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Thread: Overwintering flytraps indoors without uprooting/refrigerating them.

  1. #1

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    Overwintering flytraps indoors without uprooting/refrigerating them.

    I have flytraps growing outdoors at work but I currently live in a third floor apartment and I have two in a grow tent at home that I don't want to get infested with ants (which in turn start farming aphids) and constantly have to be treated with acephate.

    So here's my plan. Take them out of the tent and put them in a hiberaculum of sorts. Starting in October, the two flytraps (one is red dragon, the other a low growing typical) will be put into a ten gallon tank lined with Reflectix insulation on three sides and lit by two 6500 K LED bulbs (each emitting 1400 lumens). They are currently at 14 hours of light a day (not far off from what the daylength is at the moment). The photoperiod will slowly be shifted to match the outdoor daylength using a digital timer. The time will be changed once a week until the photoperiod essentially matches outdoor daylength. Once the photoperiod and daylength are in sync, I'll basically keep altering the photoperiod on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to keep up with shortening daylength. Starting in November, I'll start putting ice packs in the tank occasionally at night and put something over the top of the tank to seal the cold air in. In December, I'll still use ice pack but will put them in the refrigerator once or twice a week. In January, they will start going into the refrigerator three times a week in addition to ice packs. In February, I'll go back to once or twice a week. In the middle of March, I'll just put them back in the tent. My husbandry routine for my CPs at present takes about 15 minutes every day(watering, feeding, refilling humidifers, pruning, whatever). This shouldn't add more than a few minutes to the routine and I'm curious to see what happens.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Grey Moss's Avatar
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    This sounds like a ton of extra work for no real pay off. If you can put the pots in the fridge for 3 days out of the week why can't you just keep them in there for the duration of the dormancy. Or just keep them in a sheltered area outdoors on your balcony? More complex solutions fail more easily and have a lot more than can go wrong.

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    If it's just all about being curious then by all means proceed, I'm all for scratching an itch, but otherwise, I'm with Grey Moss that's waaaaay to much work.

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    It sounds like a lot of work but realistically, it's not a huge amount. Just adjust a timer every two weeks. Put an ice pack or two in tank every night. Put them in the refrigerator a couple of times a week. Compared to some of the husbandry stuff I've had to do at work, this routine is pretty simple. I already have to deal with refreezable ice packs for the species I keep that don't like how hot it gets here so why not just bring an extra one or two for the flytraps? The indoor area I keep them in gets 65F indoors in the coldest months of winter so the drop into the 50s shouldn't be hard to achieve with ice packs.

    The main reasons for doing this are that I like having these two plants indoors and seeing them even if they are dormant. After they die back and go dormant and the dead stuff is removed, you still end up with a short petioled rosette that still looks nice. I could put them outside at work with my other temperate plants but I don't want them covered in pests. I live in an area that's essentially subtropical and the insects are pretty bad. It's great for the plants when the insects aren't pests but this year I've had everything except spider mites and scale on my plants and I don't want these two to end up with that. One of them was saved from Lowes and is probably the healthiest flytrap I have and the other is just a red dragon (albeit a nice looking one). I'm still curious to see if I can get them to go dormant this way. I'm also wondering if the ice-packs/refrigerator is even necessary and if I can achieve dormancy with light cues alone... If so, wouldn't this method make the refrigerator method obsolete? If it does work without needing to cool them, then a timer, a small amount of diligence (ie pushing a pin on a timer once a week), and a light bulb are all you'd need to keep VFTs indoors year round.
    Last edited by spookhouse; 09-21-2018 at 08:22 PM.

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