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Richard Hole

Best way to force Venus Fly Trap dormancy.

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Hello

I received some Venus Fly Traps in the mail a couple of days ago that I purchased bare rooted and wrapped in sphagnum moss.  The grower from Melbourne does not let them go into dormancy and keeps them heated all year round.  At the moment, days in Melbourne are shorter than at my place.  So I thought I would purchase them now in mid winter and put them in the fridge for about a month before potting them just before spring.  This is because my winter temperature average range is between about 13 and 21 degrees but may be higher this year due to the forecast.  We only rarely get down to 5 for a minimum and I have seen winter maximums in the high 20s.  Winter minimums are often as high as 17 degrees.  I am at Tolga which is at 757 meters altitude and near Cairns.

I have put Venus Fly Traps in the fridge before without adding fungicide and they grew all right when they came out apart from one time when the fridge froze them.  So I will try to keep the temperature above 5 and have a thermometer to check the temperature.

The plants have been in the mail for a week and in the dark so in that situation it may be best not to increase light much before I put them in the fridge. 

However, since I receive the plants I read https://www.flytrapcare.com/venus-fly-trap-dormancy that states that you need to be careful when forcing Venus Fly Traps into dormancy as it is best to do it gently and that it is best not to leave them in the fridge if possible.  I also read that they still prefer some light when dormant. 

What I have done is plant the VFTs like normal but close together in a tray in sphagnum and put the tray in a clear plastic bag to allow light to them.   At the moment I am leaving them in heavy shade in the greenhouse or fully shaded side of the house of a day where there is no sunlight.  I plan to put them in the fridge for about 8 hours late in the afternoon and take them out late at night.   Do you know how critical light is in dormancy?  I may not get around to putting them in the fridge every day so that would mean they would also get a longer photoperiod on some days.  I am not sure if that would be a problem?  I value your suggestions.  Would  the amount of light I plan to give them about right?

Also, I thought it may be best to leave the bag ventilated as there is heavy condensation in it.  Would that be better?

Regards Richard.

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Wilmington in North Carolina isn't as cold as you might think: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/wilmington-nc/climate

and there is a small population in Hosford in Florida that get through winter dormancy. Are you sure you can't just leave them in a shady spot outside and see if they slow down?

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Hi

Thanks for the link.  It is a lot colder in winter where the VFTs grow naturally than my temperatures are in winter.  Normally I do not put them in the fridge.  However, the ones I bought at the nursery are not given a dormancy and this winter it is forecast to be warmer than normal so I thought they would do better if given  good dormancy.

What I may do is not bother about putting them in the fridge when the weather is cooler in winter.  However, they will probably experience a longer photo period than they did at the nursery in Melbourne.  However, the intensity of the light should be a lot less here as I hope to keep them shaded.  Should this work well.

Regards Richard.

 

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I think you'll just have to experiment and see what works for you. Photoperiod in autumn should cause them to dieback even if it is warm.

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