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Thread: Question about Dormancy & Slugs

  1. #9
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I live just below you, near Buffalo, near the Peace Bridge & Ft. Erie. I've been keeping VFT's, Sarracenias, and temperate sundews in buckets as minibogs. When the temps get to where they are going to be below freezing (sometime in November) I tote them upstairs to the attic, where it will be cold, but not quite freezing and place them, as is, right at a SW window sill. I water sparingly and wait for the increasing photoperiod to awaken them, in due course.

    There are others in the northen climes that leave theire plants outside all year long. A grower called WildBill does so and heavily mulches his plants, insulating them for the winter.

    There are still others who put them in the fridge when the outside gets down to about 4 C. Some put them in baggies, with a fungicide. Some put the pots directly in the fridge. There's a lot of variation on a theme.

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    I would have thought VFTs collect more energy through the growing season than is used up. The excess being used to bulk up the rhizome, which acts as a storage unit for new growth. VFTs go dormant in winter because it's cold, not because they can't sustain 365 maximum growth. This has been programmed genetically, so preventing dormancy maybe just causes them to self destruct. You don't see the rhizome whither away to nothing as it isn't using up more energy than it can store.
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    cool, I have relatives in Ft. Erie ...

    i have some more newbie questions :P
    - if i plan on putting it in a chilly room next to the window during the fall&winter months, do I need to trim the leaves down and cut off the traps?

    - if I plan on putting it in the fridge should i remove all traps and maybe even trim the leaves as well to prevent fungus growth? I've read through scottychaos' post about the 'fridge method' and am afraid to trim down the leaves as much as he did.
    (i guess am just scared that i might end up killing it :P. i just bought the plant from a local plant nursery)

    - last one (for today, well ... maybe ), i've noticed that some of these traps close really slow, or doesnt close at all when a live insect is placed in the trap. I'm thinking that maybe this is due the approaching dormancy period and the plant is no longer as active. am i correct? I think the plant is doing alright because when i bought it home it will complete green and now after a couple of days, some of the traps are starting to display a light shade of red

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I would have thought VFTs collect more energy through the growing season than is used up. The excess being used to bulk up the rhizome, which acts as a storage unit for new growth. VFTs go dormant in winter because it's cold, not because they can't sustain 365 maximum growth. This has been programmed genetically, so preventing dormancy maybe just causes them to self destruct. You don't see the rhizome whither away to nothing as it isn't using up more energy than it can store.
    Ohh ... icic, yeah i was basically trying to prevent dormancy but since its required i guess ill stick it in the fridge or in a chilly room

  5. #13
    xscd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (flymantang @ Sep. 05 2006,8:51)]- if i plan on putting it in a chilly room next to the window during the fall&winter months, do I need to trim the leaves down and cut off the traps?

    - if I plan on putting it in the fridge (...)

    - last one (for today, well ... maybe ), i've noticed that some of these traps close really slow, or doesnt close at all when a live insect is placed in the trap. I'm thinking that maybe this is due the approaching dormancy period and the plant is no longer as active. (...)
    When my own VFTs are obviously slowing down for the winter, with much less vigorous growth and sluggish traps, I use the cold-window method, which I would prefer to the refrigerator method for several reasons, one of which is that VFTs still do grow (a little) and photosynthesize and store food during their dormancy.

    Being uprooted, cut up and placed in a dark fridge would not be my idea of fun (if I were a VFT).


    In my case, I have a room adjacent to the main house, a walled-in backyard patio, that I keep cooler in the winter 50s and 60s Fahrenheit. However, the concrete floor directly beneath the large floor-to-ceiling south window of the room is quite a bit colder than the ambient temperature of the rest of the room, because a) it is lower, and cool air falls and settles in low spots, and b) it is directly beneath the window where cold air falls from the inside surface of the glass almost continuously and washes over and around the Venus Flytraps and other plants I have placed there for dormancy, chilling them.

    By the way, be sure not to keep Venus Flytraps too wet during dormancy. They don't need much water at all during that time, and to avoid problems with possible rot and infections, it's better to try to keep the planting medium just moist to barely moist. When I water during dormancy, I water (thoroughly) early in the day so that the medium has a chance to dry out some before the colder night. I don't water again for perhaps 7-14 days as the medium, without much active plant growth to suck up and and use water nor heat to make it evaporate faster, slowly dries to just barely moist again.

    Regarding a trap closing slowly, that happens for three reasons that I know of: the leaf is older and the trap has already closed quite a few (perhaps 4-5) times, the plant has been newly transplanted and has not acclimated yet and is not yet over its transplant shock, or dormancy is approaching and the entire plant slows down. In this latter case, sluggish traps are accompanied by slower growth of new leaves. More of the old leaves begin to turn brown and die back to the surface of the soil, but fewer new leaves appear to replace the old ones. That's a good indicator that the VFT is slowly preparing for dormancy.
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

  6. #14
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (xscd @ Sep. 05 2006,5:22)]Being uprooted, cut up and placed in a dark fridge would not be my idea of fun (if I were a VFT).
    but remember, the plant is *already* fully dormant *before* it is "uprooted, cut up and placed in a dark fridge"
    (or at least it should be, if its left outside all autumn)

    so the plant doesnt "feel" a thing..its not a shock at all, because its already dormant..

    the cool thing about the "fridge method" is that it simply continues the dormancy that began naturally outdoors.
    it just moves the plants to the fridge to keep a *cool* dormancy, just above freezing, rather than a SEVERE freezing dormancy it would have if it was left outdoors..
    the fridge is much more mild than outdoors in the nothern US and Canada...

    the fridge doesnt *create* the dormancy..it merely maintains it..that is important to understand.

    Scot

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    As to leaves and trimming, just remove that which is black. Green is good and it gives the plant something to work with when it begins wake up.

    Dormancy is a misunderstood concept. There's the process of dormancy that is actually occurring now, whereby the plant is slowing down. Then there is the deep sleep thing that a lot of people associate with it, where there is little discernible growth.

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    thanks again for everyones input ... you guys have been extremely helpful

    btw, the cilias from some of the traps on my vft are starting to turn brown so i guess my plant is starting to slow down

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