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Thread: A year in the life.

  1. #1
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    October 31st. one season ends.

    This is a continuation of my "fridge method demo" thread.
    seen here:
    Fridge Method

    since I cant re-name that thread, im just starting a new one..
    The year begins with the end of the season, 2004.
    Its late October, the plants have been oputdoors since April, and the plants are ready to go into the fridge for their long winter's nap.
    They have been outdoors all Autumn and are already fully dormant naturally by the time they go into the fridge.
    (I live in Rochester, NY..my winters are FAR too severe to keep my plants outdoors all winter, the Fridge is the only option I have right now.)
    here is the copy of my Fridge dormancy thread..im just going to copy the whole thing!



    I said earlier this year I would keep a photo-journal when I put my plants away for dormancy this year..well here it is!
    This is the way I do "the fridge method" for my Sarracenia and VFT's..
    I have been doing it this way for..lets see..9 years now!

    (disclaimer..this is only ONE way to do the fridge method..its not the ONLY way! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    this is just the way I happen to like.
    but there are several variations on this theme.
    some people dont like to cut off the leaves.
    some people take the rhizomes out of the pot and do "bare root" dormancy..
    some use fungicide, some dont.
    there are several different ways to do this.)

    The reason I have to do the fridge method at all is because I have VERY cold winters, and they last a long time..(5 months)
    Here in Western NY, we have brutal winters, sub-freezing temps for weeks on end, tons and tons and tons of snow..
    its way too severe for Sarracenia and VFT's to survive outside all winter.
    VFT and Sarracenia need a COOL winter..not a freezing artic winter. temps in the mid-30's up to the mid 50's is ideal.
    So..since I cant keep them outdoors, and I dont have a cool basement or an unheated room..what to do?
    the FRIDGE! its perfect.
    temps very cool, but just *above* freezing..about 35 degrees fahrenheit. (2 degrees celcius)

    My plants go into the fridge in the late fall.
    late October or early November.
    whenever the nightime temps begin to seriously fall below freezing. (32F, zeroC)
    They stay in the fridge all of November, December, January, and they usually come back out in Mid February..Valentines Day. 3 and 1/2 months dormancy.
    but..Mid-February is still the dead of winter here! still far too cold outside. So they sit indoors in front of a bright window to slowly come out of dormancy.
    then, by April or May, they can go back outside for the season..
    the remain outside ALL Summer, and then into Autumn..
    I keep them outdoors all through September and into October, as days and nights fall into the 60's, 50's, 40's..I wont even consider bringing them inside unless its going to fall below freezing or if there is a heavy frost forecast for overnight.
    This way, nature creates a natural dormancy for me!
    I dont have to do a thing about "making them go dormant"..
    the go dormant naturally through all of Sept and October..
    then, by the time they are ready for the fridge, they are already fully "asleep" and are ready to continue that sleep in the fridge..
    Today is the day..October 31 2004. (Happy Halloween!)


    Here is my Bog. it grew well this summer!



    same bog, about 30 minutes later!
    AHHH!! the horror! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    I always cut off ALL the pitchers and VFT leaves.
    leaving behind just short green stubs.
    I do this mainly because the plants dont need any of the leaves through the winter, because the plants are in a DEEP dormancy and are not growing at all.
    and also because leaving all the leaves would greatly encourage fungus to grow.
    So, since the plants dont need them, and I dont want fungus, off go the leaves!


    Before


    After.


    I remove all the plants from their water trays a few weeks before im ready to put them away.
    because the moss should be just damp all winter, not soaking wet. this way the moss drains well and is drier than during the growing season.
    I took the plants off of the shelf and set them on the floor of the balcony. they sat there this way for a few weeks.


    finally..the day came for cutting!!
    here they are after the carnage is complete!!
    (im joking about the "carnage"..actually, I consider cutting off all the leaves to be very GOOD for the plants. it helps ensure their survival through the winter.)

  2. #2
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    (continued)


    here is the big collection of cut pitchers and VFT leaves!
    I hate to just throw these away.
    I live in an apartment building, I have no garden or compost pile. So I took them all for a walk out behind my complex and scattered tham around on the ground..
    This way the leaves (and the bugs they still contain) can return to Nature.




    I stuck some of the pitchers upright in the grass!
    then walked away and left them that way.


    Here they are all bagged up..
    I bag them air-tight. so that no mositure can escape during the winter. I never need to add more water at all during the entire fridge dormancy.

    Fungicide..personally, I dont use it.
    but only because I only have one fridge, and fungicide is a toxic chemical, and I dont want fungicide in my refrigrator with my regular food!
    but..this is my last winter as a bachelor! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    by this time next year I will be married!
    so..I doubt my new wife will want a fridge full of CP's all winter! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] (she loves the plants too! but thats a bit much..)
    so, I will probably get my own small CP-only fridge. maybe one of those small "dorm room" type refrigrators.
    then, I might use fungicide..
    Fungus hasnt been a huge problem for me, but it usually does grow over the winter.
    but it only grows as small whispy white strands on the "short green stubs", and it seldom hurts the plants at all.
    In 9 years of doing the fridge method *without* fungicide, I have lost maybe 2 or 3 plants to mold..
    I dont consider it a major problem..although it does occur.


    and finally..in the Fridge for the winter.
    the big one in the center is the bog!
    thats it!
    they remain here until mid-February, when the growing season begins again.. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Scot

  3. #3
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    SPRING!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]
    (well..for my plants anyway, not for me.)

    February 12, 2005. (my birthday!)
    The plants have been in the fridge 104 days.
    15 weeks.
    3 and 1/2 months.
    its time to come out!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    they come out of the fridge, are taken out of their bags, and sit in front of the sliding glass window to thaw and slowly begin to grow..
    there was some ice buildup! and some mold growth..but that happens every winter and the ice and mold hasnt killed anything yet.
    all the plants look good! everyone looks alive.












    as you can see, there is some whispy white mold growth on some of the plants..but this has never harmed the plants. underneath the leaves are still green. and as I water, I dump fresh distilled over the mold and it disappears ina few days, not to be seen again until the following February.

    its still the dead of winter outside..the plants wont be able to go outside until April..they will spend about 6 weeks indoors.

    I will post again in a few weeks as new pitchers and VFT's begin to grow!
    (all my "fridge plants" are Sarracenia, VFT's, and one lone Drosera binata)

    Scot

  4. #4
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Very nice pictorial tour of how you overwinter your temperate plants Scot! I have S. flava already starting to send up flower buds in the greenhouse here in Alex Bay. Spring is on its way at last! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    Very informative Scot. Your method seems to work.

    I don't think I'd be able to snip off prime fall leucophylla pitchers though! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
    Plant gallery
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  6. #6

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    Where do you live that you put them in the fridge? I like all the Kodak film in the fridge. You can pick out good brands

  7. #7
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    You know you're a cp'er if this is your fridge.

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/scottychaos/CPdormancy11.jpg[/img]

  8. #8
    Capslock's Avatar
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    LOL Ozzy!!!

    Great thread, Scotty! I've never had the guts to do a thorough trimming like you do. I will now!

    Capslock
    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

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