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Thread: not as weak as we may think

  1. #1
    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    not as weak as we may think

    After summer turned to fall back on 07, i began to grow a little anxious about my VFTs. I had grown them outdoors on my lawn-table (that got full sunlight all day during summer), and wasn't able to move them inside do to space restrictions.
    Now, i live in Eugene Oregon... a valley in a very cold and rainy state. I know what winters are like here, and i was generally very skeptical about the survival of my VFTs. Around late November / early December it started raining every day, and freezing over every night. There was nothing i could do but sit and wait.
    Now its mid February and the sun is finally staying out for more than an hour or two a day. I went out to check my traps after basically leaving them alone for a couple months, and boy was i surprised.
    Not only did all of them survive (I'm closely watching a RYU who seems a bit weak), but on all of them another clump seems to have risen out of the ground with smaller traps and leafs.

    It made me start thinking about how we treat and perceive these plants. All the advice we read seems to tell us that these things are as fragile as glass, and require highly optimal environmental settings or they die.
    Let me explain some of the weather my plants made it through...

    Sunlight: generally it is overcast here in the winter. When the sun shines through the grey, its almost cause for a city-wide celebration.
    Watering: It rains almost every day.. sometimes for several hours at a time. Heavy rain, light rain, all of it. With only minor care towards putting some sphagnum on the deteriorated top layer once a month, their was little to no damage.
    Adverse conditions: This year in Eugene is snowed for about a week straight (which i think weakened my RYU considerably). All of my plants were covered in snow for that week. On top of all that, we had a pretty nasty wind storm that hit in late November with 75 mph winds.
    Temperature: Quite literally we consider 55 degrees a heat-wave during the winter here. Every night any standing water was frozen solid. EVERY night. Since it rained every day as well, and water would settle on top the soil (basically over-watering), water would freeze around the roots and leafs of the traps. And when it wasn't ice, it was powerfully strong frost that actually killed patches of grass in my lawn.
    Since it never got above 45 or so, the ice would last almost all day long... constantly being bombarded by water from the rain as well.

    Overall, i was quite shocked. I never had to water my plants since it rained constantly, and so i pretty much forgot about them for about 3 months. These plants are TOUGH. Seriously, i have never seen a plant withstand that much punishment, and still show signs of reproductive success.
    maybe we should start considering these plants being much more durable than we are lead to believe. I might post pictures here if anyone is interested.
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

  2. #2
    D_muscipula's Avatar
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    you nkow you're right they are TOUGH!!!
    I live in Salem,Oregona nd this was my frist dormacncy this year.
    I did put my plants in my unheated greenhouse though cause I was concerned about the rain keeping the soil more than moist for dormancy.
    there is a very great nursery down near hear that grows all there sarras and vft's outdoors
    and they get covered in snow and ice and there water trays freeze.

    and all the temperate plants are grown outdoors and ya they are very tough resilient little plants and we should not pamper them.
    view my growlist
    http://grwlist.notlong.com

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    jack's Avatar
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    I live in Dallas, Oregon (15 miles west of Salem) and always leave my plants out in the weather, and I have never had any problems. I do take them out of the undrained rubbermate containers I use during the summer, but I let them have all the rain they can get ( cleans any mineral build up from summer) and snow. If the weather man says it will be above freezing at all during the day I dont worry. If he says it will be below freezing several days in a row then I might cover them. I fact, my only worry is when it is dry like now, I have to keep them watered so they dont dry out. As for our weather, there is a little exaggeration going on. we have perfect conditions for vft's outside and most other plants. I'm in zone 8 for goodness sake. the only drawback we have is i would like a little more humidity during summer and wish for a greenhouse just for that reason.
    'Celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing a little piece of it up'.The Simpsons.
    My grow list ~http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=107403

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I agree that our plants are tougher than we often give them credit for..

    but...

    the Oregon winter climate described in Ridetsu's post is VERY mild compared to the upper Mid West and the North East..

    Rain every day?
    wow..its warm enough that you get actual, liquid rain?

    one week of snow? thats all?

    sorry..but thats not a harsh winter at all!

    sure..our plants are tough..I will agree with that.
    but the winter described is hardly a "rough" winter IMO...

    When I describe the need for the fridge method, im talking a winter that is BELOW freezing for 3 months straight..
    SNOW..not rain..for 3 months straight.
    nothing growing..at all..for 5 months straight.
    temperatures in the teens for weeks at a time.

    35 degrees is major heat wave..
    If it hits an extremely balmy 40, people go out for "January thaw" walks with
    no jacket on..


    Ridetsu,
    thats very cool that you have a winter that allows you to keep your VFTs outdoors!
    thats excellent..
    but honestly...thats quite a mild winter you are talking about..

    Scot

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I'll say mild. It was -40 wind chill last week with -8 without the wind. And Don't get me talking about snow. 20in like a week and a half ago with about 8in every other day.

