Growing Plants

plantlapse-8

 

This is probably a page that will not last, for the most part growing plants is growing plants, so as I find new ways of doing things or find out specific issues with certain types of plants I will update this pager

 

Carnivorous Plants. 

These can be tricky,  I went with a modular approach and planted 2-3 plants in a low 2 inch tall basket which is filled with slots. To water the plants i put them in a larger tray with about an inch to an inch and a half of water and they seem to do pretty good. it also allows for bottom up watering which keeps a steady level of moisture and prevents the soil from rising up and down as it gets damp and dries out between watering cycles.

Carnivorous plants are pretty fragile, you need to use distilled water as tap water will kill them(I have confirmed this to be true).

Soil needs to be as plain as possible as well. using a mix of peat and sphagnum works pretty well, in fact they don’t even need soil, some sphagnum moss for them to anchor onto is all they really require.  Do not use any sort of fertilizer as it will kill them.

When I first started i was growing them in 10 gallon aquariums, 3-4 plants in small pots in each. I had assumed they needed the humidity because they normally grow in some pretty humid areas. I live in Colorado, and the air here is extremely dry.The plants did ok in the aquariums, but they did not really thrive.  I tried putting them in a large low height bin, the type you can use for under-bed storage and filled the large bin with about 1 inch of water and moved the florescent grow light to just a few inches over the plants. They humidity remained elevated and they got more light, but the growth was slow and unimpressive. They were all a green color with no red mouths or red veins, and the stems were highly elongated. These are all signs of not getting enough sunlight.

At the suggestion of the crowd at terraforums.com I got a medium sized tub, i made a make shift bog garden and finally put the plants in baskets and added about an inch and a half of water and put them outside in the dry colorado air. And sure enough, they did fantastic. That direct sunlight was exactly what they needed.

So if using artificial light, they WILL live with fluorescent, however it is generally not enough in my view. However when on the Biolapse set i am using a 180w LED Dirt Genius Grow light sitting about 18 inches above the plants and they just thrive in there. The traps get nice red mouths, the pitchers all grew purple and red veins.  So if you must grow indoors, i recommend using a LED grow light. The problem is the color is a bright purple/pink color and absolutely obnoxious to look at.  So even at a mile high elevation and dry air, they are better off outside.

 

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