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fridge dormancy and flowering

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Jan 28, 2009
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Boone, Iowa USA
I live in iowa where there is still a bunch of snow and my sarr tucked in the fridge at 33-35 degrees. Checked on them today and I have some flowering in the fridge. Can anyone explain this to me. Also since I have a 1.5 months before the weather is nice enough to get them out what should I do with the flowers. Will they stop growing until they get outside or do I need to cut them. This is my first year for a fridge dormancy and everything is looking good but was shocked when I saw flowers. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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menomonie
that's interesting. i'm not sure what I would do in that situation. how long are the buds? are they just beginning to show, or are they already a couple of inches tall? being in the fridge, i can't imagine they will grow too fast and perhaps you could just keep them in there until the outside weather is favorable, although that is still quite some time in the upper midwest. if it were me, i would probably monitor them over the next few weeks and see how much the scape continues to grow. if it gets to be the end of the month and they've really extended their length, I would probably just cut them off. no sense using that energy to flower in the fridge. if they end up growing very slowly, or hardly at all, i think it would be safe to keep them on and once spring arrives, you could have some early flowers.
 

Baylorguy

"Oh, now he's a philosophizer"
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This is very interesting to me. How does a Sarracenia awake from a deep dormancy state and send up a flower stalk without a change in temperature or photoperiod (not that refrigerator lights offer much of a photoperiod)?
 
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This is very interesting to me. How does a Sarracenia awake from a deep dormancy state and send up a flower stalk without a change in temperature or photoperiod (not that refrigerator lights offer much of a photoperiod)?

I have seen this every spring during my fridge dormancies. I was rather baffled at first and after personal communications, I would be intent to believe that Sarracenia have an internal clock, much like our own.
For example, regardless of photoperiod, we are accustomed to a pattern. This pattern becomes quite obvious after long trips...jet lag. However, plants and animals are on a different 'time scale' and I believe that without guidance such as temperature fluctuations and photo period, the plants 'internal clock' triggers them to flower after they have completed their resting period; of course as long as temperatures are suitable. To test this, I attempted to lower the temperatures of the fridge upon the first flower sighting and sure enough, IME the flowers seized to grow. I believe that we give plants very little credit as far as what they are capable of. This is why I just die inside when a grower states and claims that plants NEED to photosynthesize during the winter... They certainly do not, and as seen above, they can even FLOWER in absolute and complete darkness. That being said, I wouldn't expect the plant to last very long if it is to spend it's energy on flowering and not be able to photosynthesize for a prolonged period of time. I believe that we have lucked out however as Sarracenia flower before sending up pitchers or in the absence of pitchers (of course with the exceptions of S. oreophila, S. purpurea, S. psittacina etc... ). In either case, I doubt that the plant would not be able to flower and thrive even with the removal of the pitchers.
 
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Joined
Jan 28, 2009
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Boone, Iowa USA
2 of my plants that are flowering are Flava and one the flower is not very big but the other one has 3 that are about 2-3 inches tall. The other one is Leucophylla and the flower is only about 1 inch tall. I moved them to the colder part of the fridge to see if they slow down however if they dont sadly I will probably cut them as I dont want to loose the whole plant. I will try to get pictures if I get some free time. Anyways sarracenia just keep on amazing me I was so cautious when I first got them as I thought they were fragile know here I just throw them in a fridge and they start flowering. Anyways thanks for the replys
 

Alexis

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That being said, I wouldn't expect the plant to last very long if it is to spend it's energy on flowering and not be able to photosynthesize for a prolonged period of time.

no sense using that energy to flower in the fridge

I find this opinion strange. Flowers photosynthesise like any other plant part, and since the large umbrella style lasts virtually all year, the plant gains much more in energy from it than it has expended in growing it.

Of course, if you pollinate it, each seed takes up a little packet of energy. I would still be amazed if a fertilised flower used up more energy than it creates over its 6/7 month lifespan.
 
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Flowers photosynthesise like any other plant part, and since the large umbrella style lasts virtually all year, the plant gains much more in energy from it than it has expended in growing it.

Hi Alexis,
While this is true for a plant grown and overwintered outdoors, a plan overwintered indoors in the fridge would have no light to photosynthesize with.
 
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menomonie
also, keep in mind the rhizome, which is basically an energy tank. for the most part, when sarracenia flower, they are using most of the energy from the rhizome - new leaves are just starting to form and last years leaves are either absent or deteriorated to some extent. the flowers themselves are created in the fall and only require energy to increase in size, which is actually less than that required to actually create the bud.
 
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Boone, Iowa USA
still trying to get pictures but I did turn the fridge colder to see if this will slow down the growth of the flowers. Today finally warmed up to the 40s outside however still to early to get the plants out though eager to do so.
 
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Got the plants out of dormancy 2-3 weeks ago however having to move the pots occasionally do to some cold nights, however, all the plants look like the made it using the frige method. I did however have 3-4 flowers that started in the fridge abort but the others are looking good. Anyways these plants definitly have an internal time clock that no matter the dormancy method we cant control.
 

tommyr

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Your first post on the problem was early February. Some people actually start waking their plants up in mid February so you were not far off from a normal wake up time. I'd trust the plants to know what they want and what they are doing. You could cut the flower off and leave them in another week or 2 or 3 or take them out and stick them in a south or west window. I've taken some out of the fridge in mid February with beginning flower spikes showing. Usually within a week or so after I take mine out they show the flower ball starting.
 
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Hope it works out. I am trying to figure out my dormancy situations also.
 
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