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Thread: Sundews and confined spaces...

  1. #1

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    I'm really interested to figure out why I can grow Drosera perfectly outdoors (that part I understand), in a terrarium they die off, but if I put them in a mini-terrarium (a small plastic cube, like you would store a beanie baby in) or small completely enclosed just about air tight container they grow almost as well as they would if they were left outside in the open?

    When they die in a terrarium I figure it's from lack of good air circulation and fungal attacks...but wouldn't this be the same in a closed plastic encasement?

    I took some D. intermedia from a tank, the leaf tips dried and died off fast and browned back to the base of the plant on all the newer leaves, white fungus was appearing where it was dying off. I took these plants and put them in a plastic storage container, 4"L x 2"H x 3"D, filled the containers half full with whatever was in the bottom of my bucket, tossed the plants on top (literally), watered, stuck them on a window sill and forgot about them. I open the container up a week or so later and there's a scape. Growing along underneath the top, then along a wall and sticking in the condensation that formed on the side. Looking closer the scape went from buds forming to a plant on the end of the stalk.

    Anyone understand the difference between a tank and a small plastic container?
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

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    Well, all I can say is the same thing happens to me. They grow extremely well in an enclosed container, but do not grow as well in a terrarium. I would also like to see an answer to this topic.
    John 3:16
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    Prior to the funeral home visit, we heard ~ "Hey'all watch this ! !"

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    For how long does it do well? It may be a short run thing, as we all know that they eventually do need the air circulation. I have purchased those Lowes cubes and if they hadn't been kicking around for like forever, they can look pretty good - until you open them and shock the plant. I'm guessing they do well for a short time.

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    The only times I ever had a problem with dews in a terrarium were from insufficient lighting and too much humidity. This was under 160W of fluorescents, but as soon as I switched to 400W HPS (only in the winter), they took off and coloured up nicely. I don't know, maybe I'm poking in the wrong direction. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Cheers,
    Amori

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    My closest experience to this was growing assorted Drosera from seed in a glass covered bin with only 2 inches between substrate and glass. The bin had holes and sat in a wheelbarrow full of water, so the surface always stayed wet. The glass was open about 1/4 inch. The seedlings were already acclimated to full sun, and the bin sat in full sun. The humidity had to have been 100%. I would have expected them all to burn, but instead they throve and matured faster than any I have ever cultivated. I assume it was due to the degree of humidity, but also the abundant light. Terrarium culture is difficult more for the lack of light I believe. It's hard to get enough light through the container for the plants for them to really thrive. Another factor would be the heat factor in the substrate, but this certainly did not affect the plants grown as above. It seems like the totally saturated environment of a smaller jar would act the same way, especially if the light is good. Drosera appreciate high humidity, but most do not take well to overly warm roots.
    Air circulation is always a good thing, but it was totally absent in the bin. Like anything else, there are always exceptions to the rule - so if a method works, stick with it. Usually success is based on a number of factors playing off each other that optimize what the plant needs, and not on anyone particular factor.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    I use propagators on my windowsill which receives direct sunlight from sunrise to well into midday. The humidity is extremely high in there but the light and warmth from the Sun hardens the plants so well. Nothing beats nature's cheapest yet most efficient lighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ Sep. 07 2005,5:27)]For how long does it do well? It may be a short run thing, as we all know that they eventually do need the air circulation. I have purchased those Lowes cubes and if they hadn't been kicking around for like forever, they can look pretty good - until you open them and shock the plant. I'm guessing they do well for a short time.
    Jim,

    In a terrarium, or heck, even in a large growspace (like one of those four tiered mini-greenhouses sideways) they do well for a max of 2 weeks or so then start to decline.

    On the opposite side of the coin, i've had different species of Drosera growing in a 2.5" pot with nothing more than a few centimeters of airspace above the actual leaves for growth. I left some of these plants for six months, never watering again, and never opening the container for fresh air. These were some of the healthiest looking plants i have ever grown.


    Tamlin,

    I agree with the temperature of the roots being an issue, but it's more the response on top of the substrate than below. I would assume that plants in a small enclosure, especially in sunlight would cook a lot faster than plants in an open growspace or terrarium. Even if the plant just steams.
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

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    I thought that would be the case. Temps. inside that bin had to reach well over 100F on sunny days, and yet even the alpine form of D. spatulata from New Zealand grew without problems. The substrate was about 8 inches deep, so my guess is the large volume of it is what saved the day.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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