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Thread: Amateur grower on the verge of jumping in the deep end

  1. #1

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    Amateur grower on the verge of jumping in the deep end

    Hello everyone! I've been a stalker of this forum for the last couple of years and finally joined so I can participate fully.
    I purchased my first nepenthes about 2 years ago and was immediately hooked. Since then, I've purchased quite a few more, some sundews, butterworts.... you know the drill, lol.
    My initial plant has started vining and has a good sized basal shoot that I am about to separate and I'm looking forward to the original flowering at some point over the next year or two.

    That said, the "jumping in to the deep end" is due to the fact that I've fallen in love with these plants so much that I have a 10'x12'x12' greenhouse being installed next month. I've been purchasing everything I need to grow my collection and keep them happy and safe (thanks to reading many of the articles on this forum). I had planned to purchase seeds but am very hesitant to purchase them online from a source that I don't trust so I'm hoping to find someone on here soon that has some viable ones available.

    I look forward to getting to know all of you and learning more from your experiences. Cheers!

  2. #2
    nepenthesl0ve's Avatar
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    Welcome! Glad you finally joined hah its much better to participate and swap plants and ideas what is your initial nepenthes that is now vining?

    I want to know all about this greenhouse lol what brand did you go with and heating, cooling units. I am still dreaming of greenhouse life.

    If you pay for a memebership to the ICPS they have a seed bank that you can purchase from and is a great way to support them and get good seed (mostly drosera offered but also VFT and sarrs) it seems that finding nepenthes seed from responsible sellers is difficult. I bought some from ebay and was told soon after that they were likely collected illegally
    lover of toothy species and hybrids

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by nepenthesl0ve View Post
    Welcome! Glad you finally joined hah its much better to participate and swap plants and ideas what is your initial nepenthes that is now vining?

    I want to know all about this greenhouse lol what brand did you go with and heating, cooling units. I am still dreaming of greenhouse life.

    If you pay for a memebership to the ICPS they have a seed bank that you can purchase from and is a great way to support them and get good seed (mostly drosera offered but also VFT and sarrs) it seems that finding nepenthes seed from responsible sellers is difficult. I bought some from ebay and was told soon after that they were likely collected illegally
    As I'm sure most do, I started out with a Ventricosa because they are relatively easy to take care of for a learning enthusiast. I've kept it (and my other plants) in a large aquarium with a timed fogger system and a Finnex 247 Planted+ SE LED lighting system. The Vent is the one that is vining now.
    I have added over the last 2.5 years and now have a N. Stenophylla, a seed grown N. Macfarlanei gentling highland, a N. Maxima large form x Veitchii candy as well as various butterworts and sundews. Needless to say, I've outgrown a large aquarium, lol.
    I got an awesome deal on a Harbor Freight greenhouse that I couldn't pass up. Still in the box from someone that couldn't get their husband to actually build it, it was only $300 (no-brainer, huh?). They aren't the best out of the box, but with another $200 of modifications they can be a really good greenhouse. So, to me, $500 for a 10x12x12 greenhouse is a steal. Since I'm planning to do a lot more in the near future I needed the space after all.
    As for heating/cooling, with where I live that will be minimally needed honestly. For instance this winter we have had a whopping 7 days that dipped below freezing. I will likely use an electric heater with thermostat as primary with a propane backup system just in case of a power outage. For cooling, the 2 roof vents and a fan system should be sufficient Have them auto-open at a specific temp and all that.
    I have already started building my work and growing tables, I have a fogging system and an automated misting system, and I'm now looking into doing an arduino system that will constantly update me on the humidity, temp and other things with graphs daily, as well as inform me of any issues if they occur. I'm a bit of a geek, so to me the more data the better, lol.
    Thank you for the ICPS info! I will definitely look into that because I will be needing seed very soon to get things going, as well as sources for trade and such in the future.
    Last edited by TheGuru; 02-24-2019 at 02:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Wow, you're well on your way! Glad you found the notes on the harbor freight GH, and the "required" upgrades.
    I live in Tucson, Az and in my small g/h (temperate plants 8'x8x12' I think) I keep a cheap oil filled heater set to just above freezing. It has worked fine. In my larger g/h (8x16x10 tropical plants) I use a propane heater to maintain 55f when it is cooler out. Both greenhouses have fans to help keep the air moving around. An important lesson I learned from Tony P (I miss him :'( ) was to pay attention to micro climates in your greenhouse and use that to your advantage. Both greenhouses have swamp coolers on thermostats... They run just about every day even in the winter, the tropical g/h not so much since it's set to 85ish I think it clicks on maybe 3 to 5 times during peak hours. I can tell when I get an alert that the humidity has dropped.
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  5. #5
    nepenthesl0ve's Avatar
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    God bless lazy husbands that lead to cheap greenhouse deals LOL 500 for a greenhouse is certainly a no brainer, truly envious of your minimal heating and cooling demands. I live in New England where summers are very hot, winters very cold and rarely is there a day where a greenhouse wouldnt need climate manipulation.

