My love for all things botany is gigantic. Since I was a little kid I have loved nature. That is why my inventory looks as it does. Currently there are over 300 different kinds of plants from many genres and groups in my collection.
For about 3 years I have kept and specialized in Pinguicula. I also have a small handful of Nepenthes. Carnivorous plants are not a new interest to me though and have had them off and on except for Aldrovanda.
I wanted my room remodel with my terrarium on the wall to have plenty of space for the carnivorous plants Pinguiculas. Under my side by side 100x50x70 cm terrariums I wanted to use the space as best as possible. I had the idea for a long time. To make these drawers that are like little landscapes and can be removed to plant, water, and take pictures. The drawers allow me to have 2 square meters for the ping.
The substrate I use is my own special mix and isn’t quite a normal potting mix. It is a mix of peat of which I add about 30% to 50% depending on the individual drawer. The rest of the substrate mix is pumice, vermiculite, diatomaceous earth, quartz, and a little bit of others too. My mixes aren’t something that is fixed, I do it by gut feeling.
Pings need light to bring out the nice pink coloration. If they don’t receive the proper amount and type of lighting they may have pale green foliage. Two T8 70 watt fluorescent tubes with a reflector sit above the drawers. The fluorescent light are on for 14 hours a day. In the winter I reduce the artificial light to 7 or 8 hours a day for dormancy.
I water the drawers all by hand. All of the drawer landscapes have two or three small square pots 4x4x4 cm with substrate about 4 or 5 cm deep. This helps with watering by dispersing water throughout the substrate. Deeper areas have a flat dish underneath the pot to help collect and disperse water to the raised areas.
There are no problems with moisture build up in my trays. It is constructed of OSB3 and coated with liquid pond liner. It is the same kind of product used for making large wooden aquariums. I use it everywhere as a sealant in my terrariums.
The display is easy to take care of because of the way the drawers are set up and they are very nice to look at. The space could have been storage but it is better used for this wonderful landscape display. It complements the terrariums above them very nicely.
Article and images by Benjamin Weidner
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