Desiccation help


insectivoroushouseplants
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Hey guys, just joined because you guys really seem to know your plants.

This is my second year with sarracenia, had to do a reboot this spring because my plants died in the winter, and i'd like to avoid that this year. I got some ideas from other posts and was hoping for advise.

I think my main problem is wind and prolonged freezing. My main idea is to first replant them in a bog to give them more insulation. The bog would be made out of one of two bins (20 x 20 x 40 or 30 x 25 x 50 cm). Next im thinking a "cold frame" out of a overturned opaque bucket with a fist sized vent, either submerged or not. The cold frame is about +10F than outside unsubmerged but has a much higher humidity.

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

I am currently in long Island NY

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Hi IHP

From a simple search it would seem like the average winter temperature does not drop below freezing, so some simple protection with sarracenia should work well. If you do get periods of below freezing for a day or more, the size of bogs you are contemplating will still freeze solid I'm afraid, once again leading to the possibility of your plants drying out and dying in a desiccant wind, as the roots will be unable to replace lost moisture due to the ground being frozen.

If I understand correctly are you thinking of putting opaque bucket over the bog? and I'm not sure what you mean by the term submerged, do you mean under water or buried? The obvious thing to beware of if covering the plants are temperature swings and fungus, a bucket with a hole in over a pot/bog will not have a very large volume or thermal mass, so will heat up and cooldown quickly, especially if it is in the sun and the small air volume and probably lack of effective ventilation could quickly lead to ideal botrytis growing conditions.

If you can get large pots and protect them from wind and freezing for long periods, you should have no problems. I have mine in bogs and just cover the rhizomes loosely with fern crosiers so they can still breathe but are protected from wind and they make it through our winters Ok.

Cheers

Steve

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Hi IHP

From a simple search it would seem like the average winter temperature does not drop below freezing, so some simple protection with sarracenia should work well. If you do get periods of below freezing for a day or more, the size of bogs you are contemplating will still freeze solid I'm afraid, once again leading to the possibility of your plants drying out and dying in a desiccant wind, as the roots will be unable to replace lost moisture due to the ground being frozen.

If I understand correctly are you thinking of putting opaque bucket over the bog? and I'm not sure what you mean by the term submerged, do you mean under water or buried? The obvious thing to beware of if covering the plants are temperature swings and fungus, a bucket with a hole in over a pot/bog will not have a very large volume or thermal mass, so will heat up and cooldown quickly, especially if it is in the sun and the small air volume and probably lack of effective ventilation could quickly lead to ideal botrytis growing conditions.

If you can get large pots and protect them from wind and freezing for long periods, you should have no problems. I have mine in bogs and just cover the rhizomes loosely with fern crosiers so they can still breathe but are protected from wind and they make it through our winters Ok.

Cheers

Steve

Thanks billynomates

You really hit on my concerns pretty well. Last fall I got advice from my local guy that he just leaves his plants out w/o protection and they'll freeze up but be fine by spring. My water dish and pot were frozen for weeks at a time and they never came back.

I think the bigger pot sounds good., Even if it freezes up I assume it will still offer more protection than the little pots I have. Right?

The "cold frame" bucket thing does worry me to because its pretty stagnant and humid. I havent seen too much of a temperature swing but it dosent matter much compared to the botrytis risk.

What if i cut the bottom off the bucket? Make something like 4 walls with an open top just to block the harsh winds. Do you think it would help?

And what do you suggest if I see freezing temps for more than a day or so? Bring them into my garage short term? My garage has no windows but its unheated.

thanks again guys

Glenn

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Hi Glenn

If the plants are outside I would put away your water dish for the winter, keep your plants just moist but dont allow them to dry out.

You are quite right the bigger the pot the better, the more mass you have the slower the temperature swings in the pot will be, the pot not freezing solid overnight in relatively light freezing conditions.

Cutting the top of fthe bucket will give much better ventilation and keep botrytis at bay whilst giving wind protection and you could stuff the annulus between the pot and the bucket with non hygroscopic insulating material to help further. You may also be able to come up with a cone shaped, open sided cover to shed the rain away from the plants rhizome too.

However if your garage is unheated this will be a much better prospect for overwintering your plants, providing it doesnt get too warm. If you put your plants in there they will be sheltered, protected and neither too hot nor, I assume, too cold (3-10C is ideal dormancy temperature). Dont worry too much about tha lack of light, it will be a bit like a fridge dormancy but without the fridge. JHust pop them back outside when spring is coming and they will react quickly to the rise in temperature and additional light.

Hope that helps

Cheers

Steve

Edited by billynomates666
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Glenn

Yep, it will give more protection, so will be an advantage, but without further treatment the results will be dependant on how bad the weather gets, but any protection will be better than the small pots. I would go for the garage option if the temperatures are reasonable.

Cheers

Steve

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