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Thread: overwintering

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    Vermontscott's Avatar
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    overwintering

    Sad to say my collection of Sarracenia species, dionaea and drosera were wiped out by the cold this past winter here in Vermont. The previous year I only lost one plant, this past year I think only 2 plants out of about 25 pulled through. I kept them high on a shelf in my attached but unheated garage, in the containers that they had been in last year. I made sure they had water in the trays but it was ice for a lot of the time. I don't know that I want to invest the time and effort is rebuilding the collection if I can't get it to survive through the winter. Has anyone had luck with uprooting the plants, wrapping the roots in sphagnum and storing them in a refrigerator for the winter and then replanting them in the spring? It seem drastic but so is having a collection wiped out.

    I think one of my Sarracenia purpurea, purpurea made it, which makes sense and I noticed a couple of small dionea traps from one plant pushing up through the ground. Other than that not much growing except nice green sphagnum moss but I am hoping for some Drosera intermedia and/or rotundifolia seedlings.

    Scott

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    Monkey's Avatar
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    Refrigerator dormancy is a pretty common thing. You just need to make sure your plants have entered full dormancy. Then wrap them up in damp sphagnum, not soaking wet, then toss in the fridge. I also highly recommend a thorough dusting with a sulfur based fungicide.
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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Try doing an inground bog garden. I have several here in Boston and a couple up at my mom's in NH. With a little simple mulching, everything will pull through just fine.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    A half barrel would give the plants in it a much greater chance of survival than individual pots if an inground setup is not in the cards.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    A half barrel would give the plants in it a much greater chance of survival than individual pots if an inground setup is not in the cards.
    You would still need to heavily mulch a half barrel in VT though. Quite a bit colder in most parts than here.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I was working under the assumption of bringing the plants in to the garage. Rubra barely survived in a half barrel against a southish facing brick wall here two winters ago. Leucophylla took it worse, but managed to recover. Mulch nothing, I don't think you could keep those outside above ground year round any place even close to cold enough for my tastes!
    Last edited by SubRosa; 05-12-2015 at 12:22 PM.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    I sink my pots into the ground in a sheltered location and mulch with about a foot of pine needles. Psittacina hasn't given me any trouble this way, let alone leucophylla or rubra. From what I've observed, most temperate cps don't mind being frozen solid as long as they stay that way the entire winter. Pine needles are excellent for protecting plants from desiccating winds and drastic temperature swings once the days start to warm up again. I find that most plants are lost once dormancy is starting to end, when days are above 50F but nights still drop below freezing. Pine needles keep the plants frozen even when the days rise above 50F so that the roots don't get damaged from repeated cold-thaw cycles. Basically, don't let the pots sit above ground, and go all-out with the pine needles. The refrigerator method is still possible, but it's a lot of work, and frankly, I like to reserve my space for things that are slightly more edible.

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    Vermontscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information! My garage is pretty dark and it got way below 20 F in there this past winter but last winter nearly everything did fine. I Have access to nearly unlimited refrigerator space at work, so that's not really an issue. I have a very small garage and might barely be able to get a half barrel in there for the winter but it's pretty dark. I live in a condo so the association would have to approve of a bog garden and I just asked to put in a raised bed. Maybe I could sink the plant pots into the raised bed and block the water from coming up through the raised bed and into the pots. The best alternative might be to hold onto my girlfriend who has an unheated sunroom attached to her house...

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