Houseplants forum→Growing in & under glass: terrariums, planted aquariums,vivariums, paludariums

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Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Jan 25, 2020 4:24 PM CST
Some people have aquariums as much for the beauty of the plants as for the fish. Others meet the needs of
'picky" plants in a terrarium or vivarium setting. Some create tiny vignettes in glass containers or use huge fishtanks as terrariums. Purists may stick to Edwardian containers that look like tabletop greenhouses.

Whatever the size or type of container you use, you'll have tips and challenges to share with others who grow in enclosed environments, usually in or under glass.

A recently active thread in Site Talk discussed the possibility of a separate forum for this topic, and a thread in an established active forum is always a good starting point.

So, here we are! Show us what you have, talk about projects planned or underway, share ideas that intrigue you...

Thanks to Gina1960 for this photo of her remarkable "houseplant habitat" to get us started!



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I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 27, 2020 7:10 AM CST
I have 4 tanks. I use one as a propagation tank, the others are set up as open top terrariums. Only one was actually made to be a terrarium/vivarium, the others are aquariums I inherited from my daughter. I set them up as vivariums just without animals. The growth I have had in them has been phenomenal. They have been set up maybe a year now. I had to remove a mother Anthurium and her child this week because they were outgrowing the tank, she was big enough to go into a gallon container! Leaves over 12 inches long. Before I removed, and after.
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Mine are water tight but of course not airtight so they function more like the old Victorian Warden case that a true closed system terrarium. Alocasia cuprea


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Marcgravias, orchids, ALocasia infernalis

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This is my way to grow houseplants. I don;t do other houseplants, except for a few sansevieria, because I have a 1750 sq ft greenhouse in the yard to maintain that takes most of my 'plant energy'.
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[Last edited by Gina1960 - Jan 27, 2020 7:11 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2145916 (2)
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Jan 27, 2020 9:24 AM CST
I love that as a way to grow houseplants, because they are in such a wonderful display! Visitors who have never looked at a "plant" in their lives are doubtless drawn to your "habitats."

I'm now regretting letting my 50 gallon corner tank go... and thinking about bringing a couple of smaller aquariums back upstairs.

Thumbs up
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 27, 2020 1:49 PM CST
50 gallon corner tank...what a dream!
This is my small 20 gallon propagation tank. It has some permanent residents, like the Anthurium radicals x dressleri, the super silvery version of Scindapsus, the Red iresine, the young Aglaonema pictum 'Tri-color', a Philodendron burle-marx 'Fantasy' and a few other things. But its very useful as a prop tank to set mounts into so I keep a close eye on them, can fog and keep them very moist under max light. These mounts will go out to the greenhouse in Spring and get mounted to larger mounts to let them grow really big
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Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
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critterologist
Jan 27, 2020 2:44 PM CST
What a neat idea... like reef aquarists who have a tank for propagating coral fragments that are later added to their big reef tank... except those propagation tanks are generally not arranged so artistically!

Do you have a thread where you post photos from your greenhouse?
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 27, 2020 3:21 PM CST
Kind of all over. I feel like it would be taken as sort of bragging to start a thread on my own greenhouse LOL. If you are interested I can share some photos
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Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Jan 27, 2020 4:50 PM CST
I don't want to take over this thread with greenhouse chat, but I sure would like to see what you're doing... should I look in tropicals, or do we have a greenhouse forum?
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
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plantmanager
Jan 27, 2020 5:05 PM CST
We do have a greenhouse forum! Somewhere way back I had a thread on my little greenhouse. I'd love to see a thread on yours, Gina. I've seen pics here and there, but would love to see more.
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Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jan 27, 2020 6:14 PM CST
Gina I'd like to see too! please, start a greenhouse thread and bragaway Hilarious!
Actually, don't think of it as bragging--I wouldn't see it that way, but I sure would love to see what all you've got going on that I could never do. Like an eyecandy vacation from this place in both winter and summer!
Give us a link for it though cuz I'd never notice otherwise...
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 27, 2020 7:20 PM CST
dirtdorphins said:Gina I'd like to see too! please, start a greenhouse thread and bragaway Hilarious!
Actually, don't think of it as bragging--I wouldn't see it that way, but I sure would love to see what all you've got going on that I could never do. Like an eyecandy vacation from this place in both winter and summer!
Give us a link for it though cuz I'd never notice otherwise...


