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Carnivorous Terrarium: Leaves turning red

Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
10
Hello!

I am a new member on this forum site although I have used the resources here to build my newbie terrarium to house Heliamphora, Nepenthes, Drosera and VFT.

This is the list of the plants I currently have in the Terrarium:

Nepenthes ventricosa x albomarginata
Dionaea muscipula "King Henry Flytrap"
Dionaea muscipula "B52 x Low Giant Flytrap"
Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor
Dionaea muscipula "Red Dragon Flytrap"
Dionaea muscipula "Dente Flytrap"
Drosera spatulata
Nepenthes x wrigleyana
Drosera admirabilis
Nepenthes spathulata x spectabilis
Nepenthes singalana Belirang
Nepenthes mira

Here are some of the pics I have taken under grow light, so I apologize for the color rendition:
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Here some more under just the Blue light:

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It has been a week and a half since I placed my plants in the finished Terrarium. Since then I have the leaves of my Heliamphoras and Neps turning red gradually. If you can't see them,
do let me know and I will take better pics.

The stats of my Terrarium is:
Day time Temp goes from 55.4 F @ 6:10 AM to 85 F @ 8:10 PM, Humidity around 60%
Night time Temp stays steady at 52 F ( 9:00 PM - 6:05 AM). Humidity varies between 80%-90%

I realize that there is a mix of lowland, highland and Ultra. I am hoping the range in Temp will be okay.

I Have Meizhi Grow light and use both red and blue light.
The Meizhi Grow light is approximately is approximately 15"-17" above the plants.
I have browsed through various forums and some say the leaves turning red is due to Sunburn, while others say
that the leaves turning red is a good sign as it means the leaves are getting good sunshine.
I also realized the water I had been spraying on them had around 240 ppm ( sprayed for 2 weeks, every 2-3 days), sadly I only found out last night when I received my TDS meter.
I flushed out the soil immediately and managed to bring the flushed water to less than 30 ppm. I will be flushing the soil again in 2-3 days just to be on the safe side.
I also started spraying them every night around 9 PM.

Do let me know If I am doing anything wrong and I can always adjust the interior Temp as I am using a combination of peltier-PC liquid cooling-Heatsink and Ice Pack.

Any help would be appreciated!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,845
Leaves turning red is perfectly fine as it signals that the plants are receiving adequate light. I'd echo Tanukimo's advice and remove the flytraps. They're usually incompatible with terrarium life due to the fact that they need a dormancy. Most of the plants you have are pretty forgiving so temperature is fine. In the future as you expand I'd recommend specializing in either an ultra highland or lowland tank depending on which set of conditions your environment is closer to. Grow the plants that don't need extra support outside and keep the terrarium for those that will not grow in your home conditions.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
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[MENTION=10715]Tanukimo[/MENTION] and [MENTION=12256]Grey Moss[/MENTION]: I live in Texas and it's not gonna get significantly colder here, hence the terrarium. But I was gonna wait till October end before preparing the conditions for dormancy for the flytraps.
Is that not okay? I apologize for not posting pics under normal lighting, will get on that tomorrow if needed.
 
Joined
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Dormancy is influenced by photoperiod, possibly more than temperature. The shortening daylight hours send cues to the plants telling them to start dormancy. That's why most people recommend not growing temperates in terrariums. Recreating the changing light hours is a bit of a pain and doesn't benefit the other plants. Texas should be fine as flytraps have been successfully naturalized as far south as Florida. That being said your plants are looking pretty good, nicely set up terrarium. I'd just remove the x wrigleyana. Being in Texas your household temperatures are probably closer to what it prefers than the terrarium.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
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Dormancy is influenced by photoperiod, possibly more than temperature. The shortening daylight hours send cues to the plants telling them to start dormancy. That's why most people recommend not growing temperates in terrariums. Recreating the changing light hours is a bit of a pain and doesn't benefit the other plants. Texas should be fine as flytraps have been successfully naturalized as far south as Florida. That being said your plants are looking pretty good, nicely set up terrarium. I'd just remove the x wrigleyana. Being in Texas your household temperatures are probably closer to what it prefers than the terrarium.

