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Old 09-08-2004, 11:24 PM
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Default The common plant thread

I thought it would be a good idea to have a list of COMMON plants that are suited to vivariums. Stuff that one can find easily just by walking into a nursery or hardware store with a garden department. Most of them are houseplants, but I'd imagine there are others that aren't. I'm hoping people will add info to this thread based on their own experience. Since common names differ, I'll try and put in the scientific names, plus some info and a pic. Anyway, here are the plants I've worked with.

The creepers/climbers:

Heart Leaf Philodendron - Philodendron scandens: This is a plant with a climbing/creeping habit. It is a fast and aggressive grower, you will need to keep it pruned. But since it can easily be propogated by clippings, you can use them to start new plants. Very distinctive with its dark green or varigated heart shape leaves.



Pothos - Epipremnum aureum (also Scindapsus aures): Another hardy, fast growing plant that needs to be pruned often. The leaves are waxier and larger than P. scandens, and have a less defined heart shape. Comes in a variety of colors.



Weeping Fig - Ficus pumila: A popular vivarium plant. It also has a creeping/climbing habit, but grows slightly slower than P. scandens or E. aureum. It also has a woody stem that the others lack. Will have to be pruned, but not quite as often in my experience. This plant has two different style of leaves. The immature leaf form is about the size of a nickle, and spade shaped with a ruffled surface. The mature plant has larger, smooth almond shaped leaves.




Note: All of these plants are very hardy, provided they get enough light. In fact, they're so hardy, you'll probably find yourself cutting them back fairly often so they don't strangle everything else. Very good for covering backgrounds, though.

Everything else:

Maidenhair Fern (also Maiden Hair Fern)- Adiantum tenerum: This plant comes in several forms. The one I use is pictured below. A hardy fern that can be mounted as an epiphyte as long as they don't dry out, or planted in the soil provided that it doesn't stay too wet. They like it moist, not soggy. Fairly slow growing, also stays fairly small, maximum height 8-12". The plant is from South America, so if you're trying to build a viv with native South American plants, it's very possible that darts encounter this plant in the wild. It's definitely worth a look.



Fittonia (also Nerve Plant) - Fittonia argyroneura: This is not the plant that drops over when you touch it. The leaves are dark green, with viens that come in many different colors. I have the 'silver vein' version, but it also comes in some striking variations, such as red, pink, and even purple. Like the Maidenhair, this plant comes from SA, specifically Peru. It likes high humidity (at least 65%) and also likes moist soil. It cannot stand up to temps less than 60 degrees, and that is where it gets its name. If you let it get cold, it dies. Don't leave it in your car in the winter while you go inside.



That's all I can type for now. I'll add more to this list later.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:36 PM
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That's a great idea. It'd be really neat to do something like this for many of the terrarium plants, common and rare, especially with regards to trade etc.
j
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:02 AM
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Hello.

I am working on a terrarium plant guide and have been doing so for a few years now. It will feature pretty much everything explained here. It will most likely be posted somewhere on Dendroboard in the near future (dependent on time as Joe and I are very busy).

Have fun,

Justin
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:19 PM
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That's great. Beginners could definately use a guide like this. I could add a pic or 2 with descriptions. I'll get to work on that since I have the day off due to rain.

-Ben
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Old 09-09-2004, 08:37 PM
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I was adding this to my website! I guess I won't have to now. Sometimes I think the plants are harder to deal with then the frogs!
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:11 AM
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I originally made this topic with beginners in mind, but there's no reason why other threads can be made with a similar purpose. This one is mainly for those who want nice looking, hardy plants for their viv, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg having them shipped. People who (like me) couldn't tell a philodendron from a rhododendron. When I started, I knew zilch about houseplants. Anyway, on we go:

Peperomia - Peperomia caperata: There are many species of peperomia, but this one is the most common in stores in my experience. It has small, succulent, vaguely heart shaped dark green leaves that are heavily ruffled. They are held aloft singly on fleshy stalks that rise from the center of the plant. Some varieties have leaves with a silvery color. When it blooms, a flower spike extends from the end of each mature stalk. They look vaguely like mouse tails and can be up to 3" tall. The flowers themselves, on the other hand, are tiny. P. caperata needs partial shade, and likes to dry out a bit between watering, so put it in a well drained area. It can be mounted as an epiphyte.



Rex Begonia (also painted leaf begonia) - Begonia rex: Like many of the plants on this list, B. rex comes in many different colors and varieties. They are mostly grown for their spectacular foliage, which can have three to four different colors on each leaf. There is even one with a distinct curl at the base of the leaf, known as escargot (I have not used this particular variety in the viv yet). In general, the leaves of B. rex are large (up to 7") and not bilaterally identical. If you divided a leaf from stem to tip, one side of the leaf would much larger than the other side. This tropical begonia comes from the Himalayas, but most plants in culture are hybrids. That doesn't detract from their beauty. Like P. caperata, these begonias like to dry out a bit between getting wet. They need humid air to do well, which makes them great in a viv situation.

Typical rex begonia:



Escargot:

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Old 09-13-2004, 12:17 AM
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Default rex begonia

Arklier,

Those are some nice rex's. Anyway, rex's are great and easy to grow if given sufficient light. Try this... take a rex leaf and cut circles out of it, but make sure to gte some veins in the cut pieces. Find a nice humid part of your viv that recieves good light and just place a circle on top of the soil (or cork, or tree fern, etc...). In about a few weeks you should notice some roots developing. In a month or two their will be shoots coming off from the leaf. Eventually, you will have a full grown plant. If the cutting starts to rot throw it out as it will most likely not develop roots. If the rot isn't too bad just move the cutting to a drier area.

Justin
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Old 09-17-2004, 12:07 AM
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Red Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconerura)


This plant originates from Brazil. I don't know if the red form is a species or just a cultivar, I know that there are other forms of this plant. The prayer plant has rounded oval large leaves with interesting patterns. It does not require much light at all and will grow well even in shady conditions. It grows readily in a terrarium and also in a pot as you can see. In a terrarium it will grow very quickly and needs regular pruning as it can get fairly large and outcompete other plants, even the pothos and philos. Makes a great filler plant for those darker corners, provides great multi level cover for frogs since it grows so quickly. It is readily available almost anywhere and will grow from cuttings (establishes faster with hight 70% humidity)
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