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Thread: The "fridge method" - dormancy demo.

  1. #1
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Western New York, USA
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    the photos in this thread are dead links..
    but I restored them all in this thread:


    so my fridge demo can be read in that thread..
    and not so well here..
    so just click the link above and then you can see all the text and photos that used to be in this thread..

    I said earlier this year I would keep a photo-journal when I put my plants away for dormancy this year..well here it is!
    This is the way I do "the fridge method" for my Sarracenia and VFT's..
    I have been doing it this way for..lets see..9 years now!

    (disclaimer..this is only ONE way to do the fridge method..its not the ONLY way! *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    this is just the way I happen to like.
    but there are several variations on this theme.
    some people dont like to cut off the leaves.
    some people take the rhizomes out of the pot and do "bare root" dormancy..
    some use fungicide, some dont.
    there are several different ways to do this.)

    The reason I have to do the fridge method at all is because I have VERY cold winters, and they last a long time..(5 months)
    Here in Western NY, we have brutal winters, sub-freezing temps for weeks on end, tons and tons and tons of snow..
    its way too severe for Sarracenia and VFT's to survive outside all winter.
    VFT and Sarracenia need a COOL winter..not a freezing artic winter. temps in the mid-30's up to the mid 50's is ideal.
    So..since I cant keep them outdoors, and I dont have a cool basement or an unheated room..what to do?
    the FRIDGE! its perfect.
    temps very cool, but just *above* freezing..about 35 degrees fahrenheit. (2 degrees celcius)

    My plants go into the fridge in the late fall.
    late October or early November.
    whenever the nightime temps begin to seriously fall below freezing. (32F, zeroC)
    They stay in the fridge all of November, December, January, and they usually come back out in Mid February..Valentines Day. 3 and 1/2 months dormancy.
    but..Mid-February is still the dead of winter here! still far too cold outside. So they sit indoors in front of a bright window to slowly come out of dormancy.
    then, by April or May, they can go back outside for the season..
    the remain outside ALL Summer, and then into Autumn..
    I keep them outdoors all through September and into October, as days and nights fall into the 60's, 50's, 40's..I wont even consider bringing them inside unless its going to fall below freezing or if there is a heavy frost forecast for overnight.
    This way, nature creates a natural dormancy for me!
    I dont have to do a thing about "making them go dormant"..
    the go dormant naturally through all of Sept and October..
    then, by the time they are ready for the fridge, they are already fully "asleep" and are ready to continue that sleep in the fridge..
    Today is the day..October 31 2004. (Happy Halloween!)

    Here is my Bog. it grew well this summer!

    same bog, about 30 minutes later!
    AHHH!! the horror! *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    I always cut off ALL the pitchers and VFT leaves.
    leaving behind just short green stubs.
    I do this mainly because the plants dont need any of the leaves through the winter, because the plants are in a DEEP dormancy and are not growing at all.
    and also because leaving all the leaves would greatly encourage fungus to grow.
    So, since the plants dont need them, and I dont want fungus, off go the leaves!



    I remove all the plants from their water trays a few weeks before im ready to put them away.
    because the moss should be just damp all winter, not soaking wet. this way the moss drains well and is drier than during the growing season.
    I took the plants off of the shelf and set them on the floor of the balcony. they sat there this way for a few weeks.

    finally..the day came for cutting!!
    here they are after the carnage is complete!!
    (im joking about the "carnage"..actually, I consider cutting off all the leaves to be very GOOD for the plants. it helps ensure their survival through the winter.)

  2. #2
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    here is the big collection of cut pitchers and VFT leaves!
    I hate to just throw these away.
    I live in an apartment building, I have no garden or compost pile. So I took them all for a walk out behind my complex and scattered tham around on the ground..
    This way the leaves (and the bugs they still contain) can return to Nature.


    I stuck some of the pitchers upright in the grass!
    then walked away and left them that way.

    Here they are all bagged up..
    I bag them air-tight. so that no mositure can escape during the winter. I never need to add more water at all during the entire fridge dormancy.

    Fungicide..personally, I dont use it.
    but only because I only have one fridge, and fungicide is a toxic chemical, and I dont want fungicide in my refrigrator with my regular food!
    but..this is my last winter as a bachelor! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    by this time next year I will be married!
    so..I doubt my new wife will want a fridge full of CP's all winter! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] (she loves the plants too! but thats a bit much..)
    so, I will probably get my own small CP-only fridge. maybe one of those small "dorm room" type refrigrators.
    then, I might use fungicide..
    Fungus hasnt been a huge problem for me, but it usually does grow over the winter.
    but it only grows as small whispy white strands on the "short green stubs", and it seldom hurts the plants at all.
    In 9 years of doing the fridge method *without* fungicide, I have lost maybe 2 or 3 plants to mold..
    I dont consider it a major problem..although it does occur.

    and the Fridge for the winter.
    the big one in the center is the bog!
    thats it!
    they remain here until mid-February, when the growing season begins again.. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Budd Lake, NJ
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    I think, you just accidently ran your plants over with a lawn mower and are using this dormancy thing as a cover up story! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    Looks good! But can you use any of the leaves as cuttings for propagation? Maybe under some lights?

  4. #4
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    The way I cut off the pitchers/leaves, they wouldnt be very usefull for cuttings..
    because for sucessfull cuttings you generally need to take a bit of the rhizome along with the pitcher/leaf..I didnt do that.
    but..that is a good idea!
    why not make some new plants out of all that destruction?
    I will have to try that in future autumns..

  5. #5
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Far Away NY
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    If the cut edges get a touch of fungus it's one thing but opening up fresh wounds on the rhizomes is probably not a good plan right as the plants are going into dormancy. A pathogen once into the rhizome would quickly spread and kill the plant. My 2/5 of a nickel.

    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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