Best tropical climate gardening books according to redditors

We found 49 Reddit comments discussing the best tropical climate gardening books. We ranked the 9 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Tropical Climate Gardening:

u/A_Sickly_Giraffe · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Sure. I'm no shill or anything, but here's some good starting places:

[Book: The Savage garden, by Peter D'Amato] ( It wasn't my first VFT care book, but I think its one of the best out there. Teaches you enough about soil composition, water quality, and general good info to have about spotting pests and such.

TerraForums Venus Flytraps Forum. When I first got into the hobby, this place was very important to me. I got a lot of good help and advice. Someone even sent me free VFT so long as I paid S&H for them. A great group of folks. I don't interact there much anymore, but I still check in from time to time.

VFT are notorious for being easy to kill (which they are), but keeping them alive is actually painfully simple: De-chlorinated water with a mineral count of >100 PPM, (a gallon of distilled water is like, 50 cents), and as much light as you can get them. They can never have enough light. One or two bugs a month, and you'll have a very happy VFT.

u/jamesvreeland · 5 pointsr/succulents

Sure thing. We're just setting it up for the winter, as most of her plants do very well outside (Detroit). Are you looking at a year-round terrarium setup, or a place to maintain them across a cold/wet season?

She went through and sorted everything by light/temp/water needs and figured out that her cephalotus/sarracenia (potted pitchers), drosera(sundews), and most of her pinguicula (butterworts) will be ok with a similar temp range - so they are all going into the same tank. I've been voluntold that I'm building risers this weekend to make sure each one gets the right amount of light - from a 4' x 4 tube T5 light setup that rests on top of the tank, just like an aquarium. There is a waterproof heating pad under the tank, and a thermometer inside to keep tabs on temp.

The top easily comes off and a couple pieces of plexi keep humidity constant. Since they won't be naturally hunting inside the tank plants can be dropper feed a thinned out 16/16/16 (maybe 18/18/18 - I don't know these things) solution, or you can apparently get wingless fruit flies or freeze dried mealworms.

Her nephentes (hanging/tropical pitchers) are getting cycled between window rods and the big shelving unit for succulents/orchids.

These books are definitely worth checking out: (great wide overview)


  • 4'x'2'x2' - 75gal tank (3 sided, removable mylar blanket)
  • undertank heating pad
  • 4' x 4 tube T5 light on top
  • risers to create platforms at 12"/18"/24" from the light

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions, PM me and I'll direct you to the expert. All of my knowledge comes from whatever I need to order online or construct to support the habit.
u/Lagomorph_Wrangler · 4 pointsr/RedditDayOf

There are a couple different species you could potentially keep in a kitchen environment as long as you have appropriate conditions.

Your best bet is going to be to check out /r/savagegarden, read Barry Rice's Carnivorous Plant FAQ and if you start getting serious, purchase a copy of The Savage Garden which is probably the best book around for learning how to grow carnivorous plants.

In terms of species that will do well in that environment, you're probably going to want to look at the genus Drosera (Sundews) or maybe Nepenthes (Tropical Pitcher Plants).

The best Sundews for your purposes are going to be:

  1. Drosera capensis - Cape Sundew

  2. Drosera binata - Fork Leafed Sundew

  3. Drosera spatulata - Spoon Leafed Sundew

    Those are all fairly easy to cultivate and as long as fairly appropriate conditions are provided, they will thrive.

    I'm not really certain of what Nepenthes would be best, as I don't really grow too many of them.

    For "around the house growing" you're going to have to keep two major factors in mind.

    • Light - CPs require lots and lots of light to do really well, this can be provided by either a windowsill with direct light exposure for a decent part of the day, or by appropriate growlights, which can be used exclusively, or to supplement natural lighting.

    • Water - Most CPs need Distilled or Deionized water to thrive, the other stuff destroys their roots and can kill the plant, so you need to either install a Reverse Osmosis filter, or just buy a jug or two of distilled water from your grocery store. You're also going to want to keep their humidity high, which can definitely be achieved in any kind of household environment.

