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Thread: Any harm in going 100% LFS (Maybe some live) for These Sundews:

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Any harm in going 100% LFS (Maybe some live) for These Sundews:

    Im moving to a terrarium setup here in the next week because quite frankly my humidity inside my house is absolutely terrible. Probably something akin to a 20 gallon (Since I only have a 2 foot long light). (BTW Any tips on how high the light should be in a terrarium? right now they are about 8 inches).

    Anyways, the humidity is terrible inside my house, and fluctuates quite a bit (Jumps from 35 to 49) and this isn't even winter yet!.

    But with some declining of my spatula, and poor humidity I was thinking of making the jump to 100% LFS. I need to repot my capensis anyways as it's getting crowded and I was wanting to order a D.Adelae and possibly D.Filiformis.

    Is this a bad move? I want to get some LIVE Spagnum going eventually, but use it more as a top dressing for established plants (Not for seeds which they might overwhelm).

    I guess my main concern is dealing with water, Within a terrarium I know the humidity will make them much more moist, in that case should I maybe not use a tray method?
    Thanks!

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I would actually recommend LFS over peat for D. adelae. Keep in mind that LFS tends to end up pretty ugly in lower humidity (any tips sticking up will dry out and can turn black) and it's just as bad with the live stuff. I do not know of any benefit to using LFS for the other two species. As for live sphagnum, it can be difficult to grow smaller CPs in it since it tends to overgrow them though there are a few species that prefer it. It's much more suitable for larger pitcher plants in general.

    D. spatulata and D. capensis do not need elevated humidity. D. adelae may benefit from it, but still grows fine at 40% for me. Personally I would recommend against a terrarium setup for a beginner as it's likely to cause more problems than it solves, and your humidity should not be an issue.

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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Surely they don't get harmed in higher humidity however? (Capensis and Spat?). My other reasoning for wanting a terrarium is for other plants (neps/cephs eventually). I mean I would plan on putting some sort of ventilation in it as well since I am aware stagnant air could cause some mold/fungus problems.

    As far as the LFS: For stuff like Capensis it should be ok right? Spat is kinda short, but I guess for live LFS if I kept it trimmed it should be alright (I don't plan on growing pygmies). I mean sadly my humidity can get really really low in our house (Im looking at it right now and it says 35%, so thats pretty pitiful unfortunately). I see what you mean with the terrarium being more "difficult" to maintain but im up for the challenge (But your point is correctly and duly noted!).

    Also the other thing is Im wanting to grow my own LIVE Spagnum eventually (for other plants)....although Im guessing that can be done with a covered box probably too.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    It's not that the higher humidity is bad for the plants, but it does make them more prone to fungal infection unless you can provide adequate airflow. It makes the whole growing setup much more complicated with more things that can go wrong. Like I said, these plants don't really care about humidity much. I'm pretty sure D. capensis will grow at 10% humidity without any issues and even D. adelae I've had growing at 40-50% with drops down to 30% at times. D. adelae also seems to be more prone to fungal infections than other species so I'd be extra careful with it.

    Even Neps (not all of them, of course) and Cephs don't really need high humidity, though it may help them grow faster. Most CPs are more tolerant than people would have you believe.

    Windowsill Nepenthes by Nimbulan, on Flickr
    I know the meter is difficult to see but it's reading 40% humidity which is pretty normal.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    D. capensis would probably prefer a peat- or sand-based soil, but it's a weed and mostly won't care. Live sphagnum is a preferred medium for all the Queensland sisters, adelae included, but filiformis definitely will prefer a more sandy peat-type soil over sphagnum.
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    Mercfh's Avatar
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    Hmm I see, well I might hold off on the Sphagnum front then until I get other plants that benefit from it. Although I think repotting is still maybe a good idea for some of mine (I think the peat/mixture wasn't rinsed enough when I planted them unfortunately. Even though it seems basically impossible to find the right kind of sand, guess i'll have to go with perilite unfortunately.

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