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Thread: Terrarium vs. windowsill

  1. #1

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    Having a little dispute on windowsill vs terrariums. What do you guys think? Terrariums allow you to re-create exact habitat conditions for your plants. Of course, they will do better with the same climate as the one that they have thrived in for generation after generation. The person i was arguing with said that they do worse in their wild habitat because he has seen plants in the wild and they only have one active pitcher at a time. I followed that up by saying that in the wild there are other things that come into play besides climate like competition among other things, if there is no competition in your terrarium and the conditions are exactly as they are in their habitat, logically they will do better. He said "no thats not true". What do you guys think? (tony that means you!)

    BTW: I'm talking about plants in general but i posted it in the nep forum because i think nepenthes are the most climate strict CP there are.
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

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    Well, here is my opinion:

    If a plant has been growing and has acclimitized to a window, it will look just as good as one in a terrarium. However, there are exeptions to this(e.g N.villosa, heliamphora) And Im not not talking about Neps in particular here.
    Im talking about CPs in general. Particualy about ones that dont need a terrarium to grow well.

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    Maybe you have the conditions that the plant favors or can get acclimated to. Logically: give the plant the conditions its had for generations (we are talking about climate) and they will do best in those conditions.
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

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    A terrarium is better because you can regulate the humidity a lot easier and maintain a fixed percentage. (There are some Neps that really dislike humidity differences)

    However without the right lighting setup this advantage can quickly become negligible because sun rays can do a lot good things also. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Bottom line is that a terrarium will be better IF you have the right setup. But you have to make it perfect. Including things like a small fan to simulate some wind which the plant would have in itís habitat also no doubt. (Makes leaves stronger, and reduce chance of fungus...)

    For me itís not really a problem. I have a reasonable sized windowsill and a 100 gallon terrarium so I put my difficult plants in the terrarium and the easier ones (N. Miranda for example) on the window sill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Phyrex @ Nov. 13 2004,12:43)]A terrarium is better because you can regulate the humidity a lot easier and maintain a fixed percentage. (There are some Neps that really dislike humidity differences)

    However without the right lighting setup this advantage can quickly become negligible because sun rays can do a lot good things also. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Bottom line is that a terrarium will be better IF you have the right setup. But you have to make it perfect. Including things like a small fan to simulate some wind which the plant would have in itís habitat also no doubt. (Makes leaves stronger, and reduce chance of fungus...)

    For me itís not really a problem. I have a reasonable sized windowsill and a 100 gallon terrarium so I put my difficult plants in the terrarium and the easier ones (N. Miranda for example) on the window sill.
    But I find all of my plants look jsut as good as those ina terrarium.
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    Then either your terrarium isn't optimal or your windowsill spot is awesome.
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  7. #7
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    Seems to be several issues here. Your talking windowsill vs terrarium then also bringing up wild vs cultivated.

    My personal thoughts are that it is possible to improve on nature because in cultivation you can regulate many more environmental conditions. Nature is a harsh place even for locations that have a fairly steady environment.

    As for windowsill vs terrarium there are just way too many factors to know which is better. I think for every grower out there it will be a different answer. With terrariums it would be easier to recreate a type of environment from one grower to the next. For example if I made a grow chamber exactly like Swords with the exact same lights, setup, equipment then I would have a good handle on which plants would do well and how well they would grow. But even then a slight change in watering or potting mix composition or even size of the pot used or placement of the plants in the chamber might make subtle differences. Windowsills are more like natural environments.. they change from season to season and even from day to day. Hence the plants are going to have a harder time. Even if they look great, who's to say they may not have looked even better in a more controlled environment?

    Tony
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    Here's another issue: in my windowsill, my nepenthes do great - all summer, but they don't grow much at all over winter. There just isn't nearly as much sunlight in the shorter days as there is in the long days of summer. In a terrarium (or artificially lit grow racks as in my case), I can keep a consistent amount of light.

    But, I'd have to say the ones in the windowsill over summer grew as well as any of my plants under lights.

    Capslock
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