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Thread: Do VFTs need dormancy?

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    Do VFTs need dormancy?

    I was wondering if it is necessary to provide venus fly traps with dormancy, or could I just grow mine in my terrarium all year round, without having it go dormant? It gets plenty of light
    the temps would never get low enough to induce dormancy during winter. Could the plant maintain its strength and health if I don't allow it to go dormant?

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    I've heard that they'll slowly waste away if you don't provide a dormancy... on the other hand, mine get dormancy on a balcony in San Diego for all of a month or two, where it goes to 60Fday/45Fnight instead of the 75Fday/60night during the summer, and they're still doing good a year on. They did get less light hours too... so maybe they'll do fine if you lower the temps some and lessen the light hours, for instance if you have dews or something you want to try to induce to flower?

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    antechron's Avatar
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    Hello Ann. You live in Utah? Awesome. Do you have other things in the terrarium? I would recommend taking them out of the terrarium, putting them into pots and growing them outside. I have actually found that VFTs can even grow in nearly full shade here in UT and live pretty well. Is there a reason that you can't provide a dormancy period for them? I have left mine outside before for most of the winter and it didn't kill them, so I would recommend trying that.

    My experience with not giving VFTs a dormancy period is like this - they will grow fine for up to a couple years and then suddenly, they die and rot.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Strictly speaking, they won't maintain their health without dormancy; I'm pretty sure every healthy indoor plant I've heard of has received dormancy cues of one sort or another. The essential part is knowing how to tell them it's time to take a nap.
    You can trick them into enduring a few winters without dormancy, but mostly just when they're young, and each time you do it there's a greater risk of losing them. If you really want to have one indoors all the time, I think you could try taking leaf pullings when your plant is at its most vigorous, putting the adult plant to sleep outside when it starts to slow down, and growing the pullings out inside over winter. I know that some advanced growers bring seedlings to adulthood by growing them in controlled conditions with long photoperiods and repotting into new media each time growth begins to slow, until the first flowering, but once flowers come up you're on very shaky ground. I wouldn't be surprised if cuttings could be fooled into skipping dormancy with the fresh peat trick, too. I think there's an explanation of this method in the ICPS guide for rearing VFT seeds.
    If you're just getting started with these plants, I'd strongly suggest learning the proven methods first and getting to know VFTs that way. If you're really bent on using a terrarium, you can still grow indoors while letting the plants go dormant through conscientious modulation of photoperiod and watering. It's certainly possible - some particularly savvy growers here have absolutely beautiful plants grown exclusively indoors - but you'll have much more luck doing experimental things if you first observe the plants in comfortable conditions and learn what to expect and look for. Besides, nothing spoils learning experiences better than early failure.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Not only do they need dormancy, they also need as much direct sunlight you can give them. They are not at all a houseplant.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann_A View Post
    I was wondering if it is necessary to provide venus fly traps with dormancy,
    Yes.

    or could I just grow mine in my terrarium all year round, without having it go dormant?
    No.

    It gets plenty of light
    But likely, not nearly enough.

    the temps would never get low enough to induce dormancy during winter.
    thats bad.

    Could the plant maintain its strength and health if I don't allow it to go dormant?
    No. it will eventually die.

    quote from my CP webpage:

    VFT's and Sarracenia should never be grown indoors or especially in terrariums..
    the climate inside a terrarium is just all-wrong for them..
    the climate is fine for a few months...but VFTs and Sarrs need very different climates at different times of year..

    Keeping VFTs and Sarrs in a terrarum is the same as trying to grow maple tree bonsai in a terrarium..
    you can replicate June - August ok in a terrarium..sunny and warm..but what about the other 9 months of the year?

    Maple trees need a gradually warming spring to come out of dormancy, a gradually warmer and sunnier summer, a gradually cooler and darker autumn, then a cold and dark winter to be fully dormant.

    ...cycle repeats...

    so do VFTs and Sarracenia.
    its not an option..its a necessity.

    If you grow a maple tree indoors it will die within a year...the non-changing environment of a terrarium will also eventually kill a VFT.

    VFTs need it warm and REALLY sunny in the summer..DIRECT sunlight..
    where can you find that? outdoors in the summer!
    Nature provides the perfect light for free..
    then you need gradually decreasing photoperiod and gradually decreasing temps from summer into autumn..
    where can you find that? outdoors..again nature does all the work for us.

    The only tricky season for those of us in the Northern states is the winter..Spring, Summer and Autumn are a breeze..just keep the plants outdoors April - October.
    but the plants need a COOL winter..the winter of South Carolina..
    but winters in the northern states are too severe and will kill them if the plants are left outdoors..

    If you have a cool basement or attic, or a garage that stays in the 40's (4-10C) all winter, thats fine
    for dormancy..or ideally, if you live in the southern US where winters are mild, just leave your plants outside 24/7/365! but right now I lack any of those conditions..hence, they are going in the fridge!
    http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/CP/page2.html

    Scot

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    LOL! We're a bit adamant in Western NY!

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    eou812's Avatar
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    Yes no doubt about it DORMANCY required!

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