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Thread: Need advice on how to retain humidity

  1. #1

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    Here is a nice big beautiful Drosera. I need to find a way to retain moisture in and around this plant. We have a radiator issue and an aluminum window down draft problem in the classroom. We are not going to be allowed to put a shelf in front of the radiators to place the plants on which would have gotten them away from the radiators and the down drafts. The plants are going to have to stay on the sills.

    The plant hangs over the sides and I am told it is supposed to drape over the sides like a hanging basket type plant.

    Can anyone suggest an online source to buy a big clear plastic/glass cloche for this plant?

    I really am at a loss for a readily available product to use to help keep the draft off the plant and to stop the soil from drying out. Has anyone out there created something that might work that I could copy?

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    A big plastic rubbermaid storage container? A big clear trash bag would work but you would need to make some sort of frame to keep it 'inflated'. Something moisture resistent preferably.. like 1/2" pvc pipe and fittings.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    BobZ's Avatar
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    An alternative to elaborate construction is to experiment. Perhaps school's conditions, without intervention, will be just fine. Try putting the school specimens in the best place available in the classroom and see what can survive. You may be pleasantly surprised. As a safety net, take a few replacement plants home and keep them in "ideal" conditions. If some of the plants at the school croak, wait until Spring when the heater is turned off and conditions are better, then replace them with the ones you have kept at home. Or, post a note and I am pretty sure that you can get a replacement donation from someone.

    This is what I do with the plants at the University greenhouse. They have a "no pesticide" policy. As a result, the CPs are attacked continually by thrips, aphids, scale, slugs, etc. Some CPs do just fine, but all Sarracenia and some Drosera become horribly deformed and eventually succumb. Every few months, I replace the plants from my stock at home.

    I have known people that have religiously used distilled or deionized water for years before they discovered that their tap water worked just as well. Experiment!

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    Hi Bob, I will have nothing left at home other than one D. burmannii (Red Tentacles) because one of my kids helped me try to get them out of the bags and pinched it accidentally so I thought I'd hang onto that little crippled plant and then there are a few Sarracenia that are still out in my garage until this Friday when I had arranged to bring them over to the school too. Turns out the teacher has a garage that never freezes also so I began transferring all of the hardy CPs to her, even the Venus Fly Traps that needed to root for 30-60 days then go out into the garage for a dormancy period. The hardy plants are all the ones that will ultimately end up in their bog next spring outside the school year round. The tropicals and other assorted will all remain in the classroom. Personally, I was sort of relieved they were ALL going to be out of my garage and kitchen because the boys here get sort of... well boys will be boys and an airborn nerf ball is not an uncommon occurrence. I think I better leave well enough alone as pertains to the plants all being over there, as the kids in her classes go and look at them all the time and if they disappeared it would sort of be like making a statement that kids are incompetent at this point. If my decision is a screw up and a few croak... I am thinking that I know exactly where to go to get a few replacements We don't have any more plants being sent, just seed to the best of my knowledge. Next time around I will keep one here as a reserve and just not say anything.

    Other than that, I need to begin turning this project over to the teacher. She said she has permission to let the kids dig out the bog next spring which is actually preferable as it is their bog. Let them get a chance to experience solid clay first hand. Their backs are in a lot better condition than mine.

    Hi Tony, I thought about what you said and although I have no idea how to make a frame out of pvc (scary thought actually), I did modify in my mind what you suggested that I could make by myself. I am going to pick up 5 bamboo stakes and place them around the edge of the pot. Then I will drape something over the stakes and we have some clear plastic bags that will probably work from the dry cleaners. This should do the same thing, right? At least it will get the draft off of the plant.

    Gosh, I forgot the photo-





  5. #5
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    One thing that would help is to make sure that the CP containers are sitting in a larger container with distilled water. They refer to that as "open tray". Evaporation takes place, but water does rise through the container and keeps the soil media and plants moist. The evaporation also allows for the "local" humidity to be higher than the room. This is not unlike the lab's envrionment with AC, heat, and hoods, when I had my plants in the main lab. They did well as long as I kept up with adding water to their "trays".

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    Cat litter boxes? Sure have enough of those around here.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Oh yes, cat litter boxes are definitely a good idea! I use them. They may not have aesthetic appeal, but they dure DO work! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Bamboo stakes would do fine too. Bamboo is pretty rot resistant. Drycleaner bag would work.. might be a bit large hehe. Another thought was a clear bag from the produce section of your local market if your looking for an inexpensive covering to help hold in some humidity.

    Although I also agree with Bob. Once you have a few extra plants start experimenting. Many people get all worked up on providing what they see as the 'perfect' conditions when the plants are often a whole lot more durable then they imagined.
    Tony



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

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