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Carnivorous Plants/How can I cool my greenhouse?


Hi guys, I just put up my greenhouse a week ago. It is a Harbor Freight 6 x 8 greenhouse. The problem is cooling it in the daytime. It gets hot in there, like 105 hot in the day. That is even with the thermometer out of the sun. You can check out my detailed video on youtube at "tommys carnivorous plants" for more information. Thanks!

Hi Tommy,

Watched your video on the greenhouse.  Wow.  Only 9 hours to assemble a Harbor Freight greenhouse.  You guys did well.  They are infamous for having one of the most difficult little greenhouses on the market to assemble, and instructions that you could have probably done a better job of writing yourself.

You have a couple of different things going on with your plants.  Let's tackle the greenhouse first.  You're on the right track with what you need to do there.  First, with your box fan, you want it pointing into the greenhouse rather than out.  It will pull cooler air in, and it will vent through the ceiling vents.  Your climate is plenty humid enough, so don't be concerned about that.  If it rains, put the fan inside the door.

Next, you really need to get a good piece of shade cloth.  You can find small rolls of it at Lowe's or Home Depot.  It should be around 40 - 50%, but whatever they have will be fine for now.  They sell it in the garden center for patios.  If you want a specific type later you can order it from a company like this:  Cover the greenhouse up to the vents.  They need to be open for now.  I know you don't have much cash, but this is really important.

When you can, you should purchase more of those clip thingies that hold the panels in and double the numbers of them.  Otherwise, the first good wind you have you'll watch the panels fly through the air as they pop off.  I speak from experience.  Here's where you can find those:  Also, when you have a good dry day, it would be good to caulk the greenhouse with silicone.  Your dad or mom may know how to do this.  These greenhouses leak like a sieve.

Now for your plants.  What you're seeing is a normal reaction from being in a very low light environment, your room, to a very high light and warm environment.  This is why the shade cloth is very important right now.  Keep your Nepenthes in the shaded side of your greenhouse for now, and put sundews, flytraps and Sarracenia on the bright side.  We do the very same thing in our professional sundew greenhouse.  

Your plants are going to go through a transition to the brighter and warmer conditions.  You have to let that happen.  Keep them very wet during this, even in a water tray if needed.  Once new leaves grow, they will adapt, and start growing pitchers again.  Cut off any foliage that burns.  Give them time.  You will see some amazing changes take place as they grow new leaves.  The N. x miranada will start getting reddish and grow some big pitchers.  All the varieties you have actually enjoy it pretty warm.  Your flytraps and Sarracenia will finally look normal.  (I saw that poor Sarracenia down inside that pot.  Get that up on a shelf where it can get sun.)

Feel free to share this post with your parents.  I can tell they are making you fund the greenhouse project yourself, and that's great.  They will have a better idea of what to do with the caulking, and perhaps thinking ahead to winter if you are going to leave your plants out there.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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