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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Dec 31, 2019 8:59 PM CST
When I first started my 'houseplant habitats' (indoor open top terrariums)I decided to include a cutting of Anthurium scandens from the greenhouse. I was given this plant many years ago by a friend.

It is a sweet little thing, easy to grow, an epiphytic creeper that has been found naturally in Brazil, Guatemala and Costa Rica. A member of the section Tetraspermium, there are only 3 plants in that section. A. scandens, A. trinerve, and A. tonduzii.

Anthurium scandens is closely related to A. trinerve, but neither trinerve or scandens is related to tonduzii, even though they are classified in the same section. Go figure.

These photos are only mainly of the wonderful root system that the terrarium plant has formed. In the greenhouse, these will creep over the floor or grow up any support they find in their path. I have them growing in several locations. They are called the 'pearl anthurium' because they freely self pollinate and make pearly white/pink fruits.

I am enjoying the plants in my terrariums so very much. Its a chance to see 24/7 what they are up to, in the house! I would recommend a houseplant habitat to everyone, all you need is an old aquarium.
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This photo is one of the ones I have in the greenhouse
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(Zone 5b)
andreainmaine
Jan 1, 2020 11:22 PM CST
Very nice! I've been thinking about creating something like this for a while, what are you using as a substrate?
Name: Jayce Kaldunski
California (Zone 9a)
Houseplants Tropicals
Image
Jayce_KalFUNski13
Jan 1, 2020 11:41 PM CST
I've been on the lookout for A. scandens for a bit, but haven't been able to find any! Do you know of anywhere that has them??
If a plant is sad, do other plants photosympathise with it???
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 2, 2020 6:25 AM CST
@andreainmaine, I went with a build in these tanks (I have 4) that was more geared toward a vivarium than a closed system terrarium, because I will never keep animals, and from my experience as a long time tropical plant and aroid grower I have used a certain substrate type for a couple decades. When I started with large scale heliconia growing years ago, the only way to obtain the more unusual varieties was via mail order as what are termed 'single start rhizomes', which come rootless. They have to be re-rooted, and if you try to do it in a regular potting soil, they will rot in a hot minute. So everyone was mixing their own recipe, which was generally peat, sharp sand, perlite, and fir bark. The mix varied geographically, in places like Hawaii and Australia where macadamia nuts are common and their shells plentiful as a byproduct those were used as a cheaper alternative to fir bark, in other places peanut shells were used, some people favored styrofoam packing peanuts. The substrate used now by most people who grow aroids seriously is an equal mix of fir bark, coarse perlite, charcoal, coconut husk/fiber for epiphytes and an addition of an equal part of peat or potting mix for terrestrials. This is based on a substrate used by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in their vivariums called ABG which is now commercially available. But its cheaper to make your own.

For my tanks I used an underlayment of aliflor (the compressed clay balls) as a water reservoir, a layer of screen over that, I mossed in the perimeter, put a layer of potting mix heavily cut with perlite and charcoal, and an overlayment of fir bark. It has proven to be the perfect set up for me. Everything is thriving. The plants rooted down through all the layers and the screen into the aliflor, where they are effectively growing in semi-hydro. My largest tank (75 gal) has a water feature on one end, which is the 'wet' end, and two pumps pull the water in the reservoir that way and help keep the dry end from getting too wet.

@Jayce_KalFUNski13, I have not seen Anthurium scandens for sale, ever, in all the years I have been collecting plants. The friend who gave me my start 20 years ago obtained it from a botanical garden sale, either Fairchild Ramble in Miami, or the Marie Selby Gardens sale in Sarasota. She had been growing it for a while when she shared it with me. I know it must be available somewhere, but I have no clue
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[Last edited by Gina1960 - Jan 2, 2020 11:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Jayce Kaldunski
California (Zone 9a)
Houseplants Tropicals
Image
Jayce_KalFUNski13
Jan 2, 2020 11:49 AM CST
Yeah, most people I have talked to have had the same experience trying to find it...
If a plant is sad, do other plants photosympathise with it???
Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jan 2, 2020 5:52 PM CST
What's the difference between leca and aliflor? Are they the same thing?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 2, 2020 8:17 PM CST
It pretty much a brand name. There are a couple other names for it too. It is compressed then expanded clay balls
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jan 3, 2020 1:04 AM CST
Interesting. I have a bag from ikea that I've never even opened. My daughter is wanting to make a terrarium as a gift for my mom and I was wondering where to start. This helps a lot. Although she chose mostly moss to put inside of it, and I'm pretty sure they have a really shallow root system.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 3, 2020 7:40 AM CST
They are a big hydroponic supply. I get mine in the economy size bag (I think it weighs about 30-40 Lb, its the size of a big bag of potting soil) from Amazon with free prime shipping which is important because shipping would probably be more than the cost of the product and I keep it in a 35 gallon trash can by the greenhouse and use as I need it. Buying the little bags available from orchid supplies and the like is too expensive. Its better to go for the big gun if you use a lot. Its a good mix for some of the epiphytes...you can propagate stuff like DIschidia and Hoya in it and they won't rot, and I mixed it with crushed lava rock and have one of my propagations of Anthurium reflexinervium growing it there (which naturally grows on karst as a lithophyte). Aliflor has endless uses for me
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jan 3, 2020 9:55 AM CST
That's good to know about propagations. I recently trimmed my curtisii back a bit and it does root well in plain water but the water always gets a bit cloudy and gross if I don't change it almost daily.

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