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UnstuckinTime's 1st Attempt at a Grow Shelf

Hey Everyone!

It's been a very long time since I posted, or even viewed, anything on this forum. Truth be told, I put this hobby of mine on the back burner as I made the push to finish my undergrad degree, and apply for graduate school. Then I got lazy, figuring I shouldn't upgrade, or get new plants, until I moved. Well! I have moved, I'm starting graduate classes at the beginning of next month, and I am hoping that building this shelf will be the impetus needed to kick-start my obsession again.

So, below are pictures of my growshelf, any politely-worded suggestions are of course welcome. My collection of carnivorous plants has dwindled down to the barest of bones. I need to get a sense of what my conditions are before I start looking into getting more. But I'm thinking mexican pings, since I have only the one left.

As it looks from the outside, with the curtain drawn.

The top shelf is orchids. Epiphytes for the most part. I started working on an automated watering system on this today, but it didn't work the way I expected (it never does!! :) ) But I'll tweek it and make it work somehow.

A nobel dendrobiuum and tillandsia mounted on cork bark.

The last survivors of my carnivorous plant collection. Sad, I know. I have a couple larger Nepenthes not pictured, but this is pretty much it. I had the most difficult time trying to find a proper tray to fit my shelf, any suggestions? I feel like with a nice fitting tray, I can repot everything into nice fitting square pots, and maximize space!!

The bottom shelf, for now, has my odd-ball plants on it. A few Agave, some citrus seedlings, and then the current prize of my plant collection- my Welwitschia!!

(I put up a thread about this plant herehttp://www.terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?134198-Welwitschia-mirabilis-(Picture-heavy)

Thanks for looking! I'm really hoping to get back into this hobby with the same passion I had before, wish me luck!

Looks nice. I like the cork bark mounts on the walls. How do you keep them moist?
Hey pmatil!

Right now I do it the old fashioned way- spray 'em. The white plastic you see behind them collects the water into a gravel tray, which keeps the humidity high. I spray em once in the morning, and once a few hours before the lights click off in the evening. Once a week, I put fertilizer in the bottle to feed them. It's a bit labor intensive, but I don't have kids or cats or anything that need more of my time when I'm home.
I've been keeping an open grow rack for a couple of years now, seems that most sub/tropical dews and Pings outside of the known finicky ones do well. I've also had some pygmy dews and intermediates do ok...really depends on what conditions you get. Welcome back to the hobby! I'm trying to boost up my collection again too.
Hey Jpappy,

Yeah, I'm definitely going to watch my temps for a while before I get anything. Fancy expensive highland Nepenthes are probably out, all but the most hardy Heliamphora as well. I'm getting mid-80's (the highest I've seen is 87). Pygmy sundews are one idea I hadn't thought of. I use to have some, but they were lost long ago. Thanks for your input!!