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Thread: Nepenthes Froze Overnight

  1. #1
    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Nepenthes Froze Overnight

    So I ordered a plant on eBay and they sent the wrong plant, it was a hybrid of the species rather than the species... So I contacted the seller and they agreed to send a replacement plant, and since they didn't have the species I wanted, they offered a N. ventricosa 'Black Peristome' which I had been looking for, so I agreed to take it. I was super busy yesterday and wasn't expecting it, so it sat in the mailbox overnight... Last night there was a hard frost and it got to about 30F and lingered around there for a looong time during the night. When I got to it about 45 minutes ago, I found that it wasn't in terrible shape, but wasn't awesome either.

    Growth tip undamaged...


    Damaged leaf...


    Very damaged leaf...


    Least damaged leaf (there are quite a few undamaged, mostly on the bottom of the plant)...


    Newest leaf...


    Full plant...


    So what should I do about it? I am going to keep it inside with around 55-60F nights and up to 70F days with my other plants for another night before I move them back out to the GH. When I got it, it was covered in dirt, so I sprayed it with warm water (80F) that had been sitting in the sunny GH all day. I mixed the medium, about 75% sphag 25% perlite, and then I soaked it in the warm water so that it was warm for the roots. I don't know what to do now... Should I bag it? No? How do I care for a plant that froze? It doesn't seem to bad... IDK though. The roots looked okay, there weren't a lot of roots though.

    What do I do?

  2. #2
    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    This happened to me once. I had two neps outside and it froze. They were totally destroyed. I think you should just keep it at a warm temp and make sure that it does not continue to get any worse.

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    swords's Avatar
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    You can probably expect to loose most/all of the original leaves but if it stays in good condition and the tip isn't ruined it should come back. I got a few "frozen veggies" once which was the start of my no shipping/ordering plants between Oct & April. But anyway, they did come back but all original leaves looked like frozen/wilted lettuce but the tips were strong enough to survive.

    Be sure to check your mail everyday from now on too!

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I am with Swords on this. You will most likely find that over the next few days, areas that appear ok at this point are in fact damaged and it will look as though it is getting worse when in fact it isn't. Treat it like the rest of your plants. Brown leaves, leaf tips etc can be clipped off. Try not to remove any green leaf area that survives though. It will be weakened by the reduction in leaf surface which will cause it to recover slowly. Some of the roots may have also been damaged so keep an eye out that the plant doesn't start to show signs of leaf dessication. If that becomes apparent then you may need to bag it up. However I would avoid doing that at this time because the damaged tissue is very susceptible to disease pathogens at this stage so excess moisture on the leaves is not a good thing. If the growth tip does end up turning black you may need to clip it off as it could progress down the stem. Also be careful not to over water as the plant has less leaves to facilitate transpiration and the potential for damaged roots unable to absorb water properly. You don't want to end up killing more roots by keeping the mix overly wet if the plant is unable to utilize the water properly.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    lucky it was only down to 30....

    I think it will pull through for you but as stated above, my lose many of the leaves and take quite a long time to recover and get to a regular growthrate

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    Taargus's Avatar
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    Just a thought as I'm not sure the exact structure of Nepethes leaf and cell structures, but depending on the nature of the freeze, plants aren't killed by freezing temps and frost damage itself, they are killed by the rapid rewarming of the frozen cells. When a plant cell freezes, it shrinks and dehydrates, not necessarily leaking it's contents if the cell wall doesn't break. When it is rewarmed too quickly, the cell swells too rapidly, causing the wall to break and then release all the cellular contents, killing the cell. So, if you are with me still here, it may not be the freezing that kills the cells, but the rapid rewarming. It's pretty similar with humans, hypothermia doesn't kill people, rewarming from hypothermia does for the same reasons. Now I don't know if this applies to Nepenthes, but if it was frost damaged, I wonder if rewarming it slowly, over a matter of hours would be more beneficial than a rapid warm up to perfect temps.
    Last edited by Taargus; 01-15-2013 at 09:17 PM.

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    water expands when it freezes so why wouldnt the cells explode upon freezing?

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    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Paroubek View Post
    I am with Swords on this. You will most likely find that over the next few days, areas that appear ok at this point are in fact damaged and it will look as though it is getting worse when in fact it isn't. Treat it like the rest of your plants. Brown leaves, leaf tips etc can be clipped off. Try not to remove any green leaf area that survives though. It will be weakened by the reduction in leaf surface which will cause it to recover slowly. Some of the roots may have also been damaged so keep an eye out that the plant doesn't start to show signs of leaf dessication. If that becomes apparent then you may need to bag it up. However I would avoid doing that at this time because the damaged tissue is very susceptible to disease pathogens at this stage so excess moisture on the leaves is not a good thing. If the growth tip does end up turning black you may need to clip it off as it could progress down the stem. Also be careful not to over water as the plant has less leaves to facilitate transpiration and the potential for damaged roots unable to absorb water properly. You don't want to end up killing more roots by keeping the mix overly wet if the plant is unable to utilize the water properly.
    Just thinking out loud here: Would Physan be beneficial here, as a preventative measure?
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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