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

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

    Ok, so i'm very new to carnivorous plants, I got a VFT 2 years ago and just this year started adding more to my collection. And just very recently started looking into acquiring more and research. At the moment I have a VFT, a D. capensis x spatulata( i think), a purple, and white top pitcher plant. Everything i'm reading about dormancy is about the temperature and the amount of light. I live in the Florida panhandle and while it gets cold enough to meet the requirements, our days are pretty much always pretty bright and semi long even in the dead of winter. its November and I still have new traps coming up on pretty much everything. I just wanted to know if maybe in December it may happen naturally? Or If I move them to my patio to cut the amount of direct sunlight they get down to half would work? Also water requirements im a little unsure about, ive read to stop tray watering during winter and also to keep doing it? I have also read that pitcher plants should be cut back towards the end of winter?

    I know this is the VFT forum, but since i have a little of each i just went for this. Thank you for any advice you guys can give.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I would think you could leave them out without issues. As far as water a bit less wet is ok, but never let them dry out
    Last edited by SubRosa; 11-03-2014 at 10:00 PM.
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    Well I would like to add my VFT went through 1 winter already and I didnt notice anything I would call a dormancy, thats what has me worried.

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    Iwest's Avatar
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    That's why they need a good dormancy this winter. A plant (like a VFT) can survive a year without dormancy but it is bad for the plant because it doesn't get those 3ish months to conserve energy, which puts a great deal of stress on them come growing season. If necessary, put them in a cool basement or garage for a little while, although I might add that my plants get a decent and healthy dormancy here in California despite seeing temperatures rarely dip below 50 even in the dead of winter.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Mine spent last winter in an above ground half barrel with no protection. I live in zone 6b and we saw temps near 0 several times, and my VFT had immature traps that persisted right through and started growing in the spring.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    David F's Avatar
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    It bugs me when I see the words "near 0" zone 6bs depending on the location can get much, much colder than 0 degrees.

    Some zone 6bs get near -40 at times. Keep in mind that 6b means an average lowest temperature. The problem is with zones that have hot summers and cold winters where the average lows sort of cancel out.

    If temperatures in your region are near 0 degrees for long periods of time, I would not invest in plants outdoors.
    Please, I can't emphasize this enough that zone 6b can be horrible to your plants.
    I live in 6b, and have lost every plant before every plant.

    Not all hardiness numbers are made equal.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David F View Post
    It bugs me when I see the words "near 0" zone 6bs depending on the location can get much, much colder than 0 degrees.

    Some zone 6bs get near -40 at times. Keep in mind that 6b means an average lowest temperature. The problem is with zones that have hot summers and cold winters where the average lows sort of cancel out.

    If temperatures in your region are near 0 degrees for long periods of time, I would not invest in plants outdoors.
    Please, I can't emphasize this enough that zone 6b can be horrible to your plants.
    I live in 6b, and have lost every plant before every plant.

    Not all hardiness numbers are made equal.
    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.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Darlantin,
    here is what you should do to give a proper dormancy for your VFT's and Sarracenia:

    Put your plants outside.
    leave them there 24/7/365.
    forever.
    the end.

    seriously, you live in the the native range of many sarracenia!
    yes, you are further south than the native range of VFT's, but not significantly..
    not enough to make a difference.

    pretty much everyone in the South-East USA has it made when it comes to dormancy..
    *south* florida might be pushing it, becoming too warm, but the Florida panhandle is fine.

    They will go dormant, even if they dont look like it..
    I bet they dont grow all winter, at all..

    you are *really* lucky..you have the easiest dormancy ever!
    just keep them outside..
    I might put them in the shade, more so than in the growing season, to keep them
    out of the sun and a touch cooler..but overall, you have nothing to worry about.
    zones 7 and 8 are ideal for outside dormancy, because its the native range of the plants!
    dont worry about cold snaps either..they can handle it.
    they can take a day or two below freezing..

    those of us in the North worry about temps below zero because we can have *multiple weeks* below freezing!
    and nights below freezing for months..you dont have to worry about that.

    You see a ton of debate about dormancy for those of us who dont live in your climate..
    things like the fridge method, sheds, garages, attics..etc.
    *none* of those discussions apply to you!
    just keep them outside every day of the year, and you are golden..

    Scot
    Last edited by scottychaos; 11-04-2014 at 05:46 AM.

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