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RE: Question regarding live plants in cage

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Posted by: ScottWile at Sat Jan 7 20:05:01 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by ScottWile ]  
   

First off, congrats on entering the GTP world. While live plants look great and contribute to the natural look and feel of the environment, the plants themselves don't actually help with the humidity, they actually hamper it, by soaking in moisture to it's root system helping it grow. If you really want to keep your humidity up, there are several commercially available high pressure misting systems on the market that are relatively affordable. This way you can still use live plants, and still keep high humidity. Another tip for keeping the humidity high is to use a natural, fast drying substrate like coconut husk, it dries quick enough that if it's not sopping wet, it won't grow mold. I've heard of people using wet towels by their heat lamp (which sounds like a fire hazard to me, they will dry out and light when you least expect it). A piece of heat resistant styro or mold resistant drywall would work to close the top of an enclosure in.

Worrying about an infestation of insects while using live plants is certainly a valid concern, but botanical gardens and nurseries of higher quality often guarantee their plants bug free. It's their business, just don't buy them at Home Depot (nothing against home depot,just trying to make a point). Also, introducing an infestation of a different insect species doesn't really sound to me like it'd help matters. Your snake won't know the difference between mites and ladybugs (ladybugs will go anywhere and will crawl on anything) and your snake will likely stress as though the ladybugs were mites.

In conclusion, I would use: live plants (obtained from a reputable source or specialty shop with a guarantee), fake pllants and decor, a misting system of some sort, be it a $4 spray bottle or a $200 programmable exo terra (I prefer the Exo Terra Monsoon 4000). I wouldn't use: any introduced species of plant from a source that doesn't specialize in plants specifically, or any introduced species of insect.

Hope this helps. - Scott.
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