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Thread: Australian dormancy question

  1. #1

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    Hi,

    I know there are a few dormancy threads around, however I haven't noticed any advice for Australians. Australia's climate is very warm, even in colder areas. I live up on the Great Dividing Range in Queensland, where temperatures drop to around freezing in winter.

    Will it be cold enough inside for the plants to go into dormancy, or should I put them outside on the verandah? Thanks in advance for any help. Moderators: If this topic is too simular to other threads, please just merge it into another dormancy thread.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!!

    dan
    Dan.

  2. #2

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    G'Day Dan,

    Down here in Melbourne (southern Australia for those of you who don't know) Sarracenia can undergo a normal dormancy outside or in the unheated greenhouse.

    Up in Queensland things can be a bit trickier. Where exactly in Queensland do you live? If you are high up in the Hinterland behind the Gold Coast it is possible that the temps may drop low enough for a successful dormancy. If the temps do drop as low as you say then they should do well outside. Inside may be too warm, I guess it depends upon how cold it gets inside.

    Which other types of plants (non-CPs) grow well in your area? This may give us an idea of how suitable your microclimate is.

    Regards,

    Sean.

  3. #3

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    Hey Sean,

    Thanks for the reply! I live in Toowoomba, which is one and a half hour's drive west from Brisbane in Southern Queensland. It doesn't snow here (or anywhere in Queensland) and there aren't severe frosts etc - the average winter temperature is 12 celcius.

    Would that be too cold for the plants outside? (Does the frost kill them? We don't get many frosts, but do sometimes)

    I also am able to grow Venus Flytrap and Sundews (drosera capensis) in this area. (The dormancy question is also for these plants). They seem to grow better up here in Toowoomba then what they did when I lived down in Brisbane. Maybe the humidity levels down there were too high, or maybe the direct sun was too strong?!?


    Thanks for any help!

    Dan
    Dan.

  4. #4

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    Hi Dan,

    With an average minimum winter temperature the climate is certainly not too cold for Sarracenia to be grown outside. In fact for a good dormancy they would probably even prefer the temps to be a little lower.

    Here in Melbourne I grow my plants outside during winter. They receive no shelter and are fully exposed to the elements. We never receive snow here but the winter night temps can get as low as 0 deg C and frosts are common. The plants are not affected at all.

    VFTs will appreciate similar temps to Sarras for a good dormancy. The Drosera capensis should grow beautifully where you live. I think that they would prefer Toowomba because the night temps probably drop a bit lower. D. capensis appreciate a bit of a drop overnight in Summer. Down here the capensis tend to stop growing during winter and can often die back to the roots before they reemerge in Spring. In Toowoomba they should grow well all year without any dormancy. The sun shouldn't affect them too much unless they are receiving full sun and getting baked. Having said this, my plants always look much nicer when they receive partial shade in Summer.

    Do you have any native CPs species growing nearby? There are some great species that grow in and around Brisbane, particularly near the coast. Not too sure about Toowoomba though, there should be at least a couple.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Sean.

  5. #5

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    Hey Saun,

    Thanks once again for your reply. I've never actually had the thought to go out and look for CP's in the wild! I wonder where I would find them. (Swampy coastal areas?! - would the salt air kill the plants!?)

    Thanks for the answers on dormancy. Next month I will put them outside. I'm really glad that I live in a climate thats cold enough for natural dormancy. I read somewhere that if your in a warm climate you may have to put your plants in the fridge!! Can you imagine your plants sitting there quietly amongst the vege's and milk!?!

    Cheers!
    dan
    Dan.

  6. #6

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    Hi Dan,

    In Queensland you'll find native CPs in a range of different habitats. In your area I would be surprised if you could not find Drosera species such as D. peltata and auriculata in dry woodlands.

    Most of the CP diversity in southern Queensland will be found in coastal swamps and wetlands. These wetlands are located far enough inland (a few kms) not to be affected by salt from the ocean. Anywhere you can find granite mountains near the coast you are sure to find areas at sealevel that receive runoff and have damp swampy soils. Many CP species (Drosera and Utricularia) can be found in such habitats. Many of these areas are being developed for housing and resorts so check them out while the CPs are still reasonably common.

    Regarding the dormancy, you are right that growers in some locations must place Sarras in the fridge for a dormancy. This is probably also true for growers living in Brisbane. You should be OK if you live in a region at a higher altitude.

    Sean.

  7. #7
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    The major problem with keeping carnivorous plants in the fridge is they get awfully hungry waiting for dormancy to set in. So they roam around and swallow any suitable bits of meat. Those that have been given drops of milk during the growing might guzzle an entire carton before falling asleep. I'll keep seeds, fruit tree scions, orchid rhizomes, and all sorts of inappropriate things in the fridge, but the Sarracenias stay outside. They just aren't civilized enough .
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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