Winter care for venus and pitchers

lvannote(z5IN)September 26, 2005

I have serveral flava pitcher plants and venus fly traps that have multiplied over the summer. I have them outside. I know if I bring them inside they will not do well . any suggestions for winterizing in cold climates?

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Vertigo6911(Holland USDA 8a)

Both Sarracenia and VFT's need a cold dormancy.
the best temp to keep them at is about 5c.
a windowsill in an unheated room would be good.
if u cant find a good place a last resort might be to
dig up the bulbs when they are dormant and dry them slightly and put them in a plastic baggie with a few strands of peatmoss and put that in the refridgerator.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 2:31PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)

My suggestion is this.
They are already growing well outdoors so that shows that they are not only acclimitized but would be far tougher than indoor plants.
You have a cold climate in winters so you say, this is good.
I say leave them out, then they will fall dorment if they choose naturally.
If your winters are extremly cold (20 F and below for extended periods) then give them all a good mulshing with something like pine needles.
I feel if you go through with your dormency outdoors in nature that the plants will only get tougher and grow better for you.
Since you have a cold climate in the winter months I would not suggest the fridge method as there would not be a need for it.



    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:20PM
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fresh_tendril(zone 5 WI)

I killed all my sarracenias and VT's a couple years ago leaving them outside, inlcuding my purpurea subsp. purpurea! If you have them in pots, bring them inside! Mine froze and dessicated. They were lost.
Now I keep my potted sarrs in my basement all winter, keeping them slightly moist. Temps were around the 50's and they were sleeping and happy. I will do the same this year.
If you have them in the ground and/or in a bog, mulch heavily as Sheldon suggested. If you still like to keep your potted CP's outside, heel them in the soil and mulch.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 5:18PM
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necro1234(z6 UT)

Hey fresh tenril

I think it all depends on your enviroment.
Im in salt lake city, winter may drop to 20 F for a short period, but not really.
I went the extra mile to get an insulated fibre glass pot, and a huge one at that.
Ive checked the soil on cold and hot days and the pot really seems to work 100%.
Of course things like frosted winds are things you also need to think of in your placement of the plants.
Ive seen pitcher plants literally in a block of iced soil (just like an ice block) and they have been left to thaw out in summer and grow very very well.
I feel that the person must look at what they have provided for the plants as far as shielding is concerned.
If there is a small pot that will not fight against extreme lows and if there is no form of mulshing to help, then I agree that they be brought into an unheated room such as a garage.
If you have a large pot such as mine that is made to deal with tempratures and you also give a good mulshing, and even place the pot in a more sheltered area of your yard then you could very well leave it out.
I of course am not sure what extreme lows you get.
Mabey he could let us know just how cold it gets to give us an idea of the best solution.



    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 6:04PM
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Vertigo6911(Holland USDA 8a)

yeah, i was assuming a zone with extended periods of 0F or worse.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 4:30AM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

My temps have been slightly dipping into the 50's they are doing fine... you must not have had to good a care on youre Plants...o and just so you know They grow from Michagain... allthe way up into canida... if thats not cold what is?


    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 6:22AM
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fresh_tendril(zone 5 WI)

I take great care of my CP's. I'm outside primping and preening them daily to make sure they are happy. Multiple days in dry, below zero temps of my northern end of zone 5 (closer to z4 probably) killed them in their pots. I had them insulated above ground, in a protected area, and the winter still did them in. It wasn't from any lack of care. I learned that with my conditions, I could not safely overwinter them outside in pots. Just my 2 cents.

Flava's and VT's are from a warmer range of the US. In my zone, I would be wary, and protect heavily from the wind. Mulch, insulate and keep them from drying out.
In Indiana, it's slightly warmer. So still give it try and see if it works. New ones can be had for less than $10 the next spring.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 10:34AM
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necro1234(z6 UT)


Well if you have the problem of not only been in a very cold area but also that it is dry (which can rapidly dehyrate the plants) then I think the option to bring them into an unheated room such as a garage would be a good one to follow.
If you have had bad luck with them before outdoors then mabey bringing them in would be the best thing for you.



    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 1:24PM
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fresh_tendril(zone 5 WI)

That's why I've been keeping them in the basement during the winter months. They stay happy and dormant and sprout quickly in the spring.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 2:28PM
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I have a pitcher plant that has been growing good in the summer, it is getting very cold at night so I have it hanging in my garage. My question is do I need to feed it during the winter. Someone told me to feed it orchid plant food or dried blood worms. Is this true?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 8:15AM
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