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Thread: fly traps and Ohio winters

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    Red face fly traps and Ohio winters

    I know vft's can not be left out in freezing weather. My problem is I have no place to put them in the winter where they would get the temp and light needed to hibernate. My basement is heated at about 65 degrees even on the window sill. I did the refrigerator method last year and they survived but were tiny nubs in march and took a long time to regrow this summer. Can I leave them outside this winter with a plastic container over them with insulation on all side except the top for some light to get in. Anybody have any similar setups for winter that allow flytraps to stay outside in sub zero weather? Also, can I water my vft's with aquarium water when I do water changes to my fresh water fish tank? Thanks

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    They probably wont survive the winter outdoors..there isnt much you can do.
    If you dont have a place for them to hibernate, then you simply cant grow VFT's long term..

    If you want to try it, then the heavy insulation is the key..
    dont leave them open to the light..they wont need light, because they will be in a deep dormancy..
    you could try the plastic container filled with insulation, but it probably wont work..
    because insulation only keeps things warm if there is a heat source..
    The insulation would keep your plants warmer for the first day or two they are in the container,
    after that, *all* heat is lost, and the plants would pretty much be the same temp as the outside air..
    insulation does nothing if there is no warmth for it to preserve..and if the warmth isnt replenished, it will all be gone within a day or two..
    then the insulation is basically useless..

    although leaving in the sun might help warm the container somewhat..
    its worth a try! if you have no other options..put the pots in the *middle* of the insulation,
    so that they have insulation on all sides..
    im not optimistic about the chances, but its worth a shot!
    The fridge is actually a *much much* better idea..a million times better..
    (as long as the plants are grown outside April to November..)

    and no, you cant use aquarium water..aquarium water is actually *worse* than tap water, because pure water evaporates
    out of an aquarium over time, and the water that is left over actually ends up harder than the tap water it started out as..
    use only rain, reverse osmosis, or distilled water..nothing else.

    Scot

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    Mossy Girl's Avatar
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    I can't speak to the overwintering issue, but I can tell you watering CPs with aquarium water is not a good idea. Even in the best planted tank there will still be dissolved nutrients and a significantly higher TDS than flytraps (or any CP's) like. Just use the aquarium water on your yard, houseplants, and gardens. Put those nutrients to better use and let the flytraps get their own!
    -- Elizabeth

    Grow list

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    And I see you never answered this question from last December!

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...92#post1104292

    Where have your plants been growing this season?
    that is a MAJOR important issue when it comes to dormancy..

    Scot

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    Thanks for all your suggestions. My vft and pitcher plant are growing outside and doing great. My other idea is to leave them outside but take them in if the temp goes too close to freezing. Unless we get a few cold snaps, the temp is usually above 32 degrees. I don't think taking them in on occasion and exposing them to 60 degree temps for a day or two at a time will hurt them? I would protect them from any wind by covering them. It's ok if they get no light all winter? Any thoughts?

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Its usually above 32 degrees? in Ohio? are you sure about that?
    I dont think there is anywhere in Ohio that is that warm..
    your winters are probably the same as mine, im in Western NY..
    Most of Ohio is zone 6..you have several months where its well below freezing, especially at night,
    and you have stretches of many weeks where its below freezing during the day as well..

    I dont think your idea could work..sorry..
    IMO the rather severe warm/cold variations from going inside to outside, over and over again, could be quite a shock to the plant..
    It would be going from 30's outside to 70 inside, then back out, perhaps 100 times over the course of the winter..
    and for the spells where its below 32 for weeks, even a month, at a time, 70 degrees inside will simply be far too warm for
    that long of a stretch..

    If you are thinking that its only going to get below freezing maybe once or twice a winter..sorry...
    but that's simply not the case in Ohio..

    Here is a chart I made a few years ago, this is for Rochester NY, I cant imagine your winters would be much different:

    http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottyc...emp-chart.html

    Its below freezing more than 50% of the time between November and March..thats 5 months..
    IMO, your plan of bringing them indoors when its below freezing probably wont work well..
    plus, you would need to be watching the temperature *every day* of the winter, for 5 months, and only keeping them outdoors
    when its above 32 degrees..which will only be about half the time..the other half of the time it will be 70 degrees indoors..
    I dont see any way that could be a successful dormancy for the plants..sorry..

    Scot

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    If you're handy with tools, you could look into building a cold frame for the plants.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRFxtreme View Post
    If you're handy with tools, you could look into building a cold frame for the plants.
    That could work! dig deep, 2 or 3 feet down, then build the cold frame over the hole..
    the ground is a good insulator..random image from the internet:



    That drawing says 2 inches below ground..I would go two *feet* down for CP dormancy!
    the deeper the better..
    have the glass face south, and as open to the sun as possible..

    Scot

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