Newbie: Low temps and heat mats

gwenvet(Zone 5 Indiana)January 4, 2013

Hello fellow AV lovers. I'm new here and don't have an AV society less than an hour's drive away, so I go online for all my info and I've read the AV book by Stork.
20 years ago I had a handful of AV's and had great success with them in my lab at work in a south facing, DC window. I no longer have those, but in Fall 2011 I started up again with dismal success. I had them in a cool, very bright, East and South room, top watered (carefully) every 2-3 days (they were in small pots) but never kept them soggy. All 6 succumbed to powdery mildew and some kind of rot. After the PM, as a leaf grew large and it's stem started touching the rim of the pot, it would start to rot from there and go limp. I learned about lysol, Physan etc. etc.
This fall I ordered another 6 from Lyndon Lyon and they are doing great, but I am concerned that my winter room temps stressed my old ones to the point of getting PM. I moved them to the living room in a North window. Daytime temps are 69 and 62 at night. I just bought a heat mat and temp controller to keep them warmer. I can't find advice on what temp to set it at. Also, since more water will be evaporating from their pots, should I put them on a plastic grid over a half inch of water or will all that humidity make them too moist?
Thanks for your advice!

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tommyr_gw

They'll be fine there. My rooms are 65 daytime and overnight. 66-67 when I am home.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 8:52PM
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aegis1000

Sounds like you've solved your temperature issue.

Now ... what about light (a Northern window is not going to be enough).

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:06AM
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tommyr_gw

If it's dormant it won't need much light. Mine spend the winters in the fridge. Once dormancy is over than a Sunny South/east or west window will be good until all danger of frost is past. Then it goes outside in full, all day sun.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:10AM
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tommyr_gw

Ooops! FORGET THAT! I confused this forum with the carnivorous plant forum! My bad! Sorry about that!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:12AM
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gwenvet(Zone 5 Indiana)

HaHa, I was thinking, boy I really missed something big by not realizing that they go dormant!
My mistake, they are now in an East window and before were in an East window in a room that also has a whole wall of South windows. They seemed to be growing small leaves, which I thought was due to too much light. I can move them back if you think they'll be happier.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:58AM
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minal(6)

So do heat mats work. I have a few plants in the basement and had a similar concern. The basement is pretty cold around 55-58 F. Right now my plants are in ziploc baggies under lights. I keep the lights on a night, thinking that heat from the lights might help during low night temps.

I have heating mats which I use for seed propagation. Can I use those? Will it help to increase the temperature. I think they heat till mid 60's, they dont have a temperature control. Any thoughts?

thanks,
Minal

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:01PM
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wendycoo

Hi
I just got a heating mat with a thermostat set up in my basement. It is on the bottom of a three shelf unit with lights. I've set pots of leaf cutting on it and finally have got some roots starting. I set the temperature at 21 degrees as I thought that should keep it at a good room temperature. I had this heat mat without the thermostat last year and gave up on it by spring because without a temp control it got way too hot. This fall I got the thermostat and it really works well. I've ordered another heat mat and thermostat for another set of shelves. Of course it only really heats the shelf and plants which are set on it. I do wonder though if the shelves above benefit from the heat coming from the lower shelf. The older plants aren't as heat sensitive. I have my unit enclosed in plastic at night. But I don't have any scientific evidence of that.
Good luck
Wendy

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:54PM
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wendycoo

Hi
I just got a heating mat with a thermostat set up in my basement. It is on the bottom of a three shelf unit with lights. I've set pots of leaf cutting on it and finally have got some roots starting. I set the temperature at 21 degrees as I thought that should keep it at a good room temperature. I had this heat mat without the thermostat last year and gave up on it by spring because without a temp control it got way too hot. This fall I got the thermostat and it really works well. I've ordered another heat mat and thermostat for another set of shelves. Of course it only really heats the shelf and plants which are set on it. I do wonder though if the shelves above benefit from the heat coming from the lower shelf. The older plants aren't as heat sensitive. I have my unit enclosed in plastic at night. But I don't have any scientific evidence of that.
Good luck
Wendy

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 12:44AM
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gwenvet(Zone 5 Indiana)

Thanks Wendy. Mine is set at 72 but never seems to go above 70, so abut 21C. My plants are in 2" pots and dry out faster, but maybe that's good. I water them from the bottom every 3rd day. I think I may buy another for cuttings like you since mine have been 'rooting' for about 2 months now and still have no plant lets. It doesn't sound like many people use these for AV's so we'll have to stay in touch.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:03AM
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wendycoo

I'm not sure how many use them but it was recommended to me on a forum last year when I was worried about cool temps in the basement. I have the leaf cuttings in a covered box so they are not noticeably drying out. I like the plan.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:40AM
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minal(6)

Hi Wendy,

thanks for the information, maybe I will give it a try.

Minal.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Linda

Having just moved to a new house, I now grow in my basement under lights instead of in the house. I was concerned that it was too cold at night so I started using heat mats under my leaves about a month ago. I have been growing violets for over forty years and I have never seen leaves root and send up babies as quickly as this bunch has. I have them in a flat with a dome and the growth is amazing!

Linda

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 1:39AM
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seaj

Bottom heat helps so much when it comes to establishing forced amaryllis and newly transplanted orchids, but I've never tried it with violets. I'll have to test it out myself sometime.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:04PM
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