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Need help with plants choices

Posted by faerieannette z7 MD (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 16, 07 at 20:07

Hi there everyone,

I am volunteering to help redo the native animal displays at the childrens museum. This is an indoor display currently with several animals native to Maryland such as a corn snake, gray tree frog, a hermit crab, many turtles and more. I plan on creating beautiful and captivating environment for each animal. I want to also include native plants in the displays for the animals to climb on or hide in.

What plants can I use that will be okay indoors without need a stage of dormancy?

Aquatic ones for the turtle display?

Woodland ones for the corn snake?

Ones that like moist soil for the tree frog?

Beachy looking ones for the hermit crab environment? Succulents maybe?
I am also thinking of having hanging baskets and planters between exhibits with information telling about the plants.

I plan on moving the eastern box turtles outside because they really benefit from hibernating (and there really is no room for inside) so plant choices there are also appreciated. Though my main concern is having native plants in a non native indoor environment!

The important considerations are that this is a childrens museum so colorful and interesting textures are desired!

Also the plants need to be non toxic of course: for both the childrens sake as well as the animals.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

-Annette


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RE: Need help with plants choices

  • Posted by kwoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 20, 07 at 13:39

I had the same mission for a nature center where I used to work. We displayed freshwater animals native to NY State. The outdoor stuff was relatively easy but the installations were over a long period of time.

Indoor displays were another story. I ended up using quite a bit of moss and various small ferns in the displays. Some grasses and sedges did well also. Pocket plantings where the animals (mostly turtles) couldn't trample or disturb the plantings worked well. We made fiberglass inserts that looked naturalistic. We worked in concert with the NYSDEC and were able to field collect native specimens. In addition I used things that would peeter out after a season and then be replaced or more often moved outside to recover. Good wide spectrum lighting for the displays helps.

A year after I left a big donor had a garden installed in his own honor... Inoki cypress and some crazy junipers.


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