|I would like to add my humble but limited experience with temperate CPs (I do have 30 years gardening experience that does translate however.) These plants are not as tender as some people and even books make them out to be. GIVEN that they have had a sufficient 'cooling down' period similar to fall. Take for example the 7 degrees F we had here in Atlanta last weekend (it was 19F in Wilmington, NC, fly trap country.) I had trapcicles. I did protect them with a heavy layer of straw and a tarp. That came off 2 days later when we got back to typical winter temps at night (that can be 28F.) They since have thawed with no visible signs of damage. I even burned the bog off last week and they still look fine if that tells you anything. My bog is a slightly raised large wooden box in the parking lot of my office. It is subjected to the ravages of nature and gets at least 8 hours of sun. It has good air circulation and stays wetter in the winter than in the summer. HOWEVER, an artificial environment is a whole other story (i.e. refrigerators.) I have NO experience with that.|
Listen to the experienced growers about such things as fungicides and air circulation. I am adding my two cents for outside cultivation. The other important thing to understand is the next day after hitting 7F the temp came up to 25F. That does not seem like much but it makes a difference. In Atlanta, the cold does not stay for long. You guys up North are going to have to moderate how low your CPs go and for how long. The extended cold is what kills (excluding S. purp) I hope this has helped in some way. I think over coddling can kill but then again so can ignorance. Good growing to everyone! [/QUOTE]
Before I go any further into this let me tell you that dormancy makes your plants grow more vigorously next spring, skipping it can cause deformed leaves, slow and weak growth, and eventually death. *Your plant works hard to be pretty all year long for you, all it asks for in return is a nap! So think about that before you decide to forgo dormancy.
How you do this is really easy, just keep you plants growing where ever they are.
There are many cases where skipping dormancy is legitimate:
1) Tropical plants don't need dormancy. This would be your Neps and Drosera from S. America and Africa and the like. Many of these can handle temps down to the high 50s low 60 though and so if you are greenhouse growing you can often leave them and get away with it.
2) Seedlings. There is some debate as to whether or not plants that are less than 2 years really need a dormancy period. In my experience Sarrs do not need a dormancy period till their third year, that however is just my experience.
3) Plants you just purchased that you know are fresh out of tissue culture probably do not need dormancy.
So there are your basics and that should answer most of your questions. What I have following is pretty much a recap of all the questions that get asked and the typical answer. If your question was not answered above then check below, if it isnít there either then feel free to post and ask it
There are lots of people here experienced in dormancy because they have gone through it before. Guys to especially pay attention to are: *Phil, Ram_Puppy, Tony P., PlantAKiss, Alvin Meister, Linda, UnknownClown, FatBoy, Tamlin, Sarracineaobssesed, Sarracenia, Mike King, Vic Brown, Pyro, BigCarnivorousKid and Vertigo (If I forgot anyone, Iím sorry! )
Some of these people live up north, some down south, and some on tropical islands! *They have the breadth of knowledge to tell you all the different ways you can put your carnivorous plants to bed for winter.
Things you need to tell us when youíre asking a question:
1) Where you live.
2) Average indoor and outdoor temperatures for winter.
3) How and where you keep your plants.
4) What kind of plants you are concerned with. *(Be specific too, there are many kinds of CP's, and ones that seem so close can have different requirements and levels of winter hardiness. A prime example would be S. purpurea ssp. venosa and. S. purpurea ssp. purpurea. Or if you want to get real nitpicky S. purpurea ssp. venosa var. venosa and. S. purpurea ssp. venosa var. montana.)
Q) How much light do they need? *
A) At the very least a few hours direct light. The thing to keep in mind here is not to give the plant the idea summer is here. If a plant is outside during the winter it gets around 8-10 hours of various intensity light. If you are giving your plant 15 hours of light (even if it is low light) it is going to think it is summer and come out of dormancy
Q) How often should I water them? *
A) Not very often, remove the tray and only top water enough to keep the media damp. As a rule of thumb you should be able to stick your finger in the media and have it come out with only a few flecks of soil without needing to wipe any wetness off.
Q) How much fungicide should I spray into the soil?
A) Enough to wet the plant and the surface of the media
Q) Do I only need to apply the fungicide once?
A) Once should be enough but keep an eye on your plants and if you see fungus spray again.
Q) Should I cut all the growth back on every plant? *
A) On plants going into the fridge this is probably a good idea. Outdoor plants do not need to be clean cut but I do recommend removing all dead material.
Q) Do I have to cut off all the leaves on my plant to put it in the fridge?
A) Some people feel that trimming off all growth before putting plants into dormancy keeps the plants from getting mold or decay started on them during dormancy. Others are from the school of thought that if it isnít dead you should leave it on leave it on as it gives them a head start in the spring 'cause they all ready have leaves to start photosynthesizing. As far as I know there is no proof either is better so do what you think best.
Q) What sounds more suitable, my garage or my basement?
A) What gets the right amount of light and temps? This is a question that we really canít help with because it is specific to each situation. If your garage has temps in the 30s-40sF and gets 5 hours direct light a day while your basement is at 50F all the time but has no light go with your garage. If it is the other way around do the basement thing.
Q) I was thinking of either putting my plants down in my basement this year for dormancy, either that or the garage. I'm not sure if the basement is cold enough, it's probably around the mid to lower 50's F in the winter with minimal light. The garage is probably around low 30's - 40F with more light than the basement, but still not very much.
A) I would go with the garage and see if maybe you can add a shop light on a timer [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] (see the answer above for more info.)
Q) With the refrigerator method, which month should you put it in? November? December? And until when? February? March?
A) As a rule of thumb go from Thanksgiving to Valentineís as the dates are easy to remember. However, if you are growing your plants in Maine and it is dropping to the low 40sF by mid-September then consider starting dormancy early. Like wise if the nights are still freezing in March then wait till April.
Q) When you put it in the baggie, if the paper towel isnít damp, how do you make it damp again?
A) Take it out and put in a new towel. Just keep an eye on it afterwards as you might have introduced fungal spores.
Q) How do I re-pot after dormancy?
A) Very gently [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Seriously though, re-potting after dormancy is just like any re-potting job.
Q) Do you have to put it in a baggie and take it out of the pot?
A) No and no. But (there is always a but) without the baggie the plant is likely to dry out and if the plant stays in the pot there is a greater chance of rot setting in. (Also, most parents donít like to lose fridge space to you CP collection LOL)
Q) Instead of a paper towel could I use a damp regular towel, like the kind you use to dry your hands with?
A) I donít see why not.
Q) Drosera capillaris and capensis don't need a dormancy that I know of, and both my VFT's and my sundews share the terrarium. If I get a cooler fan and send my whole terrarium into dormancy without moving any plants, will it harm the drosera, or should they be ok?
A) D. capillaries and capensis and many other CPs are actually very tolerant of lower temps and while they do not require dormancy they can actually go dormant. If you can hold the terrarium at a stable 50-60F then all the plants should be okay as long as you meet all the other dormancy requirements
Q) What temps should I keep my VFT at for dormancy?
A) For an idea of the best temps for VFT dormancy check this site: < http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq2460.html > This site has a ton of information and I highly recommend that every new CPer go over it top to bottom.
Q) Just wanted to know if it would hurt my VFT's to go straight into the fridge after the gradually reduced photoperiod, and without gradually reduced temps, or if I am supposed to gradually reduce temps as well
A) If you can do both that would be better but a gradual reduction in photoperiod alone will help a lot. You can probably get away with putting you plant outside in a sheltered place every night to help with the temp drop
Q) I live in New York City, where we do get snowy/icy winters. *I am very leery about refrigerator dormancy; it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. *If I choose not to refrigerate, is there another option? *IE: *a cool, dim room? *Under a box? *In a styrofoam cooler on the fire escape? *(styrofoam is a great insulator, would it protect from frost?) *I understand the plant needs to "REST" but why refrigerate? *
A) There are always other options it just depends on how much work you want to do. A cool dim room would work if it got enough light to allow the plant to photosynthesize. Under a box probably wouldnít work but you could try it if you wanted. I canít say about the styrofoam as I have never tried it, it might work though.
Q) Dormancy should last for 3 months? *What determines when you should begin dormancy? *Different states seem to have different requirements-but most of the people who visit this site don't seem to be from this area. *
A) At least 3 months yes. The determining factor is your plants; most plants that need a dormancy period will alter their growth to indicate the time.
Q) Why a refrigerator
A) You refrigerate to simulate cold, but not freezing temperatures. Its not the best because the plants don't get a photoperiod, but the extreme (but not freezing) cold puts them to sleep deep enough that their photosynthetic functions essentially shut down, so light is not that much of a problem.
Q) I was wondering if my 2 year old Sarracenia rubra gulfenis needed a dormancy. *I also have a very young purple pitcher plant that I am unsure of the exact age and type but it has about 3" pitchers. *I also have a VFT common with about a 1/4" traps. *From these vague descriptions do you guys think they need dormancy?
A) Every Sarracenia needs a dormancy. While it has been said that plants less than 2 years old can go with out it does not mean they always should.
Q) Can Sarrs take temps in the 20sF?
A) Many Sarrs will even tolerate lower than 20sF. What Sarracenia hate are dry cold desiccating winds. They like shelter, a moist but not dry potting medium which will help keep the rhizome plus residual vegetation turgid. That way, all Sarracenias (and VFT) will get a decent dormancy
Q) I've seen in another thread that both cinnamon and cornstarch can be used as a fungicide. Is this true for plants going into dormancy (meaning can I somehow make a cinnamon solution to dip my VFT in) or just to dust onto plants that are still potted (year-round)? If cinnamon or cornstarch isnít appropriate for this situation I can go and pick up some fungicide at a store.
A) Cinnamon and cornstarch are used to treat a fungus problem (and the jury is still out on their effectiveness for that) not as a preventative. *One of the reasons fungicide is recommend for dormancy as a preventative measure, is because the plants are often put in the fridge and forgotten. *By the time you remember to check it the fungus may have already killed it. *The same goes for outdoor plants they are often covered in mulch for insulation or snow and it's hard to check on them through this cover.
Q) I live in SoCal and December in LA = July in LA, it's all the same. But, I don't want to get a VFT and eventually have to stick it in the refrigerator. It's a beautiful plant and it seems like sticking a wonderful painting in a vault. I will NEVER put it in the refrigerator. So, I'm going to see whether it's feasible to buy a terrarium where the temp can be adjustable to between 40-85F, even if it means getting creative with accessories. We have a walk-in cold room (40 degrees F) at work that I can always use, as well.
A) I have heard of people successfully growing VFTs and Sarrs outdoors year round in SoCal and Florida. The plants get enough of a dormancy that way to not suffer. You might want to consider that approach. The terrarium idea is feasible but likely costly and the cool room probably wouldnít be too much different than a refrigerator.
Q) I saw something that may cause me to rethink the whole refrigerator thing. If I have my VFT in a terrarium sold on this site, can I stick the whole thing in the fridge after just spraying the plant with fungicide?
A) If you've got the room in the fridge then I don't see why not. *Just make sure that any companion plants have the same dormancy requirements. Treat it just like you would a potted plant in the fridge.
Q) I don't like fridge dormancy. It's what Iíve done for the past two dormancies but I seem to lose an unacceptable amount CPs.
A) Then maybe consider another technique or see if there is anything you could do different for your fridge treatment.
Follow-up comment) Maybe Iím doing something wrong. Last year I remove the plants from their pots and dipped them in fungicide. Then I wrapped them in a damp paper towel or LF sphagnum and put them in baggies. After I had finished all of them I put them in one large zip lock bag. I then put this in a container in the fridge.
A) Sounds about right to me. Things to consider would be that maybe the paper towel/LFS was too wet and did you squeeze the air out of the baggie?
Q) How cold should the fridge be? Between 32-35 degrees F? What if it gets warmer than that sometimes? Will the plants try to photosynthesis and exhaust themselves from the lack of light?
A) Whatever a fridge is normally set at is fine. Periodic warming (I assume you mean as in opening the door) should be harmless.
'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'
See You Space Cowboy
great job! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
that is an excellent epic-novel on dormancy!
just as a p.s...I tried cinnamon as a fungicide last winter, in the fridge, it did absolutely nothing to prevent fungus.
Woaaah! Someone spent hours of work on this! I really appreciate it Pyro! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
It's been one of dem days
|Quote (BigCarnivourKid @ Sep. 24 2003,7:07)|
Cinnamon isn't a good preventitive treatment, but I have used it a couple times in a pinch as a fungus treatment with good results.
but if it kills or stops fungus once its already there,
why wouldnt it prevent it in the first place?
I guess I dont understand how cinnamon can be a treatment, but not a preventative..if it somehow prevents fungus from growing, why wouldnt it be both?
VFT and Drosera lover
|Quote (scottychaos @ Sep. 26 2003,3:28)|
|I guess I dont understand how cinnamon can be a treatment, but not a preventative..if it somehow prevents fungus from growing, why wouldnt it be both?|
I think possibly because cinnamon is organic, it decays in a short period of time and whatever it is in cinnamon that kills while its fresh is no longer present when it decays.
There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.
I was wondering what people's thoughts were on using Captan as a preventative fungicide for dormancy.
A few stores around here including Walmart, have it. I haven't seen Banrot or Cleary in this neck of the woods (Agway, Home Depot, Lowes, other gardening centers & nurseries).
nat trap , uuhm , why are you posting that message in every forum ? anyways , i'm wondering , has anyone lost almost all there plants in their collection due to dormancy , i just worried that if i put my plant in dormancy they might die and i'll open the bag of planst and find an afro of damp off [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L
I've never used Captan but I don't see why it wouldb't work.
There is always the risk of losing plants by using the fridge method but as long as you use fungicide and keep an eye on things any losses should be minimal
'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'
See You Space Cowboy
during fridge dormancy, does the whole plant go in the plastic bag or just the roots?