Dionaea flowering in October, also, dormancy?


notostracan
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Ive just noticed a small flower stalk rising from my Dionaea 'Dentate', and have mixed feelings! I would actually quite like to see the "boring" flowers, and also like the idea of collecting some seed, however i really don't want to kill my plant.

 

I only bought the plant at the start of July, at which point I re-potted it into a bigger pot, it put out loads of new traps over the summer and its roots have reached bottom of the new pot - so I think its growing strongly. I've also been feeding some dried mealworms and its had a couple of 1/2 strength mistings of Orchid Focus in the summer.

 

Im not sure what I'm doing for dormancy yet - I have two other Dionaea I need figure this out for soon as well. I currently keep them on a South facing windowsill, with a couple of fluorescents over them as well. My main issue is i cant think of anywhere cold enough that still gets enough light for them. I was thinking of putting them in the shed with a single fluorescent above them, but am unsure this would be enough light, and am also worried the shed would be too cold. Another option could also put them in a cheap plastic "greenhouse" outside the south facing window - but an worried this may also be too cold for house-grown plants.

 

So now...some questions! :)

 

Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on dormancy? Does Dionaea flower in response to light or temperature cues? What would make them flower in autumn? (I wonder if this sometimes happens in nature.) And if I was to let my 'Dentate' flower, should I skip dormancy and keep it indoors this year?

Here is the plant in question:

78c6ea39d2ed6c26db188cd0d685ef14.jpg5be9d4c83c779a28fce09d5c9a588b0b.jpg Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by notostracan
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Never skip dormancy on a Dionaea.  If it were me I would pinch out the flower stalk so it doesn't exhaust the plant this late in the season.  Perhaps you've been keeping it in too warm an environment this late in the year.

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Your plant is probably confused as to what season it is in if you are giving it additional lighting to what is coming throught the window, hence the flowering.

I would just put it outside the south facing window minus its water tray so it remaains damp and not wet (but keep an eye on it for those rare dry winter days.

If you want to be overly cautious you could place it in a plastic bucket with a sheet of glass over the top, propped up slightly for ventilation.

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You could leave it where it is and just remove the lights and reduce watering for a while this would bring it back more into a natural rhythm. then you could move it to a cooler place after a few weeks so it doesn't get shocked.

ada

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Many thanks for the advice guys.

 

Indeed, the plants being shocked by putting them outside is what I'm mainly worried about, since this is the plants first winter with me here. I presume they were grown in unheated greenhouses before I got them, so have previously had gradual introductions to their winters.

 

Strangely enough, the plant that's flowering is the only one of the three that doesn't receive any extra lighting! Its in the living room instead of the bedroom...the fireplace is located in the livingroom though. Perhaps its the warm indoor temps combined with shorter autumn hours of light that have confused it into thinking its now spring?  

 

Mantrid - great idea with the bucket and sheet of glass - I actually do have both a spare bucket and sheet of glass so will do this with the 'Dentate' tomorrow in hope of stopping it sending up any more flower spikes, cheers!

 

At the end of the week I think I'll order a cheap plastic greenhouse with an additional fleece cover for frost protection and move them all in there ASAP. The longer I wait, the larger the temperature difference when they go outside.

 

Ada, my problem is that in a few weeks time, it will be even colder outside, and outside is really only the "cooler" place I have (apart from the shed, which isnt much warmer and has less light).  Do you think its still worth keeping them inside without the lights for a bit before putting outside?

 

Has anyone ever had/heard of a Dionaea being killed by the cold?

 

I probably should have just moved them outside earlier so they wouldn't have nearly has much as a temperature shock, but I was enjoying watching them grow indoors so much that I've been dreading the boring dormancy period where I can do nothing much to helps them apart from worry about them being too cold lol.

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I have lost some plants when i first started growing but i think this was because i kept them too wet.

Some clones are more prone to rot in the cold.Its the soft green growth that gets the botrytis that causes the problem.

I think your colder winter could cause problems if you don't ventilate your small greenhouse when you get it.

You could try a good layer of mulch over the plant and some sort of cover so it doesn't get too wet.

ada

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Hi Notostracan

 

With regard to the cold, I keep typicals outdoors in bogs all year round, admittedly with a little protection (a two layer covering of fern fronds or similar that 'breathe', so not much protection really but it makes me feel better) and in the last five years have only lost one/two plants and they have been out in temperatures of -17C. Whether the loss was due to cold or rotting I don't know, but they certainly are more resilient than some people give them credit for.

 

It is the quick cycles of freeze and thaw that they experience in pots having a small substrate mass that does for them I think. But bear in mind that mine have had years to acclimate to living outside and were always bought and planted out in April/may so they had 6 or 7 months to get ready for winter.

 

Your shed (if it has a window) would probably do the job but so would the plastic greenhouse, but, as you are aware they will heat up/cool down relatively quickly in a small green house, unless you can, as you suggest, shield it against the extremes.

 

Cheers and good luck

Steve

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The 'Dentate' is currently spending its first night outside, took it from the windowsill at 15*C and its reading 10*C on the other side of the window now so hopefully not too much of a shock for it.  It's in a bucket with half a sheet of glass covering it, so there's some ventilation.

 

Putting a mulch over the pots would probably be a little awkward, but I may experiment before the really cold days come!  From the sound of it, keeping them dry enough is one of the most important things as rot seems to be a bigger risk than freezing. Although as Steve says, mine are in pots, so probably far more at risk of damage from freezing than plants in a bog benefiting from the buffer of  ground heat!  I'm going to be saving bubblewrap and polystyrene to wrap around the pots, as well as any other insulation I can think of that wont reduce ventilation too much.

 

Will certainly ventilate the mini greenhouse, I think I'll only close it fully when expecting a sudden cold snap or anything like -17*C! The shed has a wee window but it faces East just a few feet away from the house wall so not exactly the brightest lol.

 

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable about putting them outside now :cool: .

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