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Thread: Wintering an indoor VFT

  1. #9
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Usually I'm strongly against indoor VFTs, but it sounds like this is about your only choice. You've got the right idea. Keep in mind that VFTs can grow successfully in more southern latitudes than they're native, so long as they can observe a shift in seasons. By my understanding, VFTs can handle winters in the 50s/60s so long as there are no really warm highs and all the other seasonal cues are present. Decreasing the light is critical, and you may want to have your artificial photoperiod slightly shorter (by maybe 1/2 to 1 hour) than actual sunup/sundown. Also, try to water less. The pot should always be wet as usual, but keep the water line lower than you would in the summer; my guideline is no higher than 1/4 of the root depth/pot height. If you can, get the pot right up next to the window, and maybe box it in if you have some cardboard or something that you can use to make sure that incoming cold air has a chance to thoroughly circulate around the plant.
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    ...just keep in mind that light is not a important factor after they go dormant....so you can get the tubes out after they go to sleep

    one more observation....i did try last season a experiment with one of my dews (''california sunset''). I just place it in my room on the window sill, keep it on the dry side and it did go dormant at room temps ....and come back in spring just fine. So i'm guessing that light is the most important factor in going dormant and some plants don't care about the temp drop. I didn't try with vft yet!
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    It sounds like what you want to do is very similar to what I do with my plants for dormancy. I keep mine on an unheated porch. I close the door to the house and open all of the windows on the porch. It gets enough heat leaking out from the house to protect the plants from freezing, but keeps it cool enough to provide dormancy.

    Light is for sure the more dominant factor in providing dormancy. You need to make sure that you aren't keeping the light on longer than the sun is up. But it sounds like you have the shortening of the photoperiod worked out.

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    Thanks for the tips everyone. I'll probably take your advice seedjar and try to box it in so that the cold air circulates well. Once it goes into full dormancy, I should be able to put it in a box with only one side open towards the window. This will allow the cold air to circulate in the box and also help to insulate it from the heat from the radiator (not that the radiator is close, but it should help to keep out the heat that is getting to it). This won't allow it to get any light, but if I understand this correctly, it's only important to reduce the photoperiod to INDUCE dormancy, but light is not necessary DURING dormancy, right? If I'm completely wrong on this let me know.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark.ca View Post
    ...just keep in mind that light is not a important factor after they go dormant....so you can get the tubes out after they go to sleep

    one more observation....i did try last season a experiment with one of my dews (''california sunset''). I just place it in my room on the window sill, keep it on the dry side and it did go dormant at room temps ....and come back in spring just fine. So i'm guessing that light is the most important factor in going dormant and some plants don't care about the temp drop. I didn't try with vft yet!
    I had a California Sunset go dormant at window sill as well, room temp. A couple months later it woke up. I did nothing special. For plants like VFT's, Sarracenias, and Cobra Lilys, the coldness seems to be more of a requirement. Basically, the colder the indigeonous climate, the more they need cold coupled with reduced photoperiod.

    For those folks who take their temperate plants out of the put and put in baggies, in the fridge, and have no problem when the growing season begins, it would appear that once the plant is dormant, light isn't a factor. It's like pulling the battery out after the car is running. You don't need the battery until you turn off the car.. and want to start it again.

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    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    Put it in the fridge until Mid February.

    Mine all go in the fridge once temps get down to 40 at night regularly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyr View Post
    Put it in the fridge until Mid February.

    Mine all go in the fridge once temps get down to 40 at night regularly.
    thats no good in this case, because the plant in question (first post in this thread) has been growing indoors all season..it cant go straight into the fridge because it hasnt been outdoors all season, and so has not been getting the proper decreasing temp and decreasing photoperiod dormancy cues..

    Fridge is fine for outdoor plants..but not for indoor plants.

    Scot

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    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    thats no good in this case, because the plant in question (first post in this thread) has been growing indoors all season..it cant go straight into the fridge because it hasnt been outdoors all season, and so has not been getting the proper decreasing temp and decreasing photoperiod dormancy cues..

    Fridge is fine for outdoor plants..but not for indoor plants.

    Scot

    Yup, good point. I stand corrected.
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