Hardiness of Carnivorous Plants


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These are my VFTs after one night at -3.5°C and 5 nights at -1.5°C... Big Mouth and Red Dragon.

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https://photos.app.goo.gl/cAPxjiH72Zdj9rqr1

 

Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea, with S. flava v. maxima at top, frozen solid outdoors, as they have been every winter for the last 20 years, and a glimpse of Darlingtonia top left just planted this summer just gone ...

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https://photos.app.goo.gl/1JHWcMziuRvVhR0u2

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That's an interesting set-up for your VFT's, may I ask what's going on there? I see that expanding insulation foam and a terracotta pot/pipe cut in half, but I'm curious as to the rationale behind it too.

Is the metal on the bottom right corner of the pic anything to do with it

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Hi Ordovic,

The idea here is to try to insulate the roots only. I've used a polyurethane expanding foam. the VFTs are  planted, yes, in a 6 inch section of clay pipe (they are in pure RHS Kelkay "lime-free" grit sand, with a 2cm layer of moss peat on top, and charcoal at the bottom. I tried this because I read a very interesting account by someone who visited the VFTs in habitat and he said that's how they grew - a layer of organic matter on top of sand.) This is inside a cylindrical glass vase, the only purpose of this is to shelter from wind - they hate wind! Then you've got the foam, and then a translucent plastic bucket. And it all sits on a slab of expanded polystyrene. The metal is a thick piece of Al foil which covers a weather station sensor - protection from blinding sun!

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Edited by Karsty
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Hi Karsty,

 

I think we missed it to be honest down here, few chilly nights but nothing like the minus 12s etc being advertised on the tv, minus a couple at worst I think maybe for a night or two. Of all things we have one capensis inside after I chickened out, the other quite happy where it is so not just temp related, more my introduction to the cold I think as it had a warmer end to the year. Do have new traps emerging on the vfts and most sarracenia plants have signs of life too,  mainly though I'm just slightly concerned the next lot of seeds that turn up will be starting life in the fridge if it's going to go and be spring now! 

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Hiya

Nice border you there Karsty and a smart idea to insulate VFT roots from the cold.

Here's a couple of photos I took of my planter when it snowed in December. Last week I took off the ferns and some larch needles to have a peak at the crowns of the Sarracenia and all seems to be ok. I did have a VFT planted in the other year but it didn't do so well last winter and gave up the ghost last year.

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1 hour ago, Deansgreenarmy said:

Hi Karsty,

 

I think we missed it to be honest down here, few chilly nights but nothing like the minus 12s etc being advertised on the tv, minus a couple at worst I think maybe for a night or two. Of all things we have one capensis inside after I chickened out, the other quite happy where it is so not just temp related, more my introduction to the cold I think as it had a warmer end to the year. Do have new traps emerging on the vfts and most sarracenia plants have signs of life too,  mainly though I'm just slightly concerned the next lot of seeds that turn up will be starting life in the fridge if it's going to go and be spring now! 

Hi DeansGA,

Are you saying you have a D. capensis out in the cold?

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1 hour ago, MWilko86 said:

Hiya

Nice border you there Karsty and a smart idea to insulate VFT roots from the cold.

Here's a couple of photos I took of my planter when it snowed in December. Last week I took off the ferns and some larch needles to have a peak at the crowns of the Sarracenia and all seems to be ok. I did have a VFT planted in the other year but it didn't do so well last winter and gave up the ghost last year.

Looks interesting MWilko. Did the VFT get blown about? I've learnt from experience they hate wind. It keeps setting their traps off and saps their energy. That's why I put them inside the vase.

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Ok, thats interesting to know. The planter was in a position last year where it would of got blasted by winds traveling between ours and next doors house. