Sarracenia Dormancy

Cfraser89

Sprout
I have asked this question on a few Carnivorous Facebook groups, but since a lot of you live in a similar climate as myself I am hoping I will get a more realistic answer.

I have Sarracenia alata, rubra, and leucophylla x rubra wherryi. They are okay for now since it is summer, but I live in a 3b zone where it can get to -40 Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit). So keeping them outside for their dormancy is not an option.

Sadly I do not have a garage to overwinter them in, and my basement only has one window, no sill, and isn’t that much cooler than the rest of the place, so I am not sure if I can leave them down there.

I have read a few posts regarding dormancy period in fridges. I am wondering if anyone has done this fridge dormancy and/or if anyone has any suggestions on how I can keep these beauty’s alive for next years outdoor season.

Any input is appreciated.

Thank you,
Christine
 

stevebradford

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Heep several inches of leaves or mulch on top of buried pots or bog. simulating a natural seasonal environment. Then around the last frost carefully scrape the cover off.



“We have had plants survive -15 degrees F, with and without a few inches of pine needle or oak leaf mulch. Guard against rodents in problem areas. Mulching is probably not needed in USDA zones 7 and above. If greenhoused, put near a cold wall. Sarracenia go dormant and do best with a cold dormancy of two to four months. Remove thick mulches in the spring or when new growth appears. Trimming dead leaves is easier in Feb.-March, before new growth begins.” http://www.pitcherplant.com/care_sheets/sarrac_care.html

If you don’t feel like having buried pots you could invest in something like this backed onto a wall of your house out the the wind it might be enough to keep them from freezing solid.
D6EA50D6-E470-4182-9A6F-BD1D858C00F7.jpeg
 
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Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
If you don't have a lot of plants and you're in zone 3b, the fridge is reasonable if you have a separate fridge or an understanding roommate.

Gently wash the roots to get the medium off, wrap them in moist LFS, mist with No-Damp or similar, put in plastic bags with some ventilation, keep them around 1-3°C, watch for mould. You'll probably cut the leaves shorter to be practical. Leave them in the fridge until the night temps are reliably above 3°C.

You can create a mulch area to experiment with less valued plants. Use a data logger to see what the root temperature is. If it stays at zero C., it's probably safe.
 

Cfraser89

Sprout
Heep several inches of leaves or mulch on top of buried pots or bog. simulating a natural seasonal environment. Then around the last frost carefully scrape the cover off.



“We have had plants survive -15 degrees F, with and without a few inches of pine needle or oak leaf mulch. Guard against rodents in problem areas. Mulching is probably not needed in USDA zones 7 and above. If greenhoused, put near a cold wall. Sarracenia go dormant and do best with a cold dormancy of two to four months. Remove thick mulches in the spring or when new growth appears. Trimming dead leaves is easier in Feb.-March, before new growth begins.” http://www.pitcherplant.com/care_sheets/sarrac_care.html

If you don’t feel like having buried pots you could invest in something like this backed onto a wall of your house out the the wind it might be enough to keep them from freezing solid.
View attachment 3596
I have a cheap A frame greenhouse, only a thin plastic layer is on it for cover. Maybe if I tarped it they could survive in there, I am just so wary to keep them outside because of our long freezing cold winters.
 

Cfraser89

Sprout
If you don't have a lot of plants and you're in zone 3b, the fridge is reasonable if you have a separate fridge or an understanding roommate.

Gently wash the roots to get the medium off, wrap them in moist LFS, mist with No-Damp or similar, put in plastic bags with some ventilation, keep them around 1-3°C, watch for mould. You'll probably cut the leaves shorter to be practical. Leave them in the fridge until the night temps are reliably above 3°C.

You can create a mulch area to experiment with less valued plants. Use a data logger to see what the root temperature is. If it stays at zero C., it's probably safe.
I do only have three plants, and they aren't that big...the bottom shelf of my fridge is already being used for seed storage, might as well add them to it.

I am not sure about the No-Damp, I have never used it and when I googled it I didn't find it for sale anywhere. I found a post from 2007 saying it is not available in Canada. Is there a product similar to this?

Also, I was told by a friend not to keep them in the fridge for any longer than a month or two because the plants have a hard time coming back from that long in the fridge. I am not sure about this, I was thinking I'd have to keep them in the fridge for at least, oh almost 6 months. Cold weather will be here in October and to get back to a reliable 3°C takes it to probably April. Seems like an awful long time to be dormant!

I will take a look into a data logger, I assume it keeps track of the temperature? I would love it if they can survive in my fridge this time and then outside next year.

Thank you for your help.
 

Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
For 3 plants, the fridge is best. In March you can pot them up and take them out during the day when it's above freezing. You can also get an outside space heater that keeps a greenhouse at 1°C. That's what I do in my garage.
 

WillyCKH

CPSC Moderator
Staff member
The fridge method works wonderful, I have used it with a few plants before successfully. The key is to avoid letting the plants dry out, it is quite critical.
 

Stanley

Carnivorous Plant Addict
How much light do the sarrs need over winter? I'm planning on keeping mine the the garage. Not sure how cold it gets in there but I can provide a heater if necessary to maintain 1C. Not sure if I need to provide lights though..
 

Cfraser89

Sprout
For 3 plants, the fridge is best. In March you can pot them up and take them out during the day when it's above freezing. You can also get an outside space heater that keeps a greenhouse at 1°C. That's what I do in my garage.
If I pot them up in March, should I put them in the fridge in October? Would 5-6 months be too long for their dormancy period?
 

Cfraser89

Sprout
The fridge method works wonderful, I have used it with a few plants before successfully. The key is to avoid letting the plants dry out, it is quite critical.
I didn’t realize that they would dry out in the fridge. Did you find yourself watering them often in there?
 

Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
In the late fall or early spring, I either move them into the garage at night if it's below freezing or cover them with a leaf bag if it's ~1-3°C. That way my dormancy is ~mid November to ~mid March.

However a dormancy of Oct-Apr. would give a good growing season.

They can tolerate darkness in dormancy.

Check the thread, I think No-Damp is $7 with postage, enough to make 500 cc which is then diluted 100 X before use. I weigh the stuff out to make batches of around 60 cc., 500 cc is a LOT. I can send you a scale if you pay for postage.
 
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