Oops, I froze them...

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
So, I keep my Sarrs in their tubs in my tuck-under garage on a shelf. In addition to being part of the basement, which adds heat to it, I have a 1/4 hp aquarium chiller in there that adds heat from my highland growroom. Typically the garage doesn't freeze, however... I went in yesterday evening to find ice in the Sarrs' buckets. Clearly the leaves also froze and some of the soil. This will be the first time I've frozen my Sarrs. I've moved them to my seasonal growroom where my tuberous dews live, to prevent further freezing (it'll be -29C again tonight). I think they are all going to pull through. I trimmed the old pitchers last night after the discovery, which meant I brought them into the finished part of the basement, and they thawed. The only one that looked rough was my S. minor from Berkeley Co., South Carolina. It was clearly not happy about the freeze. I was pretty worried about my S. flava 'Waccamaw' which took years to get and would be not only challenging to replace, but expensive if I did. Here's hoping they all pull through.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
I've had some freezing of my Sarr's pretty well every year, worse some years than others. It's not a disaster but there is some damage to the rhizomes with each freeze. With only one temporary freeze, most plants should pull through.
 

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Thanks, Willy!

I was hoping to hear from you, Lloyd. I know we winter our Sarrs in not highly dissimilar conditions. I'm not freaking out or anything (really not my style in general), but it is rhizome damage I am concerned with. Some of my newer ones (like my Mike King clones) are not that big yet, so damage to the rhizome could be a slowly unfolding problem. Still, the water in the tubs wasn't completely frozen, so I'm optimistic (also, not my natural state ;)), and your comment helps buoy that optimism. Thanks!
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
Also there's freezing and freezing. The outside of the medium can freeze hard but the inside deeper part with the rhizomes will be fine. Really solid freezes all the way through are worse and of course if it stays that way for days or weeks it gets even worse. Superficial freezing will cause only minor damage.
One year I had to leave them all outside under big plastic garbage bins because we sold our house and had no storage. Even then, most of them did reasonably well and came back.
 

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Thanks, Hal! I'm wading into unfamiliar ice here, so it's nice to hear from folks with experience.

Lloyd, that's another level. Glad most pulled through for you! Makes me feel much less concerned for mine.
 
I have the vast majority of my Sarracenia plants outside in the UK (and VFTs) all year round, ranging from new seedlings to mature plants. They get frozen every year to varying degrees and have been down to -18C before now, without losing them, even the seedlings. Agreed they didn't like it and started later in the season so were a bit behind, but they were OK.
I guess what I am trying to say in a clumsy way is that a layer of ice on the water doesn't necessarily mean that the media has frozen as it has a larger thermal mass, and if it did, I wouldn't worry too much.
Cheers
Steve
 

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Thanks, Steve! Appreciate hearing from you about your experiences too.

-18, that's been about our daytime highs here recently. But as the locals here like to remind me, I shouldn't worry because it will be 35C here in just a few short months. Ugh. :rolleyes: Though the Sarrs seem to like that bit at least.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I would be more worried about the minor. They are the most fragile to frost. If the rhizome did not freeze, then I would not worry at all.

You should install an Inkbird system, it's quite affordable and send you alert when the temperature get below a certain point. I use 2 in my grow tents. It monitor constantly the temperature and humidity. You can set a certain temperature and humidity to trigger the alert and you receive those alerts on the cellular phone. It cost around 40$ for the gateway and each sensor is around 38$. So for around 80$ you can get a very nice system that send you alert and you can monitor from anywhere in the world where there is wifi. You can also monitor it in real time. You can add 4 or more sensors (can't remember) per gateway.

Here is the gateway. I bought it when it was in special at 40$ or 49$, can't remember:

Inkbird IBS-M1 Smart WiFi Gateway Temperature Humidity Sensor Supports Bluetooth and Wireless Thermometer Hygrometer Connection with Save and Export Data Real Time Remote Monitoring Alert: Amazon.ca: Patio, Lawn & Garden

I bought a larger sensor because they can take a regular AA battery instead of the small dime size flat battery that are harder to find. I don't use the heat probe. If you use it, the temperature will be taken from the probe, not from the sensor. If the probe is not connected, the temperature will be taken from the sensor. I glued velcro behind it and I can put it anywhere in my grow tent, or you can just leave it on a flat surface.

Inkbird Bluetooth Thermometer and Humidity Monitor IBS-TH1 Temperature Sensor APP Data Collection: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies


It's easy to setup and work like a charm. I have it installed for a month now, worked very well, sending me alerts on my cell phone when ever I open the door for sometime and the humidity and temp get too low. You just need to install an app on your phone and it's an easy setup after that.

With this, you could monitor the temperature and prevent a frost.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
On a more serious note, brand name button batteries are cheap at AliExpress (shipping is free or inexpensive) if you can wait 3 weeks or so.
 

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Thanks @daniella3d ! I feel like I've heard of those at some point but I've never really looked into them. Perhaps it is because I am not super big with controlling stuff from my phone. Still, I see the advantages here.

Right now I am sporting max/min thermometers and hygrometers. I'm not notified things have gone wrong, but I can figure out why everything died.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
On a more serious note, brand name button batteries are cheap at AliExpress (shipping is free or inexpensive) if you can wait 3 weeks or so.
3 weeks from Aliexpress? I wait more like 3 months and that's if I actually get the item. Half of the time I don't get it and I must wait 4 months to get a refund. That's why I stopped buying from them.

As for the Inkbird system, the sensors are the same price, one sensor is smaller without a probe, 38$ and the other is slightly larger, not a lot larger, and it come with the probe and it's 38$. So since the difference in size is not that much I bought the larger sensors because they take a regular battery. It can take a rechargeable battery as well, so no need to throw away tons of button batteries.

It's very convenient to be notified if things get out of wack so it's possible to take action before it's too late.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Are there Inkbirds for mealybugs and squirrels?
Only temperature and humidity that I know of, unfortunately. Some people put their sarracenias inside a wired cage to stop the squirrels. Once I cought a squirrel inside my greenhouse. There was just a small opening and he managed to get inside. They are pest for sure. The only way we got rid of them is buy removing our bird feeder. No food no squirrel.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
For some reason, I've been lucky with AliExpress. Mind you, I only buy ridiculously underpriced electronic doodads with free or very cheap shipping. If they don't come, it wouldn't be that bad. Still so far, the S&H has been great. The only delay (weeks) is at the Vancouver customs which is COVID related. I'm sure I'll get over confident and burned one day.

25, 35, 36, 23, 26 (3) days for 7 packages from A/E. Perfect shape and very underpriced. Not bad for pandemic mail.
 
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Raymond

Carnivorous Plant Addict
This is just a unscientific experiment but heres a sarracenia seedling left outside in a Toronto winter with no protection besides the snow that fell. The thickness of the soil is 1 inch live sphagnum and that's it. Yes its a purp but it's a rosea and sarracenia are pretty damn hardy if you have cover. My sarracenias in my garage freeze sometimes and everything is still firm and alive till now. Hoping everything works out!
 

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Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
I've been doing this for ~ 15 years now. Purps are hardy for sure. Others are sensitive. In ground plants with good snow cover +/- mulch are safe. I have found that deep/prolonged/repeated freezes really damage rhizomes even in a heated garage.
 

Apoplast

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Great news! All of my plants that froze have new growth, save the S. minor, but even there the leaves made it. Luckily it's been quite warm during the day so I can do the Sarr tub shuffle (out in the day and in at night).

I wish I knew how to keep my plants dormant longer because in most years I am not this lucky, and they end up with etiolated new growth before I can put them out. Still, I'll take the luck this year!
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Same here, they start to bloom in my garage in total darkness. I think they have a timer and when they are ready they start to grow no matter what. I took my sarracenias outside in my greenhouse which can withstand -3 or -4 but now they are predicting -7 at night so I had to take them back inside. Bummer, I was hoping for an early start.
 
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