S. alabamensis cold hardiness
I have some S. alabamensis F1 plants that are very special to me. I received them from a friend at a botanical garden and would eventually like to produce seeds from them.
It's important for me to get them through the winter. Since they aren't as commonly cultivated as the other Sarrs, I was wondering if those with more experience than me could give me a ballpark of when to protect them. Granted, they're probably OK in my zone (7b/8a). I sort of consider them irreplaceable, and want a little reassurance that they can handle a dormancy. They are perhaps 2 years old, with 12" tall pitchers.
I've grown this plant outdoors all winter in Zone 5/6 in bogs with no protection. I'd say that your plants will be fine where you are.
Irreplaceable is the key word in the original post. After loosing some choice potted plants last year when the temps dropped to 9F and were below 25F for nearly two weeks with lots of cold very dry wind much of the time I learned my lesson and protect anything I consider irreplaceable. Remember that the cold acclimatization process in plants is slow and driven not only by decreasing photoperiod but also exposure to decreasing temperatures, including exposure to increasingly harder frosts. if you have had temperatures in the 50's and no frosts till December and it drops suddenly to low teens for several days many plants are in trouble at that point. Also remember the basic rule of thumb that the roots of most terrestrial plants are not as cold hardy as the the tops so come spring, a potted plants leaves may look OK for weeks but the roots and crown could very well be dead. A hard lesson with my loss of many S. leucophylla clones after the 2013/14 winter in the Pacific Northwest. Also, a potted plants root system is always more vulnerable when exposed to the air vs. one sunk into a sand bed or growing in an in-ground bog.