Ronnie Spears (
13 Feb 95 20:32:20 EST

Hello everybody,

I have been thinking about building a Wardian Case type growing
chamber and wanted to solicit tips from anybody who has built one.

The current design is simply a plexiglass box 4' x 2' x 2'. I
will use 1/4 inch thick plexiglass and attach the sides together
using glue (made for plexiglass). This is essentially a large
fish tank.

I will use standard 4' fluorescent tubes to light the plants so
the 4' dimension of the box is pretty much fixed. The CP's I will
grow are: nepenthes, pinguicula, drosera, and cephalotus. In
addition to these, I will grow certain orchids that may require
different conditions, so I may divide the box into cool and warm
chambers (2'x2'x2' each) for the different growing conditions.

My concerns are:

1) Is the 2' height tall enough? Most of the plants are small
(short) and 2' would be plenty of height. Nepenthes are, of
course, the exception. One drawback to a tall case (aside
from the extra expense) is the diminished light at the
"ground level".

2) Do CP need good air circulation or can I just leave them
in a totally enclosed chamber? I know orchids are much less
likely to get certain diseases if they are grown in a gentle
breeze. Is the same true for CP? Assuming yes: do you think
it would be good enough to just put a small fan in the
chamber and let it run?

3) For the cool chamber, how can I keep it cool? Basically I
am trying to simulate highland nepenthes conditions. I
once saw somebody who had a plexiglass fish tank with a
2 inch hole drilled in the side. Through the hole, he had
a tube that was connected to an ultrasonic humidifier. Every
hour or so, the humidifier would turn on and create a cool
fog in the chamber. It seemed to work well.

4) Orchid growers: Has anybody successfully grown highland
nepenthes and masdevallias together? Seems they should do
well together (masdevallias grow in the Andes).

5) Any other suggestions? What do you like the most/least
about your growing case. What would you do differently if you
were to build a new case?

I look forward to hearing about any of your experiences with
growing chambers.


Scott Brown