that the CPs need to be planted in different medium, and for this I am planning on using a peat moss and vermiculite only mixture. Now, what I want to know, is if I can put the CPs in their own containers/pots, and then sink these into the medium in the container, thereby not "contaminating" them with it. This will also allow me to remove the VFTs when they go dormant.

    The only watering system I've been using in the tank is an ultrasonic humidifier which fills the tank with cold fog 4 times a day. I also have a ventilation setup on a timer with fresh air circulated through the tank 4 times a day. I use CFLs as growing lights and they work very well.

    Think this will work?
    Last edited by Waltjie; 01-22-2014 at 09:03 AM.

  2. #2
    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Vermiculite is only really appropriate with Mexican Pinguicula, as it tends to break down and release lots of minerals which would kill other CP's. Also, if you embed pots into the planted terrarium, even if the pots have a different soil, nutrients from the potting soil would leach in and kill your CP's, unless the pots are undrained, which would mean you'd have to watch the water levels too. For the CP's I'd recommend a soil mix of either peat and perlite or sand, or even just pure peat, and the water you're using needs to be very pure.
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    KNepenthe's Avatar
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    Hi waltjie! Congrats on starting up CPs! You will soon be hooked :P As far as the planting media I would probably throw some silica sand in the mix as well and be sure to rinse the media out with distilled water before using it. Some peat mosses have total dissolved solids reading at 10 out of the bag and others have it up in the hundreds so to be on the safe side rinse and repeat. As far as the pots go do they have drainage holes in the bottom? If not just pop them in there and you should be fine because the soils will never contact one another. If they do I would "double" up the pots. If you do that there should be a small gap of air in the bottom so that the CP pots never have to sit on the potting soil and chance sapping up unwanted nutrients. Last word of caution would be not to do a 'flood' watering of the terrarium while the CPs are in there because this again would rinse nutrient rich water into the seperated pots. Hope this helps! Good luck!

    *edit*- Hahaha I was apparently writing this just as hcarlton was posting too

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    Quote Originally Posted by KNepenthe View Post
    Hi waltjie! Congrats on starting up CPs! You will soon be hooked :P As far as the planting media I would probably throw some silica sand in the mix as well and be sure to rinse the media out with distilled water before using it. Some peat mosses have total dissolved solids reading at 10 out of the bag and others have it up in the hundreds so to be on the safe side rinse and repeat. As far as the pots go do they have drainage holes in the bottom? If not just pop them in there and you should be fine because the soils will never contact one another. If they do I would "double" up the pots. If you do that there should be a small gap of air in the bottom so that the CP pots never have to sit on the potting soil and chance sapping up unwanted nutrients. Last word of caution would be not to do a 'flood' watering of the terrarium while the CPs are in there because this again would rinse nutrient rich water into the seperated pots. Hope this helps! Good luck!

    *edit*- Hahaha I was apparently writing this just as hcarlton was posting too
    The containers I am planning on using do NOT have drainage holes in the bottom. Will this be okay if I use only peat moss and keep them fairly moist, not flooded? As I mentioned, I don't ever really "water" the terrarium as such, as the plants in their right now are mostly epiphytes and I don't need to add much water but rather maintain a very high level of humidity.

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    KNepenthe's Avatar
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    This should be fine but you will have to be very careful when watering. Also I personally would add some sand and perilite for aeration and to prevent soil compaction. Not having those drainage holes makes it extremely easy to over water. But if you have enough plant based knowledge you should be able to pull it off.

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    Well it's been a week now since I planted my new babies in my terrarium, and they seem to be doing VERY well! All the plants are pushing out new growth and look very happy. I have a question... I've tried feeding my Sundew, but the leaves don't curl around the insects. Does it matter? Will it still digest the poor little critter?

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    As long as the tentacles move, it should be fine. Not all sundews will curl around their prey, but if you put the food on the outer tentacles they should have moved it to the center of the trap. It also depends on the size of the prey. I'm assuming that there is dew on the tentacles.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Do the tentacles have dew on them? If they are dry you should remove the food matter as it will just rot. If the tentacles have dew and they close around the food, though the leaf does not, that is fine. If the tentacles have dew and don't close on the food you can take a toothpick and stimulate them a bit and they should respond. 'Hope this helps.
    - Mark

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