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Thread: Ways of the northern CP growers?

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    animal lover, aquarium and CP enthusiast MidnightSkies's Avatar
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    Ways of the northern CP growers?

    I live pretty far up north and temps are still way too cold to bring temperate plants outside, but I checked on them just the other day and they're ALL awake... The ones that didn't wake up much earlier and are now dead from fungus gnats that must have over wintered with them, lack of light, and rotting. Of course it's mostly the plants I just ordered late last summer that all died, along with my favorite, my Darlingtonia californica (completely stumped on the reason for the death of that one).

    Now my problem is that with all these plants waking up, they can't go outside and I just don't have the window space for them. My parents hate my plants and I'll soon be in a single bedroom apartment. What does everyone else do with their early rising plants to actually keep them living when there's another month or 2 of cold temps?
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-01-2011 at 11:25 PM. Reason: N. A.

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Where are you keeping them right now? Maybe just keep them where they are until it gets warm enough to put them outside. I once waited until mid or late May to take them out of fridge dormancy, and some of the Sarracenia had already started shooting up flower stalks. They weren't exactly happy that year...I definitely don't recommend waiting that long to take them out...but everything except a few flytraps survived.
    -Emily

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Placed under some $12 shop lights, potted up and placed together in a plastic "under the bed" sized plastic storage bin should provide enough warmth, water and light (one or two 4' double lamp fixtures) to get them off to a great start.

    The lights will be enough to get them going strong, and if you don't have some shelves to mount the fixtures on, deeper bins may be used to support the fixtures on top with the plants inside. Keep the plants in an inch of water in the bottom of the bin, or if necessary, raise the plants up close to the lights with some inverted pots, styrofoam or other inert material/structures. This can be moved to lower the plants as they grow.

    Simply move the plants outdoors when the weather is warmer. If necessary, you can even use the bins outdoors also. Just realize the plastic will degrade and crack eventually, as the UV light and heat is a killer on it. The lights however, should last years. I recommend T8 fixtures, which are decently bright and still relatively cheap.

    I have been growing Sarr seedlings under lights for the past 8 months, and many are over a foot tall already and full of great color.

    Good luck!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    I overwinter some of my plants in my parents garage and some in my fridge. The plants in the fridge always seem to wake up a little early, while the plants in the garage stay dormant until sometime in April. What I do with my refrigerated plants is to keep them in plastic bags, with a decent amount of LFS, that has been soaked in an anti-fungal solution and then squeezed almost dry. Even after the plants wake up, I just leave them in the bags until I'm ready to plant. Doing this, I have never (yet) had any problems with plants rotting. I believe the key is to keep the moss just barely damp, too much moisture equals rot. A least, thats how it seems to work for me.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSkies View Post
    Of course it's mostly the plants I just ordered late last summer that all died, along with my favorite, my Darlingtonia californica (completely stumped on the reason for the death of that one).
    I think I can explain why they died..they key phrase is "ordered late last summer"..
    its highly likely the plants were simply not properly dormant when you put them to bed for the winter! they were "wide awake" and the shock of an instant cold and dark snap was too much for them..

    They need to be outside all Spring, Summer and Autumn to properly go dormant..
    they key to the sucess of the "fridge method" (or the garage or cool attic or whatever) for those of in the North, is that the plants have to be *already fully dormant* before you put them into their winter resting spot..they achieve full dormany by being grown outdoors April through November..

    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSkies View Post
    Now my problem is that with all these plants waking up, they can't go outside and I just don't have the window space for them. My parents hate my plants and I'll soon be in a single bedroom apartment. What does everyone else do with their early rising plants to actually keep them living when there's another month or 2 of cold temps?
    Unfortunately the only option is to grow them indoors for a few months until its warm enough to go outside..there is really no other good option. I used to take my plants out of their stairwell in mid February..now im leaving them down there longer..I have taken my plants out yet! I havent even looked at them once all winter..I probably wont take them out until Mid or late March this year..

    If you dont have enough room indoors to keep the plants in a window in February and March, then your only option is to adjust the size of your collection so that you do have enough room..

    Scot

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    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
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    Hi Midnight - I think a true possiblity is also where you keep them during dormancy. My guess is a basement, garage, etc. Unfortunately, the chances of rot are greatly increased because they are not exposed to the open air and lack proper air circulation, BUT I know that for those up north sometimes there is not much of a choice.

    I sort of feel like I am cheating in that I can just leave all of my temperates out all year long since I am well within the natural range of Sarracenia alata, Pinguicula and Drosera. Anyway, hope your plants perk up this growing season!

    Phil

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baylorguy View Post
    Hi Midnight - I think a true possiblity is also where you keep them during dormancy. My guess is a basement, garage, etc. Unfortunately, the chances of rot are greatly increased because they are not exposed to the open air and lack proper air circulation, BUT I know that for those up north sometimes there is not much of a choice.
    Phil
    IMO, the "dangers" of wrapping up plants tight, and the lack of air circulation, are GREATLY exaggerated..

    My plants have been wrapped tight in plastic, zero air circulation, 35 degrees F, for 3 months every winter, for the past 18 winters in a row...virtually no problems..I have maybe lost one or two plants in 18 years..out of 50 to 100 plants that are dormant every winter..

    although I do think the extra cold temp, 35 degrees in the fridge or in my cold basement stairwell, does play an important part in keeping mold growth under control..if it was 45 to 55 degrees, I would be much more concerned about mold! (IMO, when it comes to winter dormancy, colder (but above freezing) is better..35 degrees is much better than 55 degrees..if you can keep it in the mid to high 30's, you will have few issues..)

    So for the "fridge method" and 35 degrees, there is very little danger from "no air circulation"..I always get some light whispy mold growth on the surface of the pots, but it does not harm the plants..and its just disappears after a few days out in the open air and sunlight..

    Scot

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