Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"? - Dendroboard

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Old 05-18-2019, 01:26 AM
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Default Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

The term is a little silly-sounding, so I'll explain what I mean.

What I mean is a fairly large enclosure or tank that isn't intended as a display tank and thus isn't constrained by the need to be aesthetically pleasing. It's just a storage place for plants you have that you may one day put in a different vivarium.

If, for instance, you go to a plant show, or order some plants on a whim, or because they're rare and about to disappear --- but you don't have anywhere to put them --- in that case, you can put them in this bank so they can survive and perhaps propagate.

Of course, this has to be a big enclosure, because plants of all different kinds have all different needs. I don't know exactly how big, of course, but I imagine pretty darn big, if you're an avid vivarium-builder. But a little creativity would help, I imagine; you could create shade by the epiphytes for lower-light plants on the bottom, for instance. (But I guess that's not really any different than a normal vivarium.)

I'm saying all this, but I'm not at the stage where I need this kind of thing, nor do I know all the conditions that would need to be met to keep so many different plants alive or the feasibility of the idea. I also just wanted to see if this is already a thing.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

I typically "bank" some of the more rare plant pickups just in case they don't like their new environment once purchased. Nothing worse than watching an expensive new addition melt away, fade or blanch under too intense lighting. The bank can be something as simple as a deli cup with spaghnum moss to start new clippings before putting something new into a permanent viv. I think most plant keepers have something like this in place just to protect some of the more sensitive plant species.
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

I keep a large grow tent in my frogroom, the kind generally used for propagating California "houseplants", but instead I keep it stocked with my terrarium foliage/orchids/moss etc. I know many froggers that dedicate a 20-40g aquarium as a holding tank for plants that have yet to find a home.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

Thanks for the intel. I actually got interested in the idea, due to the size of the terrarium I'm building and the probable need to grow plants before putting them inside of it. While browsing I happened upon the thread with this post in it:

To save you time, in that post Encyclia suggests and links to this bin:

I've had good success with foam-gasketed boxes of different dimensions, but they were for mosses and were actually kept outside. Now, I don't have a good sun-basked window to grow terrarium plants out of, so I was going to go down one of two paths:

1) Buy some lights, as suggested by Dendroboard users, or

2) Put them outside under the shade of the carport and hope that they fare as well as the mosses did.

Which path would you go down? Or is there a third path?

EDIT: I should also mention that I live in New Orleans, where the outside temperature during the summer can approach 90 - 100 Fahrenheit frequently.

Last edited by Kinstrome; 05-30-2019 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

Do you have access to a south-facing window? That's where I put mine. I have co-opted the dining room table for the purpose (which leads to some grumbling when we have people over for dinner and I have to lug all my stuff to a different room...) and the dining room has a large south-facing window. I put my plant grow-out bins closest to the window and they intercept the direct sunlight. I then put my froglet grow-out bins behind these where they get no direct light. The arrangement seems to work out well (until I have to move it all - see above). That way the temps in the room are controlled and I don't have to worry about the plants getting too hot most of the time. The angles prevent me from getting too much direct sunlight through that window, too. I have no lighting on any of the grow-outs (plant or frog) so this is ONE area that I don't have to throw a lot of electricity at :-)

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Old 05-30-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody here keep a "plant bank"?

I do have access to a large window. I'll have to figure out which direction it's facing.

My control over my terrarium projects in this house is attenuated by the fact that it's my late grandmother's house, and that is a problem because one of my cousins (who does not live with me) feels very strongly about me putting any kind of dirty or messy thing in anything besides my room in the house. The "eggcrate spires" project I worked on about a year ago, for instance, she was upset that I constructed it in a certain room, although I cleaned up afterwards and nothing was ultimately affected. That room is the same room I'd be able to get good sunlight in, if I can get it at all. I'm hesitant to put a plant "bank" in there, in case she pops in with little warning, as she has before.

I do have parts and tools related to my current terrarium project in various rooms in this house, of course, due to the size of the project, but they'll be cleaned up when I'm done. The plant bank would have to be there indefinitely.

I will definitely consider it, anyway, if window light is a safe light source for the terrarium-suitable plants that would populate the bank.

EDIT: I just downloaded a compass app to figure it out, I'm millennial af

I also found out that this house is not parallel / perpendicular to North / South / East / West. It's kind of diagonal, which is a problem because it means there aren't really good south-facing windows. I can get some sunlight, but I don't know how good it will be.

Last edited by Kinstrome; 05-30-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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