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Netjer

Wintering in a Flat

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This year is my first year with CPs and whilst winter is still a way off I want to get myself as prepared as I can to give my plants the best dormancy I'm able to. 

I live in a two bed flat with no outdoors space I can use for my plants and no garage or anything of that sort, so I need to use the indoors space I've got. The fridge method isn't an option either due to space.

My collection currently is a very modest VFT - typical form, sarracenia purpurea, drosera filliformis ssp. filliformis and a darlingtonia californica, all of which obviously need a winter dormancy; currently they are all growing on sunny windowsills.

The plan I have in place for winter so far is to put them all in my spare room away from the window to reduce the photoperiod, then keep the heating in the room turned off with the window at least a little open to allow for a much cooler temperature than they are getting at the moment. 

Should the reduced photoperiod and drop in temperature be enough to trigger dormancy and are there any other things I could try? 

Edited by Netjer

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Hi, I'd leave the plants on the window. The photoperiod will be reduced naturally as days get shorter in the autumn. The plants will still be photosynthesising to some extend so will need light. My VFTs are growing new leaves even in winter and they're outside in a cold frame (even the Beast from the East didn't stop them).

Also, windowsills are generally the coldest part of the room (if the heating is turned off). You really need to maintain the temperature below 10 C (preferably around 2-5 C) for the plants to have proper dormancy and reasonable humidity (that shouldn't be a problem if there's no heating and the window's opened). Ventilation is also important to prevent fungus problems. All you have to do is reduce the watering, keep the plants damp but not waterlogged. As a rule, for outdoor plants dormancy should start around Halloween and last till Valentine's Day (or longer depending on weather; dormancy shorter than 3 months will not be enough). If you're hand feeding your plants, stop by the end of September.

I would also suggest you look up plants that don't need a dormancy. There are lots of CPs that can be grown indoors all year round, some may need a terrarium/artificial lights but not all. They may be more suitable for your growing conditions, unfortunately temperate plants don't do very well in flats in the long term.

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Thanks for the response Bluedog0628, that really helps. :D Temperatures in the room were generally below 10c last winter, so I'm confident that temperature won't be much of an issue. I will keep them on the windowsill though - I hadn't considered it being the coldest part of the room. 

And I have recently been looking into CPs which don't need a dormancy and have got my eye on a cephalotus and couple of nepenthes hybrids. Though I have seen a VFT Grun locally which I'm a little in love with! :happy:

Edited by Netjer

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Cephalotus is a tricky one to grow, in fact it's the only CP I haven't managed to keep alive yet... good luck! I'm growing mostly temperate plants though.

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If you do get a ceph the one thing you will need to keep an eye on is powdery mildew. Previously I used to bring my cephs in to the house over winter for protection but because of the lack of ventilation powdery mildew could be a problem. Because of this, and because I now have too many to bring in, I leave them in my greenhouse all year round.

Dave

 

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