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Thread: Automatic watering systems for nepenthes

  1. #1

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    Automatic watering systems for nepenthes

    I keep about 4 nepenthes indoors but am thinking about getting a bunch more (I love neps). Watering them takes a bit more effort than I'd like especially when compared to how I water the rest of my plants using the tray method.

    There are two reasons I'm interested in automatic watering systems:
    1) I want my neps to be OK unsupervised even if I take a nice long vacation some day
    2) Top watering neps every 2-3 days is a repetitive task that I'd like to cut back on

    Has anyone tried any auto watering system for nepenthes?

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    You may have seen the father's day thread where two of us were given Nepenthes from Lowe's. I decided to try mine indoors which I've not done (except long ago when I had a plant rack and humidified my house and had lights etc). This one I'm trying in an east kitchen window and using one of those self watering globes that at most I've had to refill every 5 days and at least every 9 days. I assume you're looking for something even longer term than that, I have not tried anything else...
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    corky's Avatar
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    I've read a thread on another forum of a grower using a hydroponic dripper system with great success, if that's the kind of thing you were thinking of

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    madrone's Avatar
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    Glad you asked this question, because it reminded me that Grey Moss had documented his process in building an automatic watering system for his nepenthes. I borrowed heavily from his experience to set-up a similar temporary system to take care of some non-neps while I was on vacation and it worked well for that purpose. Here's a link to the instructional thread: Indoor Drip Irrigation Systems

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Ive been using this for years... uber simple and reliable

    new heli chamber

    - - - Updated - - -

    (thread predates modern LED's LOL)

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    Wow awesome replies!

    adnedarn, are you referring to the watering globes that are made out of glass that you stick into the soil? Having to refill it every 5 to 9 days is already an improvement over regular watering. Do you find that it keeps the media at an appropriate moistness level (not too dry or wet)? What size pot are your neps in?

    corky/madrone, an indoor drip irrigation system is a great idea. Am I correct in assuming that this method requires 1) a tray or container below every nep to catch any excess water, and 2) very careful calibration to ensure the amount of water each plant receives isn't to little or too much?

    Av8tor1, wow... I love the use of the siphon, and I love the flood and drain system. Really clever! How often do you clean the system/have you had any issues with algae or high TDS levels? I'm not sure what kind of reservoir you're using but I presume an opaque and closed reservoir would be more resistant to algae. Now that you've been using this system for so long, is there anything you would change in how it's built?

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    My reservoir is not enclosed but is under the bottom bin so not much light gets to it...

    I have replaced the pump once since I built it. I do replace the aquarium tubing pretty often as it will get restricted with algae
    I also typically change the water in the reservoir once a year (seriously, but it rarely gets over 18ppm)
    However, i have to add to the reservoir pretty often (couple weeks maybe?)

    edit: after eight yrs the design is still identical to what it was day one, I am also a big believer in the benefits of high saturated oxygen levels so i keep an airstone running in the reservoir 24/7.
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 10-29-2019 at 06:48 AM. Reason: add additional comment

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the one! I only use it in that one Nep that I am trying in my house. You can see photos of it here. It looks like maybe a 6" pot? And the globe is "large" size, I do have a zip tie wrapped around the far hanging in order to hold it up though, it was falling in a short time after originally putting it in from the top weight and having to be in at an angle. The moisture level does seem pretty good, the Nep. doesn't seem to be complaining. The media seems to be some type of pure peat moss maybe, I don't really see anything else in it.
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