Herself's Houseplants

Conservation through cultivation

Nepenthenes




N. veitchii x platychita 10/2014

N. veitchii x platychita
10/2014

I loved my Nepenthenes Miranda so much that when I started rebuilding my carnivorous plant collection I put them at the top of the list.

Right now there are 10 small Nepenthenes scattered about the house and just as many jars of seeds I’m hoping to germinate.

I ordered seeds on eBay from several different sellers, Nepenthaceae has the best offerings for the price and a jar of the ampullaria I ordered from him just germinated today. The apullaria seeds took about a month to germinate, some N. Madagascarier took only a week. The seeds are on a south west facing windowsill. The temperature varies from about 100’F-70’F. I spray them in the morning and evening with distilled water to keep them damp. The seeds are on peat moss that has sphagnum moss on top.

N. Ampullaria 10/2014

N. Ampullaria
10/2014

While digging for information on Nepenthenes I ran across Growing Nepenethes Around the House which has more information than any other site I’ve found on these plants so far.

Terraforums has lots of information on growing them from seed.

More information to follow as I shamelessly slaughter some plants and coax others in to taking over the place.


Newly unflasked Paph Fairrienum




I’ve been so happy with the progress from the previous two flasks I thought I’d try another one. This one also came from eBay. These are crosses of Paph. fairrienums they should look like the photo but with slight variations. A large pot of these in bloom should be gorgeous. Estimated time to bloom is two years.

The flask contained about 25 seedlings.

It was an open mouthed flask so it only took a little coaxing to remove them.
I placed the whole group in a shallow container of water with fertilizer.
Because the agar was brown and the seedlings a bit yellowed I added a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the water.
After about 10 minutes the agar softened enough to break out the plants and sort them on to a clean towel.
A bit of rinsing of each plant under the faucet helped removed the remaining agar from the roots.
I dipped each seedling in rooting hormone, then placed it in the terrarium.
The terrarium has a couple of inches of sphagnum moss soaked in fertilized water.
Lastly they get placed in a bright window.
Now we wait. In the meantime, it should make an interesting terrarium to watch.
I’ll slowly leave the cover off the terrarium and let them adapt to the house humidity.
I’ll check each day to be sure the moss is damp but there is no fungus or mold.
When the container gets too crowded I’l moved them to community pots.

Oct 2014
These are doing well, I have them in a window that gets morning sun along with a fluorescent lamp. The cover is off the terrarium and most of them have started growing a 3rd leaf.


Micro water gardens




I’ve been lusting after a small indoor water garden ever since I saw them at a flower show a couple of years back. I have to say growing aquarium plants has been the most challenging for me of all the plants.

The first water garden photos are at about three weeks old, the last two at one year old.

Large glass containers are much easier to find now and much cheaper than they used to be. This one holds about a gallon and a half of water.

The plants you see are from the pet store aquarium dept., nothing special. I also bought a package of bulbs. I added them last week, they should begin to sprout any day now. Small pet stores usually carry a much more interesting selection of plants than do the larger chain stores. The dollar weed that is such a nightmare in your garden also works well in aquariums.

First you need a really clean glass container. I put glass beads at the bottom, what ever stones look best will work. You only need them to weigh down the plants. The stones are about an inch deep. I then added the plants. Add the plants before the water or you’ll be fighting to get them to stay put.

I use filtered tap water. Bottled water turns into an algae nightmare quickly. My water is very hard, the plants don’t seem to mind. Nor does the betta fish.

The fish is just there because I like to watch him. Goldfish eat plants, betta do not.

I placed a fluorescent light onto of the water garden. The plants grew just fine with out it, the fish seems to prefer the light. I found just an hour of dappled sun light is all the plants need to grow. Too much sun grows algae instead of plants.

I add StressZyme and StressCoat 1/2 ml per water change for the fish. and Flourish fertilizer, 1/2 ml per water change for the plants. Any of the liquid fertilizers will do just fine. Avoid the solid fertilizers they turn the water to mud.

I’ve really enjoyed this water garden because it grows in a dark corner of the kitchen where no other plant would survive. I do not have a light on the garden now and haven’t for a long time. I also no longer add any chemicals to the water. I have snails in the garden, they keep everything clean. All I do is top off the water as needed.