The first type I bought and used was a small lean-to variety from Juliana greenhouses.
Usually you want to situate a greenhouse where it gets a lot of direct sunlight. The problem with little greenhouses like this (especially in southern California) is they build up heat too quickly and the chamber isn't high enough to allow the heat to collect and escape through the top and I didn't want to add cooling as I wanted to keep it simple. So I put this one on the north east side of my house. It still gets too hot in the summer so I put some shade cloth above it. Now it doesn't get enough light so I added some fluorescent lights in the top. They are too far away to do much for the plants in the bottom, so they tend to suffer.
The advantage to being small is that it is more economical to heat during the night/winter so I can grow lowland plants in here. At first I tried one of those cheap fan type heaters with an electrical heating element. This is a bad combination for a wet environment. After being shocked several times, the heater stopped working. Many greenhouses use some type of gas heating, but I think this one is too small for something like that. I now use an oil-filled radiator with a large roasting pan on top with water in it to provide more humidity.
The other necessary element is air-flow. I added a small oscillating fan with a strong clip-on base to the shelf and my plants really seemed to improve. When the rats chewed through the electrical cord and it stopped working, a few plants actually died before I noticed and replaced it.
This illlustrates some of the important issues you need to deal with in any greenhouse
Lighting - hopefully the sun Water - How will your plants get watered? Heat - they get hot during the day, but what about at night or during the winter Cooling - they get really hot during the day, so some method of keeping it near the mid-80s Humidity - they don't stay humid enough on their own so some way of putting humidity into the air Air flow - this is a great environment to grow mold and fungus which your plants will hate. Adding fans for circulation will really improve the health of your plants.
Post by srduggins on Apr 22, 2008 12:05:58 GMT -10
Some more detailed photos. Radiator and high tech humidifying system
Lights, fan and electrical cord routing
Electrical connections/timers are outside of the greenhouse in the garage
Overall, I don't really like many of the choices I made with this greenhouse. It is too small, too difficult to water, most of the year it is too dark - all to avoid the issue with keeping it cool enough. When the first fan broke, I lost a couple of plants to the stagnate air/mold.
Post by ellisonk001 on Feb 8, 2009 10:41:38 GMT -10
Hi all. I have been lurking here on the forum for several months now and wanted to share a bit about the shadehouse project I recently completed. I have only been raising CPs for about a year, so please view this information with that in mind. I live in the central part of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. We have mild growing conditions throughout most of the year; generally daytime temperatures are high 70s to mid 80s with nighttime temperatures being in the low to mid 70s, the only exception is a month or two in the winter (I know what we have doesn’t qualify as winter to a lot of people) when we have heavy rains and temperatures drop 5-10 degrees with occasional lows at night in the high 50s to low 60s.
Although I have read that most nepenthes are sun loving, I have had several plants burnt even with minimal direct sunlight so I decided to build a shadehouse. The area I chose is about 9’x 12’, faces northwest and is situated between my house and the end of my driveway, separated from the driveway by a cinderblock wall. The roof of the house overhangs about 3’ so I built a 2”x4” frame 6’x12’ covered with shade cloth (50%) and supported it with 8.5’x4”x4” lumber. For added stability I anchored 4 of the 6 4”x4” supports to the cinderblock wall and for added shade also covered the sides above the cinderblock wall with the same 50% shade cloth. The results look like this: