The Lowland Nepenthes Greenhouse.
Hot and Sticky – Welcome to the lowland Greenhouse at Redleaf Exotics!
After our highland greenhouse was settled, it was evident that we needed a separate space for the warm growing lowland Nepenthes. Our original idea was to build a chamber inside our large HL house, but it filled up faster than we anticipated. We decided to built an entirely new greenhouse just for the heat loving plants. Here’s a look inside the lowland Nepenthes greenhouse at Redleaf Exotics!
At 48 feet long and 24 feet wide, the lowland house is our second poly-tunnel. We learned a thing or two building our highland house and applied a few adjustments here. For instance, we made our side walls shorter. With less atmosphere to control, our cost for heating and cooling would reduce significantly. The sidewall height is 6 feet with the peak at 12 feet. Plenty of room for these fast growing plants.
The greenhouse framework consists of steel piping placed every 4 feet and dug approximately 3 feet into the ground. To make sure everything stays in place, we filled the holes with concrete. After the concrete dried, we framed in the front and back walls. By no means are we professional builders, but we have some muscle and lots of imagination! All of the side walls and base boards had wire locks attached. This is an easy way of securing the double layer of polyethylene to the greenhouse. Lastly, we built benches and added heating and cooling equipment. There will be another post on detailed heating and cooling information.
Our benches are made from pressure treated lumber and covered with black weed barrier. This gives the sphagnum a great surface to grow on because it holds extra moisture. Plus, it looks nice against the colorful pitchers! We brought the plants into their new home and in a matter of days they showed signs of perky growth!
Lowland Nepenthes love heat and very high humidity. We keep this greenhouse 80-88 degrees Fahrenheit and never below 65F. Most days it feels like a sauna and you feel like your going to melt! The relative humidity is 80-90% with 100% saturation at night. Circulation fans keep the air moving, but it they don’t offer any relief to us or visitors. The misting system goes off every 25 minutes for roughly a minute. We installed an evaporative cooling wall to freshen up the air on the hottest of days. The lowland Nepenthes thrive in these conditions!
Jerry: Keeper of the lowlands!
Jerry Brady and I have been friends since the dawn of time! Growing up together, we always had a strong interest for nature. He took a liking to lowland Nepenthes, more specifically ampullaria and bicalcarata. I love all Nepenthes, but highland plants are my jam! Jerry manages and cares for lowland collection at Redleaf Exotics. He’s also great at building, hence the crafty tables. Only months old, the lowland greenhouse is growing more and more with his dedication and love. He is currently working on some very exciting lowland hybrids that we will release in the near future!
Meet the plants!
Ok, we know this is what you really came for. Here are some of the plants in the lowland Nepenthes greenhouse. They are really starting to take off! Enjoy!
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