Bell jar covering plant smells really bad....mold?

Lynn NevinsSeptember 11, 2012

I guess it would make sense that my bell jar smells really bad when I lift it up but....is there anything to do to offset this...? Should the plant itself be elevated on something with like a wire bottom so that the underside of the pot gets air? Right now I have the plant sitting on top of a little dish/plate and then the bell jars sits over all of that...

Tx!

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paul_(z5 MI)

Mold is indeed the issue here. A moist environment with stagnant air makes for an excellent breeding ground for molds -- especially for stinky ones like mildew. Air circulation generally makes a HUGE difference, IME. (Btw, under the conditions you describe, the plant stands a high chance of suffering from mold infestations that will attack the plant itself.) Some possibilites:

1) Save the belljar idea for plants that can handle conditions a bit drier. BUT NOT CACTI! The humidity even under drier conditions would be detrimental to cacti. There would be other negatives too, but that is a different topic.

2) Try removing the bell for an hour or two each day to get some fresh air exchanged. During that time do not set the bell bottom side down flush with a flat surface. The idea would be to freshen the air in the bell as well as letting the plant and its media "breath". Instead setting the bell down on a cooling rack or some such.

3) Try putting some rubber/plastic "feet" on the bottom of the rim of the bell or on the plate itself so the bell sits a centimeter or so above the plate -- not flush with it. While the humidity in the bell will not remain as high this way, it should allow some air circulation which in turn should cut down on the mold and smell.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Lynn Nevins

Thanks for the tips on either adding some feet and/or just removing the jar for a bit, to allow for some circulation.

Though I must say I'm totally confused by your comment to 'save the bell jar for plants that can handle drier conditions'. Bell jars ADD/CONTAIN moisture....isn't that the whole point of them for plants such as ferns, etc.? ;-)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Lynn Nevins

Hey so I tried removing the jar for a bit each day and it really helps. In addition I decided to try the pot feet idea but with my own twist.

With the bell jar being clear glass of course, adding pot fee underneath it...they'd be very obvious. I didn't want them sticking out like sore feet...er thumbs....so I thought up another idea....I have like this small rubbery little circles with sticky backs, that are really meant for sticking on the back of picture frames, so that when you hang it on the wall, the bottom backside of the frame isn't banging directly against the wall...the little rubber discs sort of act as a buffer.

So I decided to take 3 of those and space them evenly along the underside of the bell jar. They lift the jar a teeny weeny amount...just enough to allow some air flow.

and now with less condensation, you can also SEE my plant better! Before the glass was all cloudy...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:38PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

By drier, I simply meant something like an AV that, under a bell would use soil that is just barely moist and like the high humidity. Nothing like a cactus or succulent. Sorry I wasn't clearer before.

However, molds would still be a possible issue even with drier media if air circulation is lacking.

If the rubber circles you are talking about are what I am thinking of, then I would consider those rubber feet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:05PM
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