    Your Nep collection is very nice, once the greenhouse is setup for business will your collection size explode in size or do you have much better restraint than me

    I am all for more data and keeping a constant monitor on things, I am a simpleton tho XD If you think of it please take some before during and afters of the greenhouse site.
    lover of toothy species and hybrids

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    Wow, you're well on your way! Glad you found the notes on the harbor freight GH, and the "required" upgrades.
    I live in Tucson, Az and in my small g/h (temperate plants 8'x8x12' I think) I keep a cheap oil filled heater set to just above freezing. It has worked fine. In my larger g/h (8x16x10 tropical plants) I use a propane heater to maintain 55f when it is cooler out. Both greenhouses have fans to help keep the air moving around. An important lesson I learned from Tony P (I miss him :'( ) was to pay attention to micro climates in your greenhouse and use that to your advantage. Both greenhouses have swamp coolers on thermostats... They run just about every day even in the winter, the tropical g/h not so much since it's set to 85ish I think it clicks on maybe 3 to 5 times during peak hours. I can tell when I get an alert that the humidity has dropped.
    Great, now I have to look up info on swamp coolers, lol. But hey, that's why I joined... to learn from all of you! Considering that it can easily stay between 90 - 101 during the summers here for 2 months, would you recommend that? How big or how many for a 10x12x12 greenhouse? I definitely want to do this right and not put my plants in jeopardy. Thank you for the info.
    One thing that could be an advantage; My Father owned a mechanical engineering firm most of his life and is very knowledgeable on heating/cooling processes and good solutions. May have to probe his brain on some novel ideas

  7. #7
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Swamp coolers work off of the principle of evaporating water to cool the air. If you have not heard of "swamp coolers" or "evaporative cooling" chances are they don't work in your area. They only work where the relative humidity is very low, since if there is too much humidity in the air water tends to not evaporate so you don't get that cooling effect.
    Here is a chart off of google that shows how much cooling you can get depending on the temperature and your humidity which should help you determine if that is a usable solution in your area.

    Amateur grower on the verge of jumping in the deep end-evap_chart3-gif
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    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
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  8. #8

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    @nepenthesl0ve I absolutely plan to expand.... a lot, lol. I fully intend to have a few hundred seedlings by the end of summer, as well as purchasing more species. BUT, I only purchase something new once I've done my research to insure that I can take care of it properly.

    @adnedarn the humidity would be why I didn't know a lot about these. The average humidity here is around 86 in the morning with a daily average of 70. Even people from Arizona come here in the Summer and melt, lol. 98 degrees with 87% humidity is hellish.

    Once I've moved everything into my greenhouse, I fully intend to transform my current terrarium into a vivarium. I've already purchased everything to do it (the boxes sitting around drive my fiance crazy) I just have to wait and do it in order. Once the vivarium is established I'll be ordering my froggy friends.
    As for pictures and all that, I actually already purchased one of those DJI pocket Osmo devices so that I can do all of that hands-free. Plus, I can do amazing videos that are time-lapsed/panning all without being there. Could be cool to video things like a sundew wrapping around it's prey or whatever.

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