Sarracenia flava

Sarracenia flava

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Conservatory

A new conservatory has been built. You are probably asking why make a new conservatory? Or what's new? Well, guess what? I'm going to answer all your questions... in fun list format!
The problems with the old conservatory:
1. The temperatures fluctuated wildly in the old conservatory. In the summer it could get to 120 degrees Fahrenheit at noon to 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. This really screwed with some of the more sensitive plants and led to the death of a few. On the other hand, these wild temperature swings were beneficial to the highland Nepenthes.
2. Remarkably, it was too bright. In combination with the reason listed above, the brightness and high heat caused burning of leaves and pitchers.
3. Because of the aforementioned, the doors had to be left open and so the humidity was very low in the room.
4. There was not enough growing space.

So it became obvious that the conservatory had to be replaced. The first thing that had to go was the glass ceiling. We were able to then insulate the ceiling quite well, so that heat fluctuations would be reduced. This would also solve the burning problems. The room was also expanded to house more plants. Though it could not be expanded very large, for plumbing reasons, the room gained a good fifteen square feet of extra growing space. In the end, the conservatory turned more into a plant room (because of the lack of a glass ceiling.
The conservatory before
Water-tight basin for humidity
View from the inside
New heating/cooling system to regulate temperature

Now unfortunately, while the new conservatory was being built, I had to move out all of the plants, and I lost all of the tropicals except for the Nepenthes because of lack of sunlight and humidity. I will try to replace these plants in the future, but right now I'm focused on my new bog... Coming up next on The Carnivorous Plant Bog Blog!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weather weather weather.

Ah winter. No wait its not winter. Uh I think it is. Snow! No Snow. Snow! Thunderstorm? 40 degrees? It's spring! No. Weird fall? No. Winter? Yes. But it can't be? Sure is. It's January 26 and it is a weird winter indeed. I have no idea what this is doing for the plants, but it can't be good. Though you might think that a warm winter is good, often it can mean increased fungal activity and rot of rhizomes. That is why I use sulfur. Sulfur? Yes. It's not just from eggs anymore. It's one of the safest fungicides on the market, and I use a lot of it.
After a quick dusting of the bog it's good to go! The sulfur almost completely will prevent any fungal growths on the very sensitive rhizomes.
Since the bog is in zone 5a I have to insulate it in the winter. Most other websites advise a system of heavy mulching. I am very lazy though, so I try a whole different approach to winterizing my plants. The bog, as I'm sure you know, is divided up into two parts, the dirt side and the pond side. To prevent any very deep freezes (most North American CPs hate extended freezes under 20 degrees Fahrenheit) I use a pond heater and a temperature sensitive plug (about 30 dollars for the set). The pond heater will prevent the pond from freezing, and the temperature sensitive plug turns on at about 33 degrees Fahrenheit and turns off at 35. I then cover the bog with some plywood to insulate it. This keeps the bog right at the perfect temperature and the fungicide prevents and fungal growth.
The plug setup with the thermo cube
Stay tuned for the next bog post about the new greenhouse!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello 2012! Goodbye 2011! In with the new, out with the old, as they say, (they being the mystical powers that may be) and this year there is going to be a lot of new!
New bigger, better greenhouse
New bigger, better bog
New bigger, better plants
New more interesting growing techniques
Crazier experiments
Giant plants and less death (crossing my fingers on this one)
A hybrid of plants that can walk! (wait no that's not right...)
I hope you are as excited to see the progression of the CPBB as much as I am!