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Thread: I'm so confused what to do for winter dormancy! help!

  1. #9
    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Agreed with Scot. In the FL Panhandle, you are in the golden range. There are naturalized populations of Dionaea in your region, so your plants are fine, and you are smack in the middle of white-top and Burk's purple pitcher plant ranges too. Leave them outside forever, and let them be.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
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    David F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    Incorrect. USDA hardiness zones are based upon average low temps for a given region. They're hardly perfect because they don't factor in freeze/thaw cycles among other things, but no place in zone 6b gets anywhere near -40F. Generally speaking more freeze/thaws in an area a bad thing. It's better if stuff freezes and stays frozen. If a place gets to -40F with any regularity it's not zone 6, but zone 2. Having lived a winter in Jay, VT I definitely can tell you there is a big difference between a zone 3a winter and a zone 6b winter. Your difficulties in keeping temperate bog plants lie somewhere other than your temperatures if you're in 6b. Without knowing your practices I couldn't be sure, but seeing as you're in Utah water would be my first suspicion.
    You're right average low temperature. However, yes they do get near -40. A few miles north of me is a canyon classified as 6b and it's been on occasion well into the -30s. I did not say we experience these regularly, but they can come with little to no notice as arctic winds from Canada come down. This surely kills plants as they are not already frozen solid. The quick formation of the crystalline latice destroys the plant's cells.

    Lol you live in Florida? Facepalm, yes leave your plants outside.

    I still disagree with subrosa though. Not a single plant can survive outside conditions here, not even the hardiest of saracenia. The water crystals move the water outside of the plant as sublimation occurs on the plant surfaces. The displaced water often kills the plant.

    However the death of plants is inclusive to pots and bogs covered with snow for the large part of the "docile winter". The transitional period from fall to winter is extremely deadly when temperatures sky rocket during the day (50-60 degrees) and plummet to just below freezing which sustains all night.

    So yes, water has a roll in some way. Only that our atmosphere does not retain heat into the night, which makes transitioning out of and into winter a real pain, basically there is no appropriate time-frame for dormancy in my area. Which makes me (personally) suspicious when people encourage just about anyone to put their plants outside because they have had success in 6b or lower.

    I'm sure I'm the exception, but when I started growing and asking questions, people with good intentions like you guys were essentially instructing me to throw my plants away.

    I put them outside, they died, and I have never trusted dormancy instruction from non-drought areas again. So I always feel I have to chime in when the zone is 6b or lower. There are exceptions and we need to take note of them.

    Most of you won't find this helpful, but I sure felt like I wasted a lot of energy in the whole outdoor dormancy thing.
    Last edited by David F; 11-04-2014 at 08:53 AM.

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    Thank you Scotty and Hcarlton! I kind of hoped that because I knew a lot of them were native to the area, so it made sense. I just never saw what what i see commonly described about dormancy, as far as the plant kind of dieing back and what not.

    Any input on the watering during the winter and the cutting back of the Sarrencia at the end of the winter?

  4. #12
    Iwest's Avatar
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    Sarrs don't need to be watered nearly as often during dormancy as they do during the growing season - they simply don't need it. I cut back gradually: as more and more phyllodia (non-carnivorous leaves) pop up, I begin to water less. This doesn't mean you should ever let the soil dry out - the soil should still be lightly moist. You'll notice, however, that the plants won't take up water as quickly, and this can be a good way in which to pace your watering. Soil should always be moist, but you can cut back on how often you water and the amount you put in. My advice - if you're using the tray method, wait until the tray is just about to dry out/has just run out of water before watering again.
    Last edited by Iwest; 11-04-2014 at 04:42 PM.

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    I've got a similar problem to OP. 3 flytraps sprouted over the summer, and now they and a sarrecenia are in a room where it's 48-50 at night and 58-60 in the daytime, but while the sarracenia hasn't grown anything since it got repotted, the flytraps don't seem to have changed much. Is there any way to check for dormancy or anything?

  6. #14
    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruzzfish View Post
    I've got a similar problem to OP. 3 flytraps sprouted over the summer, and now they and a sarrecenia are in a room where it's 48-50 at night and 58-60 in the daytime, but while the sarracenia hasn't grown anything since it got repotted, the flytraps don't seem to have changed much. Is there any way to check for dormancy or anything?
    Dormancy is triggered when the plants have been outside all year. The photo period
    Tells them when to go dormant, which is right around fall that they SHOULD be completely
    Dormant. They dont really show dormancy at all.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    Photoperiod and temperatures play a role. One good frost and most of them start shutting down for the winter. And the Sarr that hasn't grown since it was repotted is probably just recuperating from that stress.
    Really the only way to tell if they're dormant is if they sty in stasis for the winter months. Sarrs will produce small, hornlike growths instead of normal leaves when dormant, but flytraps don't change in appearance other than to switch to ground-hugging traps.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
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  8. #16
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Our friend, Mach, in Hawaii, has Sarracenias that go dormant for him. They may not get the low temps that we get here in the 48 contiguous States, but they do get some reduction in photoperiod.

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