      Last thing, don't worry about the black thumb, I have an extremely pronounced one, but CPs seem to be just about the only thing I can actually grow! They're pretty easy to grow once you get a hang of it!
u/predatoryplants · 4 pointsr/SavageGarden

There are some really awesome books out there:

The Savage Garden is always a great gift, but if he's an expert then he probably already has it. California Carnivores sells books signed by Peter (the author,) which could be fun.

Do you have an idea of what specific plants he's into (Nepenthes, sundews, Sarracenia)? If there's a specific type that he's passionate about, Stewart McPherson's books are incredibly detailed and beautiful (they're on Amazon too.)

Plants are a good way to go, but it's risky if you don't know what you're doing. If he's on any forums (Terraforums, etc) then he might have a "want list" posted. I know it's a stretch, but if you can find that then you're in great shape. If you happen to know of specific plants that he's after, PM me and I can try to help you source them.

u/Sarr_Cat · 3 pointsr/SavageGarden

> Is there a guide anywhere to owning them?

You're lookin' for a guide, huh? Well, this book is one of the best ones out there. Not only is it a guide to venus flytraps, it's a guide to all kinds of other carnivorous plants too. You could check your local library to see if they have it, the library near me does.

u/amazon-converter-bot · 3 pointsr/FreeEBOOKS

Here are all the local Amazon links I could find:

Beep bloop. I'm a bot to convert Amazon ebook links to local Amazon sites.
I currently look here:,,,,,,,,,,,,, if you would like your local version of Amazon adding please contact my creator.

u/genius_waitress · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

This book on carnivorous plants represents me pretty well, because I'm attracted to things that are beautiful, yet dark.

Also, I subsist completely on flies and raw meat.

u/MantlePlume · 2 pointsr/SavageGarden

Sorry about the length of the post but this is information I wish someone had given me when I was starting. Hopefully it's not too basic.

I am by no means an expert but I can walk you through my trial and error period (which I am certainly not finished with) for terrariums. I don't know that I'll be able to help with the nepenthes though discussion in this thread indicates that humidity is key for those plants. I am seriously limited on space where I currently live so I've developed a setup that seems to work for my plants, though it's not ideal for all of them.

Initially I had been growing my plants on a windowsill but this summer I moved to a location that has proper shading over the windows (great for people, terrible for plants) so I needed to migrate to a terrarium. I started caring for plants in May so I didn't really know what I was doing. If you haven't already, I recommend purchasing The Savage Garden: Cultivation Carnivorous Plants by Peter D'Amato. It's a great introductory book with lots of useful information about growing and indoor/outdoor setups. You can find it on Amazon for a moderate price.

I ended up purchasing a 10 gallon aquarium from PetSmart or PetCo for something like 30 dollars. The box was damaged so I got it for cheaper than whatever it was listed for. Those come with a water heater for fish which you can place in a bottle of water inside the aquarium to increase humidity if needed. I then bought some Plexiglas and melted holes in it with a soldering iron for ventilation. I used that instead of the lid the aquarium came with so I could use more lights if I needed to. I mostly have sundews so I opted for a 2' t5 light set up which can get pretty toasty, but my sundews loved it and it got very humid inside. I use four of these lights for ~5000 lumen output. You would probably want to go with t8 lights as they operate at a lower temperature. Do not purchase lights branded as "growlights" as they are almost always more expensive than similar lights and will not last as long as something from Phillips or GE. Like UseUrLogic said, use lights with a color temperature of 6500 K or higher. I find that 6500 K is the easiest to find and work fine.

I do have two flytraps and they were not happy in the aquarium, but they were still growing. I imagine one of them would have died had I left them in such a humid environment for any longer. I then moved again and needed a new setup, since I didn't want to kill the traps. I'm now doing something like this but much more jerry-rigged. My plants seem to like it though. You might consider something like this as my flytraps love it too. I'm going to try taking them outside soon in an attempt to have them go through natural dormancy. I may just give in and try fridge dormancy though I have heard mixed results.


I was bored so I looked up some information that may be useful to you when deciding what to do with your plants. Most of the is from The Savage Garden.

