Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bug Plants

Over the past couple years there have been some discussion threads regarding control of flying insects in Orchidariums (tanks). I thought I'd describe how I am contolling lots of fungus gnats and shore flies without resorting to ugly yellow fly traps. I have done this, and (to be honest) those things work for trapping the adults and eventually controlling the populations, but they are ugly and distract from the work we have done to set up an esthetic tank, even if not a true vivarium or terrarium.I have been growing Butterworts, Round-leaved Sundews and Venus Fly Traps in my tank for this last summer with varying results. I am concerned the fly traps will require winter rest in a refridge to make it, so they probably aren't all that viable. The Sundews look extremely viable and do their job very well, but tend to overpopulate a pot very quickly. I won't give up on this guy, but still am reserved as to how good he will be at doing the job he's hired to do.Now as for Pinguicula (the Butterworts). These guys are nothing but fantastic at earning their keep. They thrive in relatively low light (but will do better in as much as 1800 FCs) and need only RO water for moisture (great when you mist with RO or distilled water). When I first placed three plants in the tank, the plants were small and in their own pots. The flies flocked to them overnight. The next morning they were covered. As the plants grew, they outgrew the net pots I had placed them in. So I decided on a flat planter that barely made it into the tank. I use NZ sphagnum with some siftings from my Paph mix (it has shell and other small stuff that these guys seem to like) as a topping. Here's the results as of last night.

The plant on the left is P. 'Weser' ( a Mexican hybrid) and the one to the right with two blossoms is P. 'Gina' (also a Mexican hybrid). There is one more that has not bloomed yet that I will introduce in the future when it graces me with it's fragrant bloom.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I love the butterworts- great idea. Where did you find them?