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    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    lawl

    lol, i know Oregon is not the picturesque deep-freeze hell zone devoid of winter life, but if you crack open books about taking care of VFTs, and most other gardening books, they almost certainly guarantee you death if a flake of snow so much as comes within 3 feet of them. (exaggeration a little bit).

    It seems like the books you read about this kind of thing really don't stack up to the same amount for expertise a forum can deliver XD

    At any rate, the point i am making is that a lot of newbies to the world of CP growing have this illusion that the plant is so incredibly sensitive that it will die if not in constantly tropical conditions. My main reason for creating this thread is that hopefully new people might stumble across it, read it, and realize that these things are tougher than nails - not delicate and weak.

    oh, and Oregon rules :3


    Edit::

    Oh yeah, and scotty, you live in NY for cripes sake! how do you even get any sunlight through the layer of smog for your VFT's? XD
    kidding, kidding... but yeah, the difference in winters is really staggering. I don't think i could have the same degree of carelessness if i lived out east.
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridetsu View Post
    lol, i know Oregon is not the picturesque deep-freeze hell zone devoid of winter life, but if you crack open books about taking care of VFTs, and most other gardening books, they almost certainly guarantee you death if a flake of snow so much as comes within 3 feet of them. (exaggeration a little bit).

    It seems like the books you read about this kind of thing really don't stack up to the same amount for expertise a forum can deliver XD

    At any rate, the point i am making is that a lot of newbies to the world of CP growing have this illusion that the plant is so incredibly sensitive that it will die if not in constantly tropical conditions. My main reason for creating this thread is that hopefully new people might stumble across it, read it, and realize that these things are tougher than nails - not delicate and weak.

    oh, and Oregon rules :3


    Edit::

    Oh yeah, and scotty, you live in NY for cripes sake! how do you even get any sunlight through the layer of smog for your VFT's? XD
    kidding, kidding... but yeah, the difference in winters is really staggering. I don't think i could have the same degree of carelessness if i lived out east.
    I agree that some of the older literature preaches "death by one snowflake"
    but I also think that mindset has been evolving and changing a lot lately..
    especially the last 10 years or so with the rise of the internet..
    people are growing CPs (VFTs and Sarrs specifically, for the sake of thos conversation) in MUCH colder climates than would have been thought possible in decades past..

    Smog??
    heh..

    I sometimes wish the entire state of California was named "Los Angles" instead of California..
    Then I could say "wow..you live in (that big state called) Los Angeles?
    ...how can you stand all the crime and smog?

    New York state and New York city are not the same place!
    We dont have smog in western NY..its pretty much Wisconsin out here..

    But getting back to winter climates..
    I have often wondered where "the line" is...the line between "ok to keep CPs outdoors all winter" and "not ok"..

    IMO, on the East coast, "the line" is around Washington DC..
    (or the state of Virginia)
    From DC south, you can overwinter VFTs and Sarracenia outdoors..
    from DC north, you cant..
    (maybe extreme southern PA..but not Northern PA.
    and if you live within 10 miles of the ocean, that skews the results too..)
    but for the most part, I bet thats pretty accurate..

    The East Coast is simple though..its pretty much a gradual warming trend from Florida straight through to Maine..If you are in Florida in January, you can normally count on it being 70 degrees...50 degrees in DC, and 10 degrees in Maine..

    The West is more complicated...out west changes in climate (winter temp specifically) are based more on elevation than they are on Latitude..and you have a lot more "micro climates"..

    So looking at the USDA zones:

    http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html

    IMO Zone 7 is the transitional zone for VFTs and Sarrs..

    Zone 6 and colder - definitely no good.
    Zone 7 - iffy, but probably ok.
    Zone 8 and warmer - definitely ok.


    thoughts anyone?

    Scot

  8. #8
    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    california sucks

    sorry CP growers of Ca, but we oregonians hate yew XD always driving up our state to get to Washington.. bleh!


    But anyways, i digress. I have started to think as of late that maybe your 'zone' and such doesn't really matter, since it is so vague. Growing plants is an experience that takes PRACTICE... so many people these days try to get experience without actually practicing (IE: reading a book and then assuming they know everything).
    I think people just need to get a couple plants (its not expensive...) read up on what to do with your chosen plants,and just be a caretaker of those plants for a year. Being a gardener of any type requires a knowledge of survival and strength of what you are growing. I grew up on a farm, so i know all about growing vegetables, fruits, and grains. I didn't /read/ it anywhere, i spent time with my father out in the fields.

    Its the same thing with any other plant. Grow them.. talk to others about them, and you learn about them through the natural progression of teacher and student - through conversation.

    Books give people a false sense of knowledge -.-;

    edit::

    not saying that the "our 'zone' " thing is your idea - just that the zone of the CP grower doesn't matter since its such a vague value.
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

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