I had a thread a long while ago, I think it was the Tropical House. I'll resurrect it on the GH forum and add to it
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 27, 2020 7:23 PM CST
It was called The Summer House. I'll post some new pics over there
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
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critterologist
Jan 27, 2020 8:03 PM CST
Thank You!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 30, 2020 8:34 AM CST
A few things from my 75 gal tank today....
Solanum sp. 'Ecuador' draping its lovely self over my deer skull
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Racinaea undulifolia. This is not the 'usual' bloom for this, it is supposed to split into a 3 headed bloom. I guess it still may. The leaves are correct, so far the bloom is not. It could be another species, or a hybrid These are sort of rare, they are cloud forest species that require certain conditions to make it. They don't come around for sale a lot.
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Lepanthes tentaculata, this plant has been in CONSTANT bloom (and putting out new leaves) since the day I brought it home. It is one of my favorite plants in my terrarium
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Vitis amazonicus (reclassified from the old genus Cissus)...a very small start I have established in here, from my larger vine out in the greenhouse. Growing on a Neoregelia bromeliad
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Ornithocephalus brachystachus....I have been waiting over a MONTH for these flowers to open. A fantastic miniature orchid


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Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
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critterologist
Jan 30, 2020 8:59 AM CST
Gina, I love love love those photos of your individual specimens! I didn't think of it that way before, but for sure you've created a cloud forest environment. Plants growing on and between other plants... a far more natural thing than the rows of pots other collectors maintain.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 30, 2020 9:20 AM CST
Thanks! My first attempt was a Paludarium. But my water layer never got 'clean' And it was way too dark under the planting shelf. So I drained out the water and its a vertical terrarium now, I have some cloud forest bromeliads (2 other Racinaea species), other broms, some shinglers, anthurium, episcea and a bulbophyllum in there

This was the racinaea crispa when it bloomed. My R. pendulispica also bloomed. They have both made pups too! SO more blooms to come!
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Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
Image
critterologist
Jan 30, 2020 9:24 AM CST
Another lovely!

I have to say, Lepanthes tentaculata is an instant favorite with me too, just because of the name!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 30, 2020 9:53 AM CST
I collect oddball miniature orchids! My faves
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
Image
critterologist
Jan 30, 2020 10:48 AM CST
I can kill a miniature orchid just as quickly as a regular sized one. Sigh. It's me, not them, I just haven't taken the time to figure out how to make them flourish. I do have a couple of survivors, but they aren't flourishing. It wouldn't take much to spritz or soak them more regularly, but right now it just doesn't seem to happen.

How often do you spray your houseplant habitat? Does it mostly maintain its own humidity or need regular watering (or spritzing) because of the open top & the lights? Have you ever tried putting a top on one of your planted tanks?
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 30, 2020 11:37 AM CST
They all had screen tops at one time, but the plants have started growing over the tops in 2. So I ditched them. I use a reptile fogger every morning, and spray all surfaces down with a pump up sprayer once a day. Each one has a thick layer of ALiflor and pea gravel in the bottom that is kept wet, as the water evaporates it creates humidity.I have humidity monitors in all of them and if I see it getting too dry I just flip the switch on a fogger. Except for the foggers, I inherited all this stuff (tanks, lights, water pumps) from my daughter the reptile keeper. I already had the hardscape lying around, I mount a lot of stuff so always have coir mat, tree fern, cork bark and fir back and moss. I also keep a huge jumbo potting soil size of Aliflor (LECA, etc) for cutting the soil mix on epiphytes and lithophytes, so I didn't have to make a huge investment to get started
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 30, 2020 2:41 PM CST
This may be my favorite dischidia.....nummularia ideaminblu, in the 75 gallon set up.


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