Houseplants forum→My new houseplant habitat

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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 21, 2019 5:23 AM CST
As most of you know, I am not a 'normal' houseplant person. I am almost exclusively a tropical gardener, and am fortunate enough that I can grow many things in my yard. What I can't, I grow in my greenhouse. But there are some things that I really don;t want to put in the greenhouse, either because they were get lost, or because the winter climate, even though I keep it warm, would still not be 100% beneficial for the plants. So I am building another indoor habitat for these plants. Its not really a terrarium, because its not enclosed. Its not really a vivarium, because I will be keeping no animals. Its more like a riparium, a planted aquarium, but its not all water. So I call it an indoor houseplant habitat.
Its 75 gallons, 50 inches long, 21 inches deep and 21 inches tall. I have put in the back ground (large cork bark slabs I had laying around) and the false bottom (a thick layer of aliflor and pea gravel) that holds water for recirculation, I have run the hoses for the water features, and covered that with landscaping fabric to separate the water from the soil substrate. Later today I will start filling in with sphagnum moss and soil substrate, install the water features and decorations, and then the fun really starts: adding the plants I have collected and so far been growing in a 10 gallon holding tank! Still have to go get my lights, but thanks to my daughter, I have all the fixtures already. I did not have to buy any of the things that I am using to make this except the wood pieces. I had it all laying around the greenhouse, my daughter gave me the aquarium. I even already had the pond pumps from past water setups. So its a pleasure to repurpose stuff I already had into a new idea for growing plants in my house.
This is the set up so far. The tank
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The water circulation layer with landscaping fabric on top

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part of the cork and coir sheeting background


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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 21, 2019 10:33 AM CST
Gina, what a great setup ... can't wait to see it when it's complete with plants!!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 21, 2019 10:38 AM CST
I'm going now to get the lights. I may trial an LED hood beside a double bulb set up and see which grows better
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 21, 2019 6:56 PM CST
I made progress today! Everything is mossed, the planting substrate is in, and the water features are in and working like I want! I added some cypress knees, and some decorative shells and stones, and fossil coral. The primary water feature is a large partially hollow cypress piece. The tubing goes halfway down and the water 'drops' into the upturned bowl of a large conch shell
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The second water feature is a very small drop fall composed of 2 upturned shells that drains into a bed of river stones
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I got the planting substrate installed on the floor today and tomorrow I am going to start adding plants!

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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 22, 2019 7:33 PM CST
I added my first houseplants today! 4 Marcgravias and a DIschidia imbricata!

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Can't wait till they climb up the walls!
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 23, 2019 5:45 AM CST
I kept reading the title as My new plant HABIT.. ha

Really cool. This gives me new respect for the natural world, where these things just happen somehow, sometimes. This is not a criticism in the least, of course.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 23, 2019 6:28 AM CST
I look forward to seeing the progress as those plants begin to climb!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 23, 2019 8:24 PM CST
I put a bunch of new stuff in today. My fave is the Philodendron Burle-Marx Fantasy that I positioned to exit the eye socket of this deer skull (yes its real)
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This is a philodendron that tends to get lost in the greenhouse, the leaves never get very large and its easy to lose track of it. Its better as a houseplant.

I put some Ludisia discolor and an Anoectochilus in, again, things that tend to get lost in the greenhouse. The Ludisia grows in random places in the moss by my GH stream.
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I put in an oil fern and a little favorite Neoregelia...the oil fern is an epiphytic fern, a lot of people here in Florida usually grow them mounted because they are usually lithophytic in nature. If they get too wet they rot, and my greenhouse is pretty wet with twice a day watering during this intense heatwave we are having, so I think this is a good place for this, in the house


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I put a lot of other stuff in too, I'm going to let the tank grow for a few weeks and see what else I might want to collect and sneak in there. I am wanting to put a lovely purple Masdevallia orchid in there, I can't grow Masdevallia in the greenhouse, its too hot here

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Dragonlove987
May 23, 2019 10:20 PM CST
This is absolutely lovely. Will you post a full picture? Smiling Smiling
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 24, 2019 5:08 AM CST
Thank you! I can try, but my camera flash insists on bouncing off the glass. My iPhone camera futzed out, It only works on the camera pointing AT you. Maybe I can turn that around and video
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 24, 2019 6:44 AM CST
Everything looks so happy already ... I can just imagine how wonderful it will be when things really start to take off in that habitat! Thumbs up
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 24, 2019 1:29 PM CST
My husband says I can get a new phone this weekend. Maybe I can video it then. Its still so much a work in progress. While I was out in th greenhouse this morning while the temperature was still reasonable, weeding, fertilizing and propagating some Anthuriums, I found this little Medinilla sedifolia that I had gotten earlier this year in a trade with my plant friend who lives here. Its a great terrarium plant, and surprisingly EXPENSIVE when you go to buy one. So I gave it a crevice in the houseplant habitat. While I was weeding around a stand of Philodendron gloriosum I found this little fern that a friend had given me years ago....it has started coming out again, it used to carpet certain places in the GH...I can't remember the name, anyone know?
I am going to be adding some ledges, rocks, and maybe grapevine in the future for a more jungle look. Make more crevices for orchids....I had wanted to try (again) a Dendrobium cuthbertsonii...I had one years ago and even got it to bloom, they are just gorgeous, but only have a 'heat rating' to a max of about 78F. It melted in the summer heat in the GH before I even knew what was happening. But its such a great plant, the blooms can last up to a whopping 8 months!
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Georgia (Zone 8a)
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Hamwild
May 24, 2019 1:44 PM CST
Selaginella?
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 24, 2019 1:51 PM CST
I agree, that second plant looks like a variety of Selaginella. https://garden.org/plants/sear...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 24, 2019 2:13 PM CST
I think so too, but it never gets bigger. It just kind of creeps across the floor as a ground cover. She used to call it Crazy Fern
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 6, 2019 6:02 AM CST
Morning ritual, the fogging of the Houseplant Habitat
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 8, 2019 6:08 AM CST
The Houseplant Habitat is perking along great. Its so nice to have a place to grow some of these very small plants that would be lost in the greenhouse environment. I am trialing some different aroids, some may get too large and have to be taken out later and replaced with something else. They are not necessary to the Habitat except one that has to have very high humidity and nighttime temps of 70+ to make it.
Alocasia infernalis
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Propagation of Anthurium bessaea x magnificum...this may get too big...so happy its putting out a new leaf


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Marcgravias have taken off


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Oil fern has gotten so happy mounted to the cork wall it is putting out new fronds...these grow as epiphytes and lithophytes in nature


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And my new little Solanum species (a newly discovered as yet unidentified vining Solanum) is loving it!


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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 8, 2019 8:26 AM CST
It's looking really good! I had a little Jewel Alocasia (Alocasia infernalis) a few years back but I don't know what ever happened to it ... it either died or got left behind when we moved.

Such pretty colors on that new leaf of A. besseae x and those Macgravia's sure look like they are loving their new environment!

I really, really love those gorgeous leaves on that trailing Solanum! Lovey dubby
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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tofitropic
Jun 8, 2019 8:54 AM CST
Wow for that Solanum.. what color will be the flower and fruits.?. Would really wish to see them in future?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 8, 2019 12:49 PM CST
Lin and Tofi, thanks! I don;t know anything about this Solanum. I was cruising terrarium supply sites and saw it on Black Jungle. I loved the pattern on the leaves. I conferred with the privately about it, they say it is an as-yet new unnamed species. I do not know how large it will get, or anything else. I have done some looking at Internet photos but so far cannot match it up to any plant I have seen. There are a LOT of Solanums!!!!!!
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