It behooves you to find out what your pings are, as different species can have radically different growth requirements. Consider posting images here or on the ICP forums if you can't ID them yourself. Here is what Peter says about pings in terrariums: "Forget temperate varieties here. some warm temperates do nicely, sich as P. lusitanica, P.caerulea, and P. primuliflora, but do best with cooler winters. Most of the Mexican species thrive under grow-lights, in a tank or not, at room temperature. Use the pot-and-saucer method to allow for drier winter conditions."

For the cephalotus he says "Excellent as a potted specimen year round in the unheated greenhouse-style terrarium. Colorful and vigorous under grow-lights." He also says it should be fine on a partly sunny windowsill in relatively high humidity and that you should mist it often.

The Nepenthes maxima (Highland Nep.) is apparently a good terrarium plant and easy to grow, though it likes good air circulation and misting at night. The truncata is a lowland variety and apparently will do well in a steamy terrarium. Both of these varieties will eventually outgrow all but very large terrariums.

The only plant you own that I have personal experience with, other than the flytraps, is D. Aliciae. Unfortunately I overfed mine shortly after getting it an it died back to the root. It's coming back now but it won't be as big as it was before for a least another two months. I've found that it's a pretty hardy little plant. It can handle temperatures of up to 95°F and down to ~40°F (though that's pushing it). I currently grow mine at ~85°F. It doesn't need much humidity at all (I was growing it in 50% and it's now doing quite well in about 35-40% rh) but recommends humidity over 60%.

Good luck with the plants!

TL;DR "UseUrLogic" is correct in that you will not be able to keep them all in the same terrarium. You may be able to start with all but the flytraps in but then I recommend migrating the pitchers to windowsills and misting often. Try to find out what the pings are. Maybe consider a setup similar to Bisnick's as it will accommodate your pitchers even when they are larger, though it will require a larger light setup.

EDIT: Units were incorrect.

u/cakeeater808 · 2 pointsr/HawaiiGardening

Hey, I just saw your post. Welcome. Pulelehua covered things pretty well. If you're looking for books, i have a couple Hawaii specific ones.

This first one is a book only on native Hawaiian plants. It's very comprehensive, but also hard to find. I bought this year's ago, so I'm not sure where to find it anymore.

Growing Hawaii's Native Plants: A Simple Step-by-Step Approach for Every Species

This second book has info for vegetable gardening specifically in Hawaii. I haven't looked at it in a long while because my grandma has it (I gave it to her to borrow, but I think she thought it was a gift. I'd ask for it back, but it keeps her occupied, so I'd feel bad) so I don't remember exactly what was in it, but it's very good if you are just starting to garden because it covers growing conditions, pests, fertilizing, and seasons. There's an accompanying fruit book that's not as available. I might try find the fruit book soon.

Growing Vegetables in Hawai'i: A How-to Guide for the Gardener

u/c4stiron · 2 pointsr/SavageGarden

Yay ! New CP people :)!

For water: Do not use Tap water. Use Distilled, Reverse Osmosis, or Rain water only.


Dormancy has been covered above. Where do you intend to keep your VFT? Inside / outside?

California Carnivores are a great resource for care tips :)

Also a good resource is the CP bible

u/CM400 · 2 pointsr/carnivorousplants

I think an American pitcher would probably eat the most, but I don't think they will be as effective as you'd like. Carnivorous plants can be difficult to care for, but they are beautiful and enjoyable to own. If you decide to try, I recommend picking up the book Savage Garden, it will give you a good basis for understanding and caring for them, and California Carnivores is a reputable place to buy them.
I mentioned Sarracenia earlier, but since it will not really solve your problem (with just a couple of plants, at least), I would personally go with one of the many sundews available, since they are pretty AND you can watch the mechanism they employ to eat, though, depending on the flies you have, they may not be very attracted to the plant.

Good luck, and I hope it works out for you.

u/jwaterworth · 2 pointsr/SavageGarden

> Do I put sand / bark / styrofoam / tiny rocks at the very bottom of the pot?

