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Thread: "A year in the life" of my CP's - part 2.

  1. #1
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    "A year in the life" of my CP's - part 2.

    February 15, 2008.

    SPRING has arrived again!
    well not really..its 25 degrees (minus 3 C) and snowing outside as I type this.

    But Mid-February every year marks the official start of Spring for my Carnivorous plants!
    they are finished with their 3 and a half months of winter dormancy.
    They remain fully dormant every winter for the entire months of November, December, January, and half of February.

    I am calling this "year in the life part 2" because I already attempted to document an entire year once before, 3 years ago. But I didnt get to finish it because of some photo hosting problems...you can read the first "year in a life", (which was really only half a year) here:

    http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/CP/page2.html

    This time i'm going to document the entire year!
    From February 2008 to February 2009.
    One entire Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter..until the cycle repeats again with next spring.

    The year begins today, February 15, with the plants coming out of dormancy.



    The photo above is the outside door to the basement..the plants spend their winter dormancy in the stairwell..I went out and shoveled off the snow so I could open the doors (from the inside)
    because I also had some stuff to bring into the basement today, as well as removing the plants from the stairwell.




    Heading down to the basement..this is the door to the outside..the plants spend the winter
    between this door and the "clam shell doors" out to the yard..it stays a steady 33-37 degrees (1 to 2 degrees C) in the stairwell all winter...even though the temps outside get MUCH colder.




    Here they are! Three "mini bogs" wrapped tight in plastic. (I just used black plastic trash bags, sealed air-tight with tape)








    Above is the spot on the deck where the plants will live for the growing season..but not yet.

    Unfortunately, even though my plants think that Spring begins today, the climate of Rochester, NY does not agree with their internal clocks. The VFTs and Sarracenia in my bogs are native to the South East USA, where they go dormant every winter, but they get a cool winter..a winter that is much milder (and much shorter) than the winters of the northern US and Canada. That is why those of us in these northern climates must use techniques like "The fridge method" or my cool stairwell for CP dormancy. Its just too severe to keep the plants outside all winter around here..they will die.

    So the plants must stay indoors for several weeks before they can go outside for the season..until Rochester spring catches up with South Carolina spring..usually sometime in April.



    Open up the plastic and see how things look!
    things look GOOD!
    everything looks healthy, green and alive!
    there is some very light whispy mold, but nothing of concern at all..nothing that has damaged the plants.

    I always say that when using "The Fridge Method" the plants need to stay outdoors all season, straight through summer and into autumn, so that they get all the "dormancy cues" so they go dormant naturally..gradually decreasing temps, gradually decreasing photoperiod, so by the time they are ready for the "fridge" (or whatever dormancy location you choose) in late October or early November, the plants are already naturally dormant..
    "The fridge does not cause or create the dormancy, it merely maintains the dormancy that was already created naturally outdoors"..

    This is all true.

    But what about in the Spring then??
    shouldn't the plants come slowly, gradually out of dormancy?
    just as they went slowly, gradually, into dormancy?
    ideally...yes.

    but again, nature in Rochester, NY does not cooperate.
    the plants simply cant go outside yet.
    So they get a rather abrupt and sudden spring..they go from 35 degrees (1C) in the stairwell to 70 degrees (21 C) indoors pretty much instantly..(although it probably takes a solid 24 hours for the very cold peat in the pots to warm back up to room temperature.)
    Its not ideal..but its all I have.

    I just consider it a very sudden warm spring!
    that sometimes happens naturally outdoors too..
    you can go from 40 degrees one day to 70 the next.

    I have been bringing my plants out of dormancy this way every spring for 15 years now..
    it works fine.

    Here is a look at all three bogs!















    My entire CP collection is in those three "mini bogs" except for three plants.
    In the photo above is my D. binata, on the left, and a lone S. flava 'veinless'.
    I have left the S. flava in its own pot, because it grows oddly every year, with strangely curved and somewhat deformed pitchers..im not sure if something is wrong with it or not,
    so I keep it isolated from the rest of the Sarrs.

    the D. binata and the Flava were also in the stairwell with the bogs..I also have a pot of
    D. capensis that does not get a winter dormancy.

    And thats all for today!

    In a few days I will put the green chicken wire back on, before the plants start growing,
    and I will put the drain tubes back on and give the plants some new water.
    (I bought a few jugs of distilled..I wont have my rain collector set up again until the plants can go back outside.)

    I though it might be cool to have this in two places...here in the forum as a thread,
    so that people can respond,discuss, ask questions, etc.. if they feel like it.
    and I will also copy this all over to my webpage..(but its hard to reply to a webpage!)
    I havent updated the webpage yet, but I will soon..

    thanks,
    Scot

  2. #2
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    cyclopse

    Very, very nice. I love posts similar to these... they always make me happy. Your mini-bogs look outstanding (and they're dormant!).

