So the terrarium is just over 2 years old and it is now well and truly overdue for an update on how it has been travelling since its creation in 2014. If you want to read the original post on the build you will find it here:
In the 2 years since its build I really haven’t given it much attention. From time to time I do get a pair of tweezers and pull off the dead pitchers but more often than not they get overgrown and I don’t know they are there.
I generally add water from my tap to the tank about once a fortnight to once a month depending on the temperature really and if I happen to notice there is no water in the reservoir at the bottom. Other than that it does seem to thrive on the neglect I give it.
The majority of my time that I spend with the Cephalotus terrarium is leaning on the kitchen bench with my face up against the glass just staring at it like a little kid in awe of how cool it looks. It really does look like a prehistoric landscape….the plastic dinosaurs definitely add to that illusion.
As you can see the dinosaurs and the terrarium in general is actually starting to get quite crowded.
Small additions/subtractions were made to the terrarium over the past two years but nothing altogether major really.
About 4-5 months after its creation I do recall that I added a couple of plants to the centre of the tank as well as 2 leaf pullings that I had begun growing (I placed these to the right of the tank). At some stage I also removed one plant that was on the front left so that I could create more of a hilly terrain just for aesthetics.
There was a computer fan attached to the light box that I built for it but it fell off pretty early on due to the heat from the lights must have softened the hot glue that was holding it in place. I removed the fan altogether and it has seemed to not worry it at all with just having the hole in the side of the light box where the fan was mounted.
Some days I spend a bit of time just trying to get that next great photo. I am new to photography and have much to learn but I am quite happy with the photos I have taken of the terrarium so far.
Around December-ish 2015 for no reason at all I did get curious about whether the soil mix would be accumulating salts from my tap water so I decided to flush the soil. I did this by filling the tank completely with water all the way to the brim. I left it like that for about an hour or so then found a small hose that I put down the filling pipe, at the back of the terrarium, until it was at the bottom of the tank and then siphoned the water from the bottom until the tank was empty again. Draining the tank actually took about 2 hours to complete as I only had very small diameter hose that I could find around the house.
Also around this time one of the light bulbs in the light box broke and I replaced it with an identical globe that I had in the house except instead of it being ‘cool white’ it was a ‘warm white’ globe and so I actually replaced both globes at that time with the ‘warm white’ globes as having one of each looked a bit weird.
There were no adverse reactions to the plants from flooding the tank. All the pitchers and plants seemed to thrive.
After changing the globes I did note that the pitchers all seemed to colour up much more than they had with the ‘cool white’ globes so they were a much more colourful red. Also at this time moss began to grow across the entire soil surface so I have attributed it to the change in light.
The terrarium now looks much more impressive with the contrasting green moss with the red and green pitchers cascading over the hilly terrain.
I have put together a few photos of the terrarium as it has evolved over time for you to admire.
Day 1: 30th May 2014 – This is the day it was built I didn’t have any ventilation holes whatsoever that is why the glass fogged up (I added ventilation after this photo was taken).
Day 78: 15th August 2014 – 2.5 Months on. You can see the small plants have grown a bit and adapted to their new environment.
Day 135: 11th October 2014 – 4.5 Months after the build I added a couple of extra plants and 2 leaf pullings.
Day 314: 8th March 2015 – Roughly 10 Months after build you can see it is really starting to thrive. I must have added another plant at some stage during the past 5 months as I am not sure where the plant front and centre came from. I do vaguely recall that I had division from a plant outside that I decided to put in here so maybe that’s where it came from.
Day 548: 28th November 2015 – 1.5 years after build now after being built I took the terrarium down to the Victorian Carnivorous Plant Society’s (VCPS) Annual Show at Garden World and it won best Cephalotus display and also was awarded reserve champion plant which I was really happy about.
You will also notice in this image that I had removed the plant from the front left of the terrarium and created a low point. I cannot remember why I did this as no plant has died in this terrarium so I may have just been removing a plant to make room or something along those lines.
Day 709: 7th May 2016 – Almost 2 years after initial build (lights had been changed and tank flooded in the 5 months following the VCPS Annual Show. As you can see there is moss starting to form on the soil surface.
Day 838: 13th September 2016 – Now 2 years and 3 months after its first build and it is looking great! It is getting quite crowded though…
Here is a shot from above. I took the terrarium outside today specifically for taking these photos so I had a bit of natural light on it.
What’s next for this terrarium?
I am aiming to take this Cephalotus terrarium down again to Garden World on the weekend of December 4th-5th for the Victorian Carnivorous Plant Societies Annual Show. So if you happen to be in the area I recommend that you stop in for an eyeful of amazing Carnivorous Plants.
Following the show I am seriously thinking about deconstructing the entire terrarium early next year and creating a larger display in an old 2 foot fish tank so that I can have so much more room for activities. Stay tuned to either see this new project or this exact same terrarium but possibly overflowing in a future update down the line.
Until then thanks for reading.