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Thread: D. rotundifolia summer dormancy?

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    D. rotundifolia summer dormancy?

    Hi folks,

    Got a strange problem with some D. rotundifolia I'm growing from Brasstown Bald (Towns/Union counties, Georgia). One of only 2-3 reported locations for this plant in my state, not currently in cultivation, and I'd hate to lose 'em. Two years old, just flowered and are hopefully setting seed. The funny thing is that the leaves appear to be dying back. It appears that the crowns are healthy, but when I get a minute I'll dig around further. They're outside, and since the heat here is basically roasting all of our body fluids out, I'd like to know if a heat dormancy might be normal for this plant at such a southern location. I'm 1 hardiness zone south from Brasstown Bald.

    I honestly can't remember if they exhibited this behavior last summer. My thinking is--possibly--that since mountain species like S. oreophila have a hot/dry summer dormant period, other CPs from similar habitats might follow suit. Has anyone noticed this before in this species?

    So.... normal, possible, or ludicrous?

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I have heard of this with the more southern locales of D.rotundifolia , I've never witnessed it myself though. Second hand information and hearsay maybe but I have heard of them going dormant in the hottest summer months. I wouldn't worry about it too much if the crowns look ok. Are they producing winter like hibernacula ?

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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    I live in a different climate than you (PNW) so this may be irrelevant, but mine grown outside in full sun in a peat/perlite mix seem to do the same thing when flowering/setting seed, look like they are dying but do recover after flowering. The ones that I do not allow to flower do not do this and look fine all season. The ones I have growing in moss don't seem to be affected by flowering like the ones growing in the peat mix, and also don't seem to be affected by the heat wave we are experiencing right now (temps in the 90s for the last couple weeks plus) like the ones in the peat without moss growing around them. Right now with this heat, the ones growing in the bog look ratty and slow to produce new leaves, but they are flowering so not sure if it is flowering zapping their energy or the heat. I am unsure why the ones growing in moss don't seem affected by heat or flowering, but perhaps the moss keeps them cooler and moisture and humidity are playing a role there as well.

    My guess would be yours will recover after flowering/setting seed and outside temps cool down...considering this is coming from someone with different growing conditions than yours of course, haha.

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    It's normal for this sundew to do that when flowering. Putting all their energy into reproduction. Thanks for the info on these Georgia plants. I've grown this species from many areas. Did yours flower after a dormancy? Most forms flower only after. I've been selective breeding for plants without dormancy.

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    D. rotundifolia will go dormant in the summer due to stress from excessively high heat. High night temperatures in particular really bother them. To save your plant, put it in the fridge and bring it out next spring, treat it as dormant. I have dealt with this growing rotundifolia seasonally in a terrarium. I've always wanted to get my hands on the GA form, I had no idea it was even in cultivation!

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    This is how rotundifolias look in a site few km from my house. We have 30-35C for more than 2 weeks. The site is nearly completely dry and no dormancy. I think what is important if it is too hot is not to have too much water in trays that there is air in the soil which enables water to evaporate within the soil and cool down the roots. But this is so far only hypothesis with limited personal experience. But it seems it helps my plants. When I filled my trays full of water before holiday all sundews suffered.
    Last edited by Fero; 08-14-2015 at 05:46 AM.

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    Sorry, forgot to mention I live in Slovakia, Europe

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    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Fero.

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