    I look forward to seeing your future posts.

    EDIT: I forgot to ask... why do you wrap the mini-bogs in plastic bags?
    -Joel from Southern California


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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    nice! mine woke up recently also! starting to see growth from S. flava and the temperate dews first off!
    Alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joossa View Post
    Very, very nice. I love posts similar to these... they always make me happy. Your mini-bogs look outstanding (and they're dormant!).

    I look forward to seeing your future posts.

    EDIT: I forgot to ask... why do you wrap the mini-bogs in plastic bags?
    thanks!

    I wrap the pots to seal in mositure, so they dont dry out..
    although with mini-bogs of that size, it might not be technically necessary I suppose!
    because they wont dry out very quickly..
    but with smaller pots, its pretty much necessary.

    the benefit to wrapping them air-tight is no watering is required all winter.
    they also get zero light, so they are not growing at all..
    its what you would call a "deep dormancy"..no light and temps at 35 degrees all winter.
    the plants simply do not grow...at all.

    I wrap the pots up tight, then totally ignore them for 3 and a half months..
    in years past, I used to check on them once in awhile during the winter, to check for mold,
    but I have learned this is completely unnecessary..

    when I opened up the pots today, I had not set eyes on my plants since late October.

    Scot

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I updated my growlist:

    Spring 2008

    Sarracenia X moorei 'Leah Wilkerson' (1)
    Sarracenia rubra ssp. alabamensis AL-02 (1)
    Sarracenia X 'Judith Hindle' (12)
    Sarracenia leucophylla (1)
    Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnoc' (5)
    Sarracenia leucophylla 'Red' (2)
    Sarracenia leucophylla 'Titan' (2)
    Sarracenia X 'excellens' (2)
    Sarracenia flava (1)
    Sarracenia flava 'veinless' (1)
    Sarracenia purpurea (1)
    Sarracenia X wrigleyana 'Scarlet Belle' (1)
    Sarracenia X 'dixie lace'

    Mixed sarracenia hybrids, unknown parentage (7)

    Sarracenia seedlings, 4 years old, grown from ICPS seed packs - sprouted Spring 2004:
    'Judith Hindle' X 'Ladies in Waiting'
    Sarracenia leucophylla
    Sarracenia flava, Walton Co. Florida
    Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea

    Dionaea muscipula, mixed varieties, (50)

    Drosera capensis (7) in 1 pot
    Drosera Binata (1)

    Everything is is the three minibogs except for:

    D. binata
    S. flava 'veinless'
    D. capensis

    Scot

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    Jayson16's Avatar
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    Very nice Scotty. Was hopeing that my stuff would survive our winters in my GH but now im not sure... well I guess ill find out...

  7. #7
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson16 View Post
    Very nice Scotty. Was hopeing that my stuff would survive our winters in my GH but now im not sure... well I guess ill find out...
    Jayson,
    please let us know how your plants do!
    a greenhouse is better than no greenhouse..
    but its still pretty darn cold in Bath, NY in the winter!

    People have successfully overwintered VFTs and "southern" Sarracenia (by which I mean all sarracenia except s. purpurea) outdoors in the winter this far north..
    but always in bogs, buried in the ground, with heavy mulch over the top.
    anything in the ground and buried (mulched) will be better protected and insulated than above ground..but its still no guarantee..

    This far north, its not really the cold itself that is the killer..its the duration of the cold.
    VFTs and Sarrs can survive short cold-snaps in the wild..they often freeze for a few days.
    But there is a big difference between a freeze of 2 days in Georgia Vs. many months of below freezing temps in NY..

    some year soon I want to try a fairly large in-ground bog..
    and keep a few sacrificial VFTs and Sarrs in it over the winter, to try it out, see how they do.

    A few years ago I gave my parents a small pot of mixed Sarracenia (no purpurea) to keep in their pond, it was in one of those floating raft things..the bottom of the pot in the water..
    I was going to pick it up in the fall, bring it back to my place, and put the pot in the fridge with my other plants, but I didnt make it down there (Waverly, NY) before the first big freeze, it stayed outside later than it should have, into December, so I thought it would make a good test-case..
    I just left it outdoors all winter..
    total death..
    but they had no protection at all, so I wasnt surprised.

    Scot

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    Jayson16's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info Scotty. I kinda did this to see if I could keep things like VFT and sarrs without much care. I just have a couple VFT and S. minor 'mix' out there. You think I should bring them inside like you did or let them wake up in spring? or would that be to late? Thanks again for your help!

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