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Ok, summers can get in the hundred degree range, and winters go far below thirty... at both times of year, night temperatures are signifcantly cooler... In the summer, it is NICE outside, and in the winter, it is biting cold INSIDE...

So. For highlands, I hvae excellent winters (indoors, obviously), because they have bearable temps during the day, then at night, BRRR.... Helloooo villosa! This winter, shall I show you a picture of what my lowlanders will look like? Not too hot...

In the summer, the swelltering heat, and drinkalbe humidity makes keeping lowlanders seem like they should be planted outdoors, but highlanders (altho night temps drop, day temps are still unbearable by highlanders) will croak to pieces...

I am thinking... It is probably easier to keep highlanders in a tank in the the summer, and in the winter, with the aid of humidifier, let them grow free in my house, special ones left in the tank for better control of course...

How do I keep a lowland tank in the winter? How do I make a highland tank cooler in the winter? How do I do this on a budget (well that question ruined all your ideas, didnt it?)? What neps do u suggest I keep? Please don't say ventricosa, alata, rafflesiana, etc... I want some rarer plants... You now... expanding my collection...

Thanks alot...
Do you have a basement? If you do you can take them down there at night. My highlanders do fine with 85 in the day just as long as I take them down to the basement at night.(where its 55ºF)
Well, I heard neps are NOT touchy plants... And I also heard that there is a particular species that one quarter of a turn of the pot CAN kill it... So... I (since friday... ugh) have been trying to keep my paws off. I was thinking that might be my Ventrata's problem iwth not pitchering...

What highlands do u do this with? My basement is jus tlike a family room type thing... its finished, tho I think an unfinished stone basement MIGHT be really good for highlanders...
As for winter you could get a seedling heat mat - are you growing in terrariums or just on a shelf? If you're using a shelf take a cookie sheet with a 1" or so lip and place a heating mat under it fill the cookie sheet with R/O water and place lighting diffuser egg crate over the cookie sheet and put your pots on this. the heat and water should cause warm humidity for your lowlanders. If you have a lowland terrraium just put the heat mat under the tank

Minnesota has the same rediculous temp extremes cold as heck in winter and hot as heck in summer. Just before my highlanders arrived from Tony, summer decided to finally kick in for the year and a terrarium which is naturally 65* at night went to 75*-80* at night! So I have to use a A/C and humidifier from now til probably late sept. to keep the conditions groovy at night. I've gotten all the way down to 52* (I'm so close I can almost smell that rajah...&#33
  If you have a terrarium for your highlanders you could set it in front of your AC duct in your house at night so it cools off. Just make sure theres a lid on so the air will get cold but it won't dry out/loose humidity while it gets chilled.

Good luck!

The touchy plant that you are talking about is N bellii (although I have not noticed the 1/4th turn of death trick with mine yet).
I think Catalani mentions this in his Nep university page, but I have found bellii to be just as touchy (or maybe a little more touchy) as my other neps. I think it depends on how the plant is grown, and on how big the root system is; a plant grown with constant 90% humidity is more susceptible to shock than a toughened up plant grown with humidity fluctuations because the former has a smaller root system than the latter. I don’t reject Catalani's statements, I'm just saying that, when properly grown, it really isn't as feeble a plant as he says it is.

Ok, now that I'm done with that rant I can help out.
The lowland nep terrarium needs to be around 65 F minimum over there, so you might want to get some insulation (I've seen some silvery plastic stuff use as insulation and I think that it should work well, it won't look too ugly, and it's cheap but I forget the name). You can get a seedling heat mat like swords says, but you can also put an aquarium heater inside a cup of water or a reptile mat, which will work well too. The aquarium heater is good because it helps keep the humidity high and it heats at the same time. Just be careful if the water level gets too low, since the heater could start a fire. You can also search the CP listserver archives for past threads on this issue. CP Listserver Search Page

I do this with N.maxima, N. x Petra giant (ventricosa x talangensis x carunculata), and N. sanguinea (large spotted). Parasuco I think your asking the wrong people Neps seem to fairly hardy.
(I only take them down to my unfinished stone basement when its really hot at night)
They need to be toughened up as Joel points outs, but its best to let the nursery you buy from do that for you. So be carefull who you buy from.
Well. I think that it would be easier to have almost all Highland neps... It is probably safer and in the long run, less costly... Heating takes more energy that cooling, right? Right now... I have the ventrata which is an anywherelander, so it can live out of the terrarium... It will be my big one that just grows everywhere... hehehe...

Um... So, now that all of my highland neps are still tiny, they can be in the tank I have now, and they wont grow so fast that i wont have time to buy a newer one.

My dad is a refridgeration mechanic, so with luck, i'll be able to get some kind of fan/cooling thing hooked up, and i'm sure we can hook some ultrasonic humidifier into the air-in pipe, right?

Soooo.......... Yea, this is what I've though tof so far. Once i get my bigger terrarium then I could make my smaller one into a temporary wintertime shelter for my lowlanders...

  • #10
I forgot what Neps you have Parasuco. Wheres your growlist?
  • #11
I think the heatmat plan for a lowland tank would work well. As long as it is one made for putting plants on. The heating pads you find in the drugstore are not meant for this sort of application and might catch fire.

It has been my experience with lowlanders. That as long as the days are nice and warm, they will live with the cool nights ok. My lowland plants often look crummy during the winter. The interesting thing is the nights in my greenhouse are warmer during the winter than in the summer when I have the thermostats turned down. The key difference is that the DAY temps in the greenhouse during the winter are much colder. (What I really need is to get my thermostats on timers/relays so I can run warmer day temps... more fiddling with the system&#33

As for cooling, I think the most effective way (particularly for a large system) would be with an AC unit and a humidifier attached into the pipe long before it hits the tanks so that you don't blast your plants with cold dry air. Ideally you would have a thermostat in the terrarium to turn the AC and the humidifier on and off simultaneously. It would take some tweaking to get the humidifier set to pump the right amount in, so that the cold air hitting the terrarium is around 70-80% relative humidity.

  • #12
Or do what i do. Take a stryafoam box, place all your Ultrahighlands and highland that like cooler temps like Hamata,Veitchii,etc. and spritz them ith a litle RO water and palce in the fridge over night, I put a remote thermometer in there and the coldest it has been is 40F with no ill effects on any of my Ultra and reg highlands.Humidity has been superb as the box is a darn tight seal and the palnts do has quite abit of water on thier leaves when I take them out in the morning. But I am going to rasie it about up to 45F at least. But it is very easy to do and much less figeting aroudn with the ice bottles I used to use. I will use them in the winter however. But just an idea for your highland setup.