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Growing Drosera Indoors.

Would using compact fluorescent light spiral bulbs, be better than using shop light fluorescent fixtures? I'm wanting to grow my D.Scorpiodes and other pygmy's in a uncovered terrarium, was just curious as to what lighting would be proper for growing.

Hi Dante,

Shoplight type fixtures are actually superior.  CFL's produce light in a small area, and are hotter at the source than fluorescent tubes.  They also give you a limited illuminated area.  They are fine for one or two plants, but as your collection grows, you run out of space very quickly.  You can get plants very close to fluorescent tubes, and they give you much more growing space.  If your terrarium is an open aquarium you can easily set the fixture right on top of the aquarium.  It doesn't look very stylish, but it gets the job done quite well.  You can adjust the height of the plants with bricks or other items to elevate them.  Since Pygmy sundews like very bright sun, you want them very close to the tubes.

On a side note, unless you are just doing it for convenience, the terrarium isn't needed, especially with Pygmy sundews.  A simple shelf you could hang your fluorescent fixture from would do well (I've grown plants indoors for decades this way), and give you more flexibility.  This way you can move the lights up and down with chains rather than trying to elevate the plants.  Pygmy sundews come from Western Australia, which is a fairly dry climate.  Also, since they are so tiny, they get quite a bit of ambient humidity from the soil.

You might check out a question I just answered yesterday on this subject:  http://en.allexperts.com/q/Carnivorous-Plants-711/2011/12/nepenthes-lights.htm

We also cover this topic in our volume #2 DVD:  http://cobraplant.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=38&products_id=256  If you're somewhat new to growing carnivorous plants this can help you protect your plant investment by helping you to avoid the pitfalls so common to new growers.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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