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:
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?
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..