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Thread: So, my VFT doesn't seem to be starting dormancy on my sill...

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    So, my VFT doesn't seem to be starting dormancy on my sill...

    When should I fridge it? I'm going to have to fridge it overwinter as no part of my apartment gets cold enough, and being in Michigan, the porch gets too cold. I thought I had to wait for it to go all brown and die back before I fridged it, but that hasn't happened yet, and it seems like it should have started at least.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    I have limited experience with providing dormancy for the temperates, but my experience tells me they don't necessarily "die back" for dormancy. Last winter, all of my Sarrs and flytraps just... stopped growing. Maybe a couple dried traps over the course of the winter, but overall, they looked perfectly healthy... just... not growing. Then spring came and they all exploded.

    For whatever it's worth. ;p

    Oh, and: A lot of people do dormancy in their unheated garage if outdoors is too cold. If that's not an option for whatever reason (as it wasn't for me), you can do what I did: stick 'em in a window sill in a room that's not often used (for me, it was a spare bathroom) and crack the window just enough to cool the window sill but not enough to significantly affect your heating bill, lol.

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    GregNY's Avatar
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    Were you growing them outside and brought them in??

    What are outside temps?

    From what I know, and if you were growing them outside, leave them outside to experience frost a few times to really get them in to dormancy and then fridge em or garage em or whatever you would do to shelter them from long term freeze.....

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    I've been growing them on my sill--we get birds and squirrels all the time and didn't want it getting eaten.
    The fridge is the only place I can winter it--there's no room we aren't using.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    there is one word that is the source of all your problems.."sill"..

    Please note that the fridge does not cause or create the dormancy!
    it simply maintains the dormancy that was already started naturally by keeping the plants outdoors all season..the plants need to be already dormant before they go in the fridge.

    In my opinion, 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...or attempting to keep a native tree indoors year-round.. you can replicate June through 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..
    more:
    http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco.../CP/page2.html

    You cant put a plant in the fridge if it isnt already dormant..
    a plant cant go dormant if its indoors on a windowsill..

    the moral of the story?
    you cant successfully grow VFTs indoors long term..
    its just nature..there is no way around it..they simply are not tropical houseplants.

    If your *only* option is to grow them indoors, you have two choices.
    1. don't grow them.
    2. accept that they will likely die..then buy new ones..in that case, there isnt much sense in even bothering with dormancy at all..because you cant do dormancy anyway.

    Scot

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    So...should I try putting it on the porch for a few days and see how it goes, and then fridge it?

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebbewocky View Post
    So...should I try putting it on the porch for a few days and see how it goes, and then fridge it?
    no, absolutely not..
    you need several months for a plant to go dormant..not a few days.
    gradually decreasing photoperiod, and gradually decreasing temps, outdoors, from July through October is what causes a plant to go dormant.

    Please note that the fridge does not cause or create the dormancy!
    it simply maintains the dormancy that was already started naturally by keeping the plants outdoors all season..
    the plants need to be already dormant before they go in the fridge.

    If your *only* option is to grow them indoors, with no outdoor time at all, you have two choices.
    1. don't grow them.
    2. accept that they will likely die..then buy new ones..in that case, there isnt much sense in even bothering with dormancy at all..because you cant do dormancy anyway.

    Scot
    Last edited by scottychaos; 11-16-2011 at 07:43 PM.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    As I said, I have little experience with dormancy and temperate plants, but I have to disagree with you, scottychaos, in saying your only options are to not grow them (how depressing!) or accept that they will likely die (even more depressing!). I've now grown my temperates indoors for two growing seasons, provided a(n apparently) perfect dormancy for them, and had them flourish their second growing season. All without any exposure whatsoever to the outdoors (except, as I said, an open window sill for dormancy).This thread seems to provide some grounds for the fact that they can be grown indoors just fine (in Joseph's case, for decades). And here are a few examples of my own plants that made it through last winter's dormancy and exploded this last spring:








    As far as fridge dormancy, there are plenty accounts around the boards of having used the method quite successfully. I intend to give it a shot this winter, once they have slowed down (which they are now), albeit I'll be using a different method than most. They won't be bagged or anything, they'll be put in there potted and the media kept very slightly moist. I'll be using a fridge that is specifically for this. I intend to have a light (on a 8hr timer) and fan in there, the light to give them some semblance of a real winter and the fan to combat mold and mildew. If that's successful, I'll report my experiences here on the forums somewhere.


    But my point is that I don't believe you either have to accept that you cannot grow them or that you will kill them if you try. Obviously, I haven't grown plants long-term this way, but two years is at least a decent start and they show absolutely no signs of ill effects from being grown and dormancy-itized (like that? ;p ) 100% indoors. Who knows, maybe my opinion on the matter will change next spring if my plants don't flourish like they did this year.

    It's all experimentation. What works for one, may well not work for another, we all know that. Perhaps you should note, scottychaos, in these posts that these are your opinions based on your own experiences. Not that what you've found to be your only options are the only options for anyone else. ^.~

    EDIT: I should also note that my Dionaea have flowered and produced seed (though not in the amounts they probably would have outdoors; I wouldn't know, however. Then again, that could well have been because they were self-pollinated) both seasons. The Sarracenia are too young, so who knows whether or not they would have.

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