having a jungle garden in my bedroom

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Amenti, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    I'm a Torontonian, future Zoology and Botanic student -just starting this fall- so as you might guess my main passions are plants and animals thus I want to convert my room into a "little jungle". I’m going to have chameleons(1), sulcata turtles(1), red eyed tree frogs(2) and arrow frogs(2) living there (going to need a huge door screen *uff*) As you may guess I need plants to go with them. I would love it if these plants were:
    -FULL SHADE plants
    -preferably fragrant
    -NON-TOXIC for my pets
    -I want a climbing plant for my ceiling and wall -so maybe a few varieties would do-
    -the more the variety the better
    -Pretty :P –isn’t it obvious?-
    -I love bonsais, orchids and carnivorous plants (these last ones probably not a good choice for my pets :P)
    -perennial
    -tropical or flower plants preferably

    ps. I have one light bulb on the ceiling but planning to put 3 big white Chinese lanterns instead
    and I have a huge window that faces to the North on one wall

    so could you PLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEE suggest some plants and maybe a good place to get them. Thanks lots!!!

    If you want to make any other suggestions -like what other animals would fit(I don't want my pets eating each other)- or if you just want to say I'm crazy -preferably the first one- please feel free to do so. Thank you!!! Peace and love
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    I suggest you go to the website www.blackjungle.com and get lots of answers there, as well as contact information. They've been around a long time and have a very large (and knowledgable) site. No, bonsai are not good in terrariums. Also go to www.gardenweb.com/forums/terrariums for lots of help.
     
  3. PlantJunkie

    PlantJunkie Member

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    Well I must say that room that incorparates all those elements is very ambitious of you,but I must warn you that you'll have your fair share of work cut out for you.First thing is first what kind of flooring/substate will you be working with. I could think of a number of house plants that would do well in the above as you described. Though some would probally benefit if you were able to rotate them out for better sunlight as required.Though I'm not sure about the toxidity of these plants.I'm assuming that the only animal that would be an issue with would be the Sulcata tortise.Which leads me to a whole other set off issues. Captive care requirements The Sulcata likes it Hot and dry while the red eyes like a more tropical humid enviromet how do you plan of providing both of these microclimates in one room ? Just a few Issues I was wondering how you would address them.Post some pictures if you can of the room and I'll see if theres any advise I can offer you.

    thanks
    Matt
    p.s.You can Bonsai a B.Ficus to make a great terrarum accent ;-)
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe Tarzan or Jane will show up and help you.
     
  5. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Amenti,
    You should check out the solarium type rooms for such a venture. Doing what you suggest in a regular room in a regular house will only create a nightmare for you in the future and a very great expense in repairing all the damage done!!!

    But if you insist, then I would have to concur with Ron B and add that you should be on the look out for any of Tarzan's buddies!!!
    Especially if they roar and wear a mane!!!
     
  6. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Similar to PlantJunkie's reply, Chameleon's & your frogs need very different environments to survive. Chameleon's thrive in tropical forests with relative humidity between 60% & 80% during the day & generous dew formation at night (& significant diurnal temperature changes). The frogs are more rainforest types that appreciate near 95% humidity all the time.

    As for plants, you have to decide what sort of climate you're providing for you animals first.

