Ice chest dormancy

mutant_hybrid(8)December 2, 2007

Here is a pic of my Flytrap and newly cut back Sarracenia rubra (don't you just hate it when you have to chop all the nice pitchers in half) as they sit dormant in an ice chest. As I reduced the photoperiod to 8 hours they slowed in growth and the Flytrap, still with many upright leaves, started making much shorter petioles lying prostrate. Growth pretty much halted after placing them in the ice chest with several frozen water bottles, slowly dropping the temperature progressively over a couple days. I open it in the day and place it in a window to get natural light for antifungal purposes.

Winter had been cool here for a few days, but now it is back to 70-80 degree weather...

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have you tried the refrigerator? I am trying that this year for the first time with a few plants. The rest are in the garage in front of the windows. The last two pots came in after they were frozen stiff but are doing nicely now.

How long will you keep them in the chest?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 9:07PM
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I did try the refrigerator for seed stratification but kept getting fungal attacks, so I moved the seeds and the dormant plants to an ice chest last winter and they did much better. Opening the chest airs the plants and gives them some light to kill off fungus and the closed chest causes condensation which cuts back on drying in cold temperatures, so less watering needed. It takes more work, but works better for me.. also keeps the fridge free for butter and cheese rather than Flytraps and Sarracenias. In addition, the ice chest open by day and closed by night produces changes in temperature that simulates nature more closely than a fridge.

I will keep them in for 2-2 1/2 months and then slowly warm them up over several days to room temperature, then give them progressively more light. Hopefully by then I will have a better apartment with nice windows and porches to place my N. American plants in good sun.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 2:25AM
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There is a carnivorous plant nursery in Boca Raton Florida (zone 10) that does quite well with pitcher plants and venus flytrap in the winter by letting them go very dry between watering.

The concern in South Florida is not whether they will go dormant or not (they will!), its whether they will rot in the winter.

take care,

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 2:20PM
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