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Thread: How cold is too cold for my VFT's and Sarrs?

  1. #1
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    How cold is too cold for my VFT's and Sarrs?

    Woke up to about an inch of snow this morning, and the low tonight is supposed to hit 23. This will be my first winter in this climate with these plants, previously they spent a couple years outside year round in Houston. But it gets too cold here to keep 'em outside in the winter, so my plan was to keep them out for a few frosts to kick them into a hard dormancy.

    Thing is, the low temps previously had been in the 50's and upper 40's. Suddenly we have a few days in the 20's and 30's. I don't want to kill them by keeping them too cold, but I don't want to pull them in too early before they go completely dormant - I'm going to have to keep them in a dark garage, thus the need for a deep dormancy.

    Any tips?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Well I was going to say that they can handle light frosts... but that wasn't light. We'll see what happens. No guarantees on this one.

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Snowing hard again right now. I might go ahead and pull them in for the night. So far, they show no ill signs, all the foliage looks fine. Dropped to about 30 last night, tonight will be the cold one. But supposed to be in the 70's again in a few days, so too warm to keep them inside the garage yet. So I think I'll just pull them in for the next couple nights to be safe.

    Edit: Couple pics I just took:
    one of my vft bogs, here is a B52:


    A purp:


    View out the back:

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    One or two nights in the 20's probably wont harm them..
    they get cold snaps like that in the wild..but rarely..

    If your winters regularly feature 20's though, you should find them someplace warmer to spend the winter..

    looks like you are zone 6..so am I,,
    IMO, zone 6 is too cold to overwinter VFTs and Sarrs outdoors..
    check out my reasoning here:

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

    stuff about zones is at the bottom..

    Scot

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    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    I have seen pictures of dormant vfts covered in snow only to come back just fine the next spring, but it's safer to keep them protected from freezing temps.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I'd worry more about the sudden change than about the 23 degrees. My plants get much colder, but they're used to cold by the time they get real cold. My theory is that they're bothered more by freeze-thaw cycles than by cold temperatures. At least here, where the temperature doesn't go below -10. I wouldn't be surprised if -20 is too cold for my over-wintering method, since that's a threshold temperature for a lot of plants.

    I bury pots in a raised bed and cover the plants with a ft of oak leaves. The soil and leaves protect against temperature swings and the pitchers stay green up to just below the top of the leaf pile. But the pots are frozen solid for months. The other thing I do is to prop a lean-to over the leaf pile to keep most of the snow off. Otherwise snow melts on warm days and the water percolates down where it refreezes, suffocating the plants in leafy ice.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips guys. Yeah - it was a rather sudden drop in temps. I was hoping to ease them into dormancy. But like I said, it will be in the 70's once more this week. It shouldn't get colder than about 35 in my garage tonight, so hopefully that will be a good transition from the upper 40's they've gotten at night the past week or so.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I have always felt that "its not the cold itself that kills..its the duration"

    25 degrees in Georgia for one night is no big deal..because it wont last long.

    25 degrees in the upper midwest EVERY night for MONTHS is a big deal!

    so it really depends on where you live..and how cold your winters are for how long..

    Scot

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