You dont have to put anything at the bottom of the pot. Personally I use rocks as a filter so I dont lose any medium through the drainage hole, but i've read you can use LFS and it'll do the same thing.

> Should I use an empty bottle inside the soil as a water reservoir or is a pipe with holes in it a better solution?

I've done both. With the bottle I can dump a lot of water very fast into the pot. I use it for my big pots. The pipe is okay but will quickly overflow and I still have to wait for the water to be absorbed into the soil before I can add more.

> After browsing this sub for a while, it seems to be the consensus to create a 33:66 to 50:50 mixture of sand:soil. Why is that a thing? Is it to make it easier for the water to spread throughout the pot?

There is a book called The Savage Garden where the author talks about different media mixes he has tried. For Sarracenia he recommends 80/20 peat to perlite. Perlite is porous so its full of air and will absorb water . The book also goes through other common mixes and states their benefits.

> Is the height of the pot an issue?

I dont think the height will be an issue. If youre worried about the amount of soil you'll need, you can put something in the bottom to fill up space. Ive heard people use Styrofoam to fill up space and reduce weight

> Will the water be able to spread to the middle from the bottom, or the bottom fill up with standing water that will eventually start to smell?

Peat moss is like a sponge and will keep itself moist all over as long there is water in the pot. I read a post from somebody who said they used new soil every 2 years because the plants started doing poorly and the water would start to smell bad at the bottom. I havent experienced any issues in my setups though.

u/Yipie · 2 pointsr/FreeEBOOKS

There is no link to any book here. :(

Link - I hope

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/TwoXChromosomes

Awesome! That's a great variety. You shouldn't have any problem making hybrids if you get your initial crop to grow well; if I remember correctly, sarracenia easily hybridize naturally much of the time and can be artificially hybridized with a q-tip, transferring pollen from one plant to the stamens of another.

You ever check out this book? The savage Garden by Peter D. Amato was responsible for most of my obsession as a young 'un.

If you remember to, you should message me some pics of your crop when they sprout :). Fun geeking out on CPs again, it's not exactly the hobby I generally discuss with my friends/gf. It's a weird hobby, but it's just damned interesting, anyhow. Good luck!

u/ug8w0nv9oti43m · 1 pointr/Permaculture

According to [this] ( book, 9a is kinda pushing the northern limits. The book ranks it as 2/5 stars for cold tolerance (subjective, I know, but it's a system used consistently throughout the book). It further states,
> ...prefers a dry, frost-free climate. Brief temperature drops to 29degF do not inflict significant harm. However the plant will show stem blistering and other damage at 27defF. At low temperatures, the stems liquify and the plant may be killed to the ground.

As you suggested, a south-facing wall may provide that micro-climate & heat sink. Good luck!

u/tapirmy · 1 pointr/plants

Most carn. plants need a lot of water (tray method) and lots of light. Depending on your USDA zone you can keep them outside. I have flytraps, sarracenias and some sundews in my garden all year round. In winter they are not pretty but in summer they thrive.
Try to get a copy of this book the Savage Garden.
It has a much info. Lots of love for the plants and 'learn as you go' worked for me.

u/KnightFalling · 1 pointr/SavageGarden

Stink bugs are not their natural most common prey, but they wont be exempt from turning into snacks.
Give your plants time and those conditions described above. For the future: read Savage Garden, its a great source of information and will answer all your questions.

Look into dormancy in the winter. You may need to add layers of protection, like wood chips over your plants if your winters are harsher than the ones they usually experience. You have time obviously to look into this.

u/pilgrimscottpilgrim · 1 pointr/Entrepreneur


Just checked it out. If I were you, head to fiverr and get a new cover done. No offense but that one's a bit amateur.

Also, increase the size of your description. If you check mine out ( you can see it's pretty large which is good for longer tail keyword searches. You can also use HTML to have titles etc. This is your sales copy. It's the most important bit! Make me want to buy your book.

u/Sirico · 1 pointr/FreeEBOOKS
u/was_sup · 1 pointr/Entrepreneur

Yes it has 5 reviews, and a good cover

last free give away I gave away 500 copies, got 6 sales the next day

link here