Your future

mrbreeze(z6/7 OK)July 16, 2004

Ok this is what happens when you keep a terrarium for about ten years and keep adding things or things keep growing at a ridiculous pace...AND you don't really try to make it "pretty".

Chock Full O' Plants!

Not that you can tell but there are 4 types of Nepenthes, Saliginella moss all over, creeping fig all over, Cryptanthus to the left, Masdie floribunda to the right, tillandsia ionantha and t. NOID, t. cyanea, Ludisia orchid, spanish moss, cobra lily, bromeliads, and who knows what else!??!

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MrBreeze I love it! What a gorgeous terrarium! I adore the "overgrown jungle" look. :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 4:00PM
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mrbreeze(z6/7 OK)

I should have mentioned that this pic was taken a few days AFTER doing a major trimming on the ficus pumilla...three or four handfulls worth. that stuff is CRAZY!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 4:53PM
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you should pust some dart frogs in there, they'd love it

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 8:15PM
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ladybug_guam(z11 Guam)

I do believe that is time for you to sharpen your scissors and give it a good hair cut.... however, that's just me, I'm a compulsive neat freak LOL!
Ana :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 1:03AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Becoming overgrown seems to be one of the most serious problems with terrarium keeping .doesn't it?? I've been giving that a lot of thought and I really haven't come up with any solutions.No matter how big it is this will still happen.I think the best answer is to have greater depth on a vertucal plane sort of in terraces so that each plant could be viewed and allowed to develop within limits. Very careful selection of plants and compatible growth habits.
Personally I like the "overcrowded " look though there's not much point in having a bunch of plants that can't be seen or the space is so limited it can't develop properly.
I love the look of the Dutch vivariums but note that this is accomplished with large size and mostly vertical planes. They need to be viewed looking into rather than down on IMO.Of course, this means more powerful lights and pumps and getting to the bottom would be a chore and of course the problem of shadowing.
So far I'm going with a lot of "clipping" but hate the resultant scalped look until they recover and then it's time to do it again. lol.
My goal is to build one that will look ideal all the time lol.For months if not years.Do you think that's possible?? lol

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 3:11AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

If I couldnt see the pots I would love it!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 6:40AM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

Gary: I don't think it's possible to have a terrarium not look overgrown, and yet not sparse. I do find that wandering jew is a pretty good plant, even though it is a fast grower. Once a week, or even every two weeks, I just clip off a couple growths that have gotten too long, and that's it. The remaining plant still looks great, not all hacked up. Fittonia, however, is a problem. It looks like total cr@p after being seriously cut back, because of the nature of its growth habit. Mine is FINALLY starting to look decent again after I cut it back over a month ago. Takes a while for all the new leaves to grow and look fuller again! I've had to cut it back three times since I started my terr in December last year.

I, too, prefer the 'neater' look, though I don't mind at all if moss overruns everything. And I would include selaginella in the 'moss' catagory, even if it's not a true moss. I like those broms though, MrB, and what kind of nep is that with the speckley pitchers? Your ficus doesn't seem to be variegated, is it? I thought that all pumila was variegated. And how does that cobra lily survive the heat? You appear to have some serious lighting on your tank. And what size is that tank again? is it a 30?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 1:27PM
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mrbreeze(z6/7 OK)

Yes the tank is a 30 or maybe 29 gallon. I can't remember the name of the Nep. but its a commonly available one. This tank has evolved a lot over the years. It started filled with bromeliads and tillandsias and mosses. Then the broms got too big for it so they got moved to the brom. tree. The tank then kept mostly carnivores (VFT, sundews, nep, etc.) and now its mostly for Neps I guess. It definitely looks a lot better from the top shoulda seen it before I trimmed the ficus!!

The lights are nothing special...its just a product of the camera making them look really intense. Just regular cool and warm white bulbs. The ficus is not variagated though it does occasionally make some offshoots that are albino/alba...pure white. Very striking so when I trim it I don't cut those. Guess that's just a natural mutation.

As for keeping one from looking overcrowded....tough. I think avoiding the use of vines would be key for that. And limiting the plant selection of course. I think it would be possible...but not easy...and it would take away some of the fun. I like trimming stuff and discovering what's grown underneath and observing how things grow and react to conditions. For instance, my 'fireball' started out in the middle and made pups off to the left. Eventually I moved them to the right side and the original 'mother' plant had long since 'died' and was forgotten. The pumilla covered up the area in a thick mat. Well once I did a major trim job on it and discovered that the mother plant had resprouted under there and was totally green due to being covered by the ficus. I figure it must have been struggling under that mat for years...never getting water and getting minimal light. Since finding it I've kept the ficus trimmed away and given it some water and now its turning red and getting more robust! fun stuff.

I definitely feel that large size, multiple levels, and lots of depth are the way to go.

Oh yea...the cobra died last year and lo' and behold...sprouted again! I have no idea how it lives through the heat or even if it will continue to do so. It's burried in the mossy mess between the speckled Nep. and the brown masdie pot on the right.

I think that covers everything....just like ficus pumilla!!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 5:10PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I kept the pumilla out of the terreium I leaned my lesson when I made an above ground pool.It's made of stacked 4x4's and I had visions of the pumilla covering the exposed wood.LOL. No plant will grow on pressure treated wood. Insteas it grew to the top and firmly attached to the vinyl lining.Completely covered the water spouting gargoyle and has climbed all the way to the top of the white bird of paradise. It has also developed the habit of the higher it gets the larger the leaves become. Have noted this in Philos,Nephritis and several other types of tropical vines.The only way to remove it is to pick each little piece off as it roots every half inch or so.Even then the slightest little piece will start to grow epiphyticly. I'm stuck with it now lol

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 6:35AM
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nathanhurst(VIC Aust)

yeah, my parents have pumilo growing on a south wall. It took a long time to work out what it was because it had 15cm diameter leaves growing out a metre or more from the wall. so much for 'pumilio' (dwarf in latin). We eventually snipped it off at the base and painted with glyphosate... 3 times. It's still growing.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 8:40AM
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