Thanks! A lot of sleepless nights and sweat was spent building that rudimentary terrarium. But i got the temp, light and humidity down. The one question that has been bugging me forever is whether the Nepenthes and Heliamphoras can suffer from suburn or too much light from the blue and red light from the grow light even if the temperature is maintained upto 85 F (max 90 F)?

I will be working on a cooler project geared for a lower photoperiod for the flytraps as soon as October comes around. I really appreciate all the input!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
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Location
Oregon
The plants all look fine to me, though I will echo the others that it's not generally a good idea to keep flytraps in a terrarium (or Sarracenia for that matter.) Your B52 x Low Giant looks a bit buried too.

I would say that 85F is a bit warm for those plants, 75-80F would be better if you can drop the temps a bit. I don't see any lowland plants on your list (just some hybrids with one lowland parent) so you don't need it that warm.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
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Dormancy is influenced by photoperiod, possibly more than temperature. The shortening daylight hours send cues to the plants telling them to start dormancy. That's why most people recommend not growing temperates in terrariums. Recreating the changing light hours is a bit of a pain and doesn't benefit the other plants. Texas should be fine as flytraps have been successfully naturalized as far south as Florida. That being said your plants are looking pretty good, nicely set up terrarium. I'd just remove the x wrigleyana. Being in Texas your household temperatures are probably closer to what it prefers than the terrarium.

I will go ahead and place the flytraps and the wrigleyana outside. It usually gets upto 95 F during daytime and down to 78 F in the evening including early AM. Humidity will be around 70-75 %. Are these conditions okay for the flytraps and the Wrigleyana?
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
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Location
Hacienda Heights, CA USA
Yes, also dormancy is triggered mostly by changes in photoperiod and not temperature so your Dionaea should still go dormant outside even if it doesn't cool down significantly during winter.
 
Joined
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Yes, also dormancy is triggered mostly by changes in photoperiod and not temperature so your Dionaea should still go dormant outside even if it doesn't cool down significantly during winter.

How short should the photoperiod be for dormancy? And what would be the ideal temperature then?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
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same here, just got some nice LEDS and they're already going red!
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Even thought the leaves on my plants are turning red, they are growing bigger too and I see beginning signs of pitcher formation. So far my temp has been hovering right at 80 F during daytime. As far as the red coloration, some others have been saying it might be due to too much sun/ light. I am thinking of trying out a shade cloth (40%) in a week, and might let it stay there if the temp stays within range.

I would say you should just stick with it. Just make sure the leaves are not turning black. It seems only the Neps are kinda finicky about the light. Many of the websites say that they need filtered bright light, hence my take on the shade cloth. All the other parameters are within range.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
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Location
Hacienda Heights, CA USA
How short should the photoperiod be for dormancy? And what would be the ideal temperature then?

I've always grown my temperate CPs outside so I'm not sure how much the photoperiod changes but people who grow temperate plants indoors usually shorten the photoperiod by a few hours to simulate the shorter photoperiod in the winter. I'm not sure about the specifics. If you really don't think growing your Dionaea outside will cause it to go dormant, you can always dig it up and put it in the fridge to make it go dormant, as growers in tropical climates do.
 
Joined
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Messages
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I've always grown my temperate CPs outside so I'm not sure how much the photoperiod changes but people who grow temperate plants indoors usually shorten the photoperiod by a few hours to simulate the shorter photoperiod in the winter. I'm not sure about the specifics. If you really don't think growing your Dionaea outside will cause it to go dormant, you can always dig it up and put it in the fridge to make it go dormant, as growers in tropical climates do.

I will probably be putting it in a cooler outside with the lid open for the light and the ice pack just in case to bring it down a coupla degrees. Should do the trick
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
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Just an update for anyone considering grow lights, all the Neps whose leaves are turning red or have already turned completely red have been growing healthy with new buds. And the small buds when the leaves were green have grown bigger too.
I realized that the leaves turned red due to excess anthocyanin pigment production (read it in another forum). And I will be posting those pics this week since it probably might help the next person considering grow lights.

I will be setting up a homemade ultrasonic humidifier this weekend to maintain RH at 85% -95% all the time as I noticed the buds were growing faster with more humidity. Will post pics of those as well when I can.
 
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