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Thread: Highland Growers - I need your HELP!

  1. #1
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Highland Growers - I need your HELP!

    Hi Successful(or semi-successful) Highland Nepenthes growers!
    I could use a little help and advice. While I have read much about building a grow chamber, I would like some actual advice from some experienced growers.
    I am in the process of creating/designing a Highland grow chamber and am curious what others have done and what your results have been. (I became a member on TF to hear from YOU, and to share some of my experience too. So realize it or not, YOUR input IS important to others!)
    In particular, what are YOU using to cool the unit, keep humidity high, lighting, etc. Anything you think a novice needs to know to build a successful setup would be helpful. (Pics are worth a thousand words!) I have killed enough plants in my lifetime to want to learn from the experiences of others without sacrificing more CP lives!

    Also, I have heard conflicting information concerning the best Day/Night temps to keep the unit at (and humidity changes) for best results. YOUR input is important to me. I want to hear your experiences, recommendations, AND warnings or failures! (If someone requested this information previously, I could not find the thread that covered as much as I would like to hear. Perhaps I missed it.)
    Anyway, if you don't mind sharing some information, tips, tricks, common info or "trade secrets", or even your miserable failures, your help and input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks All!
    Thread & PM replies welcome and GREATLY appreciated.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Hi,

    To begin with, I would keep it as simple a system as possible -- mechanical breakdowns can be far too many (I've heard of people losing ten year old plants). While the Nepenthes plants are small, I would simply place them in a vented germination tray outdoors (or in a cool garage) at night. The trays I've used are lined with saturated long-fiber sphagnum and the plants are arranged in pots on top.

    Here, in Northern CA, where nightime Tbs are almost always in the fifties (unless all of CA is on fire by now), the climate has allowed me to successfully (so far, heh, heh) grow highland or ultra-highland N. villosa, N. hamata, N. macrophylla, N. jaquelinae, N. ovata, N. aristolochoides, as well as a number of Heliamphora. Providing a distinct drop in Tb is more important in the long run, than the actual number. I discovered this much to my relief with our recent heat waves where many cities faced triple digits for several days.

    Others I know, have built, had fabricated (for a reasonable price from plexiglass), or purchased Edwardian Cases or orchidariums (which range from 500-2500.00). Some have even taken to placing a couple pouches of gel ice on shelves to cool nasty touchy plants by night. Take a look online at what is available. Some are simply small greenhouses while others feature exhaust fans, and all manner of elecronics. I am probably going the fabrication rote when the plants threaten to outgrow their current location.

    The long and short of it. Don't go too nuts with preparation. I have managed to abuse a great number of Nepenthes over the years and they keep coming back for more . . .


    Quote Originally Posted by GrowinOld View Post
    Hi Successful(or semi-successful) Highland Nepenthes growers!
    I could use a little help and advice. While I have read much about building a grow chamber, I would like some actual advice from some experienced growers.
    I am in the process of creating/designing a Highland grow chamber and am curious what others have done and what your results have been. (I became a member on TF to hear from YOU, and to share some of my experience too. So realize it or not, YOUR input IS important to others!)
    In particular, what are YOU using to cool the unit, keep humidity high, lighting, etc. Anything you think a novice needs to know to build a successful setup would be helpful. (Pics are worth a thousand words!) I have killed enough plants in my lifetime to want to learn from the experiences of others without sacrificing more CP lives!

    Also, I have heard conflicting information concerning the best Day/Night temps to keep the unit at (and humidity changes) for best results. YOUR input is important to me. I want to hear your experiences, recommendations, AND warnings or failures! (If someone requested this information previously, I could not find the thread that covered as much as I would like to hear. Perhaps I missed it.)
    Anyway, if you don't mind sharing some information, tips, tricks, common info or "trade secrets", or even your miserable failures, your help and input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks All!
    Thread & PM replies welcome and GREATLY appreciated.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    best and cheapest way i believe would be to buy a large aquarium, tip it on its side, coat the sides with mylar, add a few shoplights ontop, a couple small computer fans for air circulation and slight cooling, and maybe a light mister, you dont even really need the mister. highland terrariums are pretty easy, especially where i am here in Washington, since its in my room and i like it cold anyway at night, i just open my window lol.

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    ilbasso's Avatar
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    There are portable AC units that do not require ventilation out of a window that I'd love to try if I had the money. I think I saw them at places like Home Depot. You'd probably need to add a humidifier to the chamber along with any AC. This would all be only if you had a BIG walk-in chamber. If you're looking for an easy way to cool a tank, me too!

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilbasso View Post
    There are portable AC units that do not require ventilation out of a window that I'd love to try if I had the money. I think I saw them at places like Home Depot. You'd probably need to add a humidifier to the chamber along with any AC. This would all be only if you had a BIG walk-in chamber. If you're looking for an easy way to cool a tank, me too!
    The far simplest (read "cheapest") method for cooling a reasonable sized tank -- especially for beginners -- is to use a few blocks of gel ice in a safe spot away from plant contact. The stuff lasts a good twelve hours or so and can simply be refrozen. I think I recall Peter D'Amato even suggesting its use at one time.

    I used a couple during recent heat waves in CA . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  6. #6
    Is ready to take this hobby to a whole new level DavyJones's Avatar
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    I'm telling you guys, windowsill is the way to go!
    "We are in a sense the Universe trying to understand itself. By Observing it we are observing what we are." - Phillip Plait

    Growlist: Updated 1/11/12 http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=110846

  7. #7
    BigBella's Avatar
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    hey,

    I agree . . . to a degree. I simply ran out of available windowsills and do not wish to go hunting for a new girlfriend anytime soon . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by DavyJones View Post
    I'm telling you guys, windowsill is the way to go!
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  8. #8
    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I grow mine in a cool basement but I'm still looking for a way to get night temps under 68 for the summer months. I might try to go with that gel ice. Is that just stuff you can find at wal-mart for use with lunch boxes?

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