    Simon
     
  7. ycwee

    ycwee Member

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    hi Amenti,
    First of all, is the animal going to be free running or in cages in your bedroom? If free running in your bedroom, those frog might jump on your face while you are sleeping and may crushed if you turn your body while sleeping. The reptiles may **** every where on the floor, table, your beds, everywhere. How are you going to control them? Besides, sulcata turtles maybe eat all your beautiful plants.
    My suggestion is that you get an empty room, covers the walls with glass or plactic to make it like green house. Add more lights, maybe 5 Fluorescent bulb, 2 spot light, and your 3 big white Chinese lanterns. remember to cover all the light bulb with plactic so that it won't get wet. Put a filtered fan to create air flow.
    Creat a shallow pond (to give drinks for the animal) on the floor with some small fished like guppy, tiger barb, molly and siamese fighting fish.
    Grow some bamboo of different kinds on the floor (in pots), hang some orchid (phalaenopsis preferred), Jewel orchid and African Violets on top or on the wall. You can also grow some Parlor Palm, Aspidistra elatior, Monstera deliciosa, Sansevieria trifasciata and etc.
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    An ambitious project indeed. But since I had a craving once to do a similar thing I might be able to offer a bit of advice. The animals are going to need your attention first. Costa Rican Red Eyed tree frogs, Agylychnis callidryas (which is what I believe you are hoping to keep) require a very humid environment. They also have to have live food available (insects). Generally, that is crickets that have been fed protein so they can transfer the protein to the frogs. They are also going to need water. All of those things may be quite difficult to combine and maintain in your bedroom. But, there is a solution. Many people keep this and other frog species in a vivarium. Vivariums are little more than aquariums with plants and animals instead of fish. There a plenty of good sources on the web which can tell you how to set up a healthy vivarium where you can grow plants and animals together. If you are careful, you can very faithfully duplicate a rain forest to observe while keeping everyone healthy and happy. Since these frogs can be costly ($50) you might want to rethink allowing them to roam free since they will soon starve to death or die of lack of environmental resources. Same goes for anoles. Anoles (Anoles carolinenisiscan) commonly can be found outside during the summer in almost any southern state and are easily caught. But they require a constant source of live food. Generally, they don't make good pets. Cute when you find one up on the ceiling or on the wall but not practical as a house pet. Better in a vivarium but still difficult to keep healthy. As for plants, there are many that will live in the confines of your bedroom. Syngonium, philodendrons, spaths, bromeliads, some anthuriums and many odd ferns such as Microsorum thailandicum, the blue fern, can be grown in low to moderate light. But, they do require water and the ferns require high humidity. In fact, most of these require high humidity if you want to keep them healthy. Again, something that is tough to maintain in a bedroom. I have all of these animals, plus more, along with hundres of rare plant species living in a large atrium just out my kitchen door. My frogs reproduce yearly and in the spring you can always find baby frogs out there. Baby anoles are often seen in May as well since the adults tend to hibernate during the winter and lay they eggs in the mulch. I've got a fair number of pages on my own website about caring for these critters and plants together so you might enjoy reading this information. But you might also want to rethink allowing all these critters to roam free in your bedroom. Not really a good idea for the animals. Not sure about you. Here's a couple of links you might enjoy:
    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Build your own tropical rainforest.html

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/treefrogs large.html
     
  9. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    First of all thank you all for your comments. After thinking about them I have made some changes to my original plan.
    -First of all I live in an apartment with my parents therefore I will move eventually and will need to take all the plants and animals with me.
    -Due to money and time requirements this is an ongoing project that will take me some years.
    -For convenience reasons I will have the frogs in a vivarium or something similar were I can adjust humidity easier. I will also get another kind of tortoise or turtle that prefers humidity.
    -The humidity in my room is going to be 70% or up and I already have the humidifier. In regards to flooring/substrate I’m just going to have potted plants since we are renting this apartment and there is not much we can do with it. I could put stones or pebbles on the whole floor though if that is going to make the turtle/tortoise feel better.
    -Potted plants would also be easier to rotate so they can get better sunlight.
    - I'll post pictures of the room soon -as soon as I finish moving my furniture around because my boyfriend is moving in- and pictures of the plants I already have.
    -Regarding to the vines I'll have them attached to a structure and not the wall itself so they don't damage it.
    -On the other side I will get the animals only once I have all the plants on my room and the habitat created.


    I have a Golden Yellow Phalaenopsis and I just noticed today that is sick. It has black dots with white center on them in the leaves; they seem like fungus I’ll post pics soon. Any idea to what the problem might be and maybe a cure for it?
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    You sound like the kind of girl all of us "plant nut" guys should have found! One word of encouragement. About a year ago I moved a large Aglonemia into my office since it didn't like all the water I give the plants in the tropical atrium. That species group prefers to be watered regularly, just not as often as what I give the anthuriums and philodendrons. They will endure much less light. One night, more than a month after I moved it in, I noticed a 3 inch green tree frog sitting on a leaf. It had apparently been in the house for a month with no food and didn't appear to be suffering! I gently caught it and moved it back into the atrium. In Florida we used to find them in the house all the time and finally realized they were sneaking in over the top of a sliding glass door. I took the door out of the track and found 5 living up on the top of the door! So they will survive in the house. A word of caution about the gravel on the floor though. That would be tough on your feet and might cause you to fall in the house. Not great if you land on the plants or worse the vivarium! My son once fell on an aquarim which made a large gash in his face. Good luck with your project. I'll be watching for your photo posts.
     
  11. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    Thanks that's sweet!! :D I just finished checking your website is so awesome!!! I wouldn't mind living there heheh :D. I love your plants and animal it should be so awesome to live there!! I live in Toronto and we have the lake close by so I can find nice round pebbles there, that I could use in my room. I love walking on them! I'm from Cuba so I miss all the nature. Have you ever been there? If you ever visit try to go to Soroa in the West province of Pinar del Rio. They have an awesome orquid garden.


    since you have orquids do you have any idea of what that black spots can be?? Ineed to find the camera cable so I can post the pics... Thanks so much for the encouragement, it is much needed
     
  12. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I traveled as a professional photographer for many years. I tried and tried to get an assignment to Cuba but was never successful. But I've flown over the island more times than I can remember. It must be beautiful.

    As for your orchid problem, there are several possibilities but a fungus is the most likely. There are several good antifungal preparations available for orchids that will not harm the plant. I'd try to buy one and give it a try. Generally, if the plant has been attacked by a fungus it has been weakened by something. That allowed the fungus to attach. What caused it is impossible to know without having observed the plant and how it is grown. They prefer moderate light, not darkness and many people seem to believe and certainly not direct sunlight. They thrive on high humidity but don't like to stay wet. If you have not changed the potting media in the last year you might try that as well. If there is any decay in the media the plant will suffer. I have now settled on ground coconut husk as the best media I've tried. You can buy it in small quantities from many orchid supply houses. It hold moisture well and gives it back to the plant as the plant needs it. But it does not stay wet. I'd suggest watering the plant often once you change to the coconut husk. Every few days is fine in winter but daily during the summer is best. Try to copy what nature does naturally. Now, you will likely get some rebuttal on that suggestion. Many people believe you should water only once every week, some every other week. But remember, these plants live in a rain forest! It rains all the time! I have an article on my website about that subject which you can find on the homepage.

    If you are not doing this already mix up a spray bottle with some Schultz orchid fertilizer (about 1/4 teaspoon) and mist the plant daily. More than once a day would be best if possible. Your humidifier should also help. You might consider growing the orchid near the humidifier. If you can get a good digital closeup of the malady please post it. If you don't have the program to crop in close on the problem area email me the original photo in as high resolution as possible and I'll put it in PhotoShop and enlarge it so we can try to see what it really is. You can find my email address o the homepage of my website.

    Steve Lucas
     
  13. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    these are pics from my sick orchid... and then of one of my other plants(does any one knows the scientific name?) and then my other orchid. I wanted to put both in the same pot but the new one(first pics) might be sick
     
  14. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    err i dont see the pic 0_0
     
  15. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Amenti,

    From the photo you sent via your photo page the plant appears healthy. The leaf color is good. I've never encountered that exact malady so I can't identify it for you, It is a probably a fungus. I'd try a dilute fungal mix and just swab it on the leaf in the affected area since it is now very limited. Watch the entire plant and if it persists then spray the entire plant as per the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure and buy an orchid fungal treatment so you don't damage the plant. I'd also separate the plant from the others so you don't chance spreading the fungus or malady. If it persists send me another photo, directly if you can, so I can send it on to several growers in Hawaii. When I tried to download it from your photo site I can't enlarge it sufficiently to get a good magnification in PhotoShop.

    Hope you get it stopped!
     
  16. ycwee

    ycwee Member

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    Amenti,
    I could not see your orchid's picture. If the black dot is not so much, just cut the black dots off using scissor. Remember water the whole plant once a week and water the roots only everyday. usually when your plant got fungus, it means the place is not bright enough. For the potting mix, I prefer charcoal mix with coconut husk chip (50-50)
     
  17. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Amenti sent the photo directly to me so it is not on the board. I've enlarged the photo as much as possible and am posting it so others can evaluate what it may be. Charcoal added to the coconut will certainly help in many cases to keep noxious gasses from forming in the media. Like most plants, methods of care differ from grower to grower. My personal goal is to mimic nature and in the rain forests of the world these plants receive very high humidity and rainwater much more often than growers tend to give them. I've observed the trick is to have a fast draining media along with high humidity but obviously other growers have methods that vary and are successful. At this point Amenti you will need to do your own research from a variety of sources. You will likely read many different approaches to orchid care and treatment of unwanted organisms. Removal of a portion of a leaf, or the entire leaf, is sometimes necessary. Other times the malady can be treated. At this point, you'll just have to decide for yourself the best approach. Do your own homework and then decide rather than act upon solely one set of advice. Many people will also tell you getting water on the leaf or the flower will kill the plant. Personally, I find that advice hard to accept based on where these plants grow in nature. I've personally observed orchids in the rain forest and they stay wet, and beautiful, all the time. Like I said, there a many, many opinions.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  18. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    ok thanks! I'll try to getr a fungal mix asap and if iot doesn't work I'll try cutting pieces of the leaf :'( ... I'll wan't to get potting mix too and once my orchid is healthy I want to transplant it beside my other orchid :)
     
  19. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    oh btw I just got that orchid 2 days ago. I was going to get another one beside it but we changed opinions last moment and didn't really take time to inspect the new one -guess we should have-
     
  20. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Always a good idea to look them over well before bringing them home with your established plants. The general rule is to look for plants that have a medium green color to the leaves. Yellowing leaves indicate the plant has not been grown under ideal conditions and deep dark green leaves can mean the plant has not received enough light. If the plant has a pseudobulb make sure it is plump. In those orchids that have pseudobulbs at the base of the leaf, if it is dried up or near dry, it may take a long time for the plant to store enough liquid to remain healthy. I have seen plants for sale more than once in bloom but with a pseudobulb that is almost dry. It is a good idea to also smell the potting media. Any foul odor and that plant would best be passed over. Look at the media and make sure it appears fresh and is not beginning to decay or foul. Check the air roots that have grown above the media. Are they plump and moist? If they are all dried look for another plant. Don't cut them off, they are natural. And if you have a choice, pick a plant where the flowers are just beginning to open. You'll enjoy them much longer that way. There are many good books out there on orchid species and care. Buy one. Seek the advice of someone who is successful. But be leery of any odd advice. There is a lot of it floating around in orchid circles. And consider how these plants grow in nature. A lot of good clues can be gained by learning how they survive in the wilds of South and Central America as well as SE Asia. A fellow I trade email with from Panama collects orchids for his nursery from one of the most beautiful orchid rain forest areas of the country (legally). He says the rain forest is above the cloud line, thus always wet. The humidity is at or near 100% all the time. Every tree, every tree, has orchids growing on the side and many are in bloom. It is as muddy as it can be up there because of all the constant rain. And the orchids love it! His photos are amazing.
     
  21. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  22. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Certainly appears to exactly as described. Hopefully Amenti will be able to treat it without having to further damage or mutilate the plant since it appears to be minor at this point.

    Steve Lucas
     
  23. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    Thank you!!!
     
  24. Amenti

    Amenti Member

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    now going back to my room

    here is what i last posted


    First of all thank you all for your comments. After thinking about them I have made some changes to my original plan.
    -First of all I live in an apartment with my parents therefore I will move eventually and will need to take all the plants and animals with me.
    -Due to money and time requirements this is an ongoing project that will take me some years.
    -For convenience reasons I will have the frogs in a vivarium or something similar were I can adjust humidity easier. I will also get another kind of tortoise or turtle that prefers humidity.
    -The humidity in my room is going to be 70% or up and I already have the humidifier. In regards to flooring/substrate I’m just going to have potted plants since we are renting this apartment and there is not much we can do with it. I could put stones or pebbles on the whole floor though if that is going to make the turtle/tortoise feel better.
    -Potted plants would also be easier to rotate so they can get better sunlight.
    - I'll post pictures of the room soon -as soon as I finish moving my furniture around because my boyfriend is moving in- and pictures of the plants I already have.
    -Regarding to the vines I'll have them attached to a structure and not the wall itself so they don't damage it.
    -On the other side I will get the animals only once I have all the plants on my room and the habitat created.


    in case anyone want to make sugestions
    or blah blah blah


    what kind of vines should i use
    preferably

    full shade
    fragant
    pretty :)
    light weight
     
  25. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    The choices are endless. Best I can observe the options of what to grow are up to your own choices but should be based on what will survive in your lighting conditions and what your animals will tolerate without harm. Many philodendron species produce vines and should work provided you give them tall enough totems to climb and flourish. And of course, price will enter the picture. Some of the exotic species can be costly. Appears to me you've got some pretty descent advice on the board already.

    Steve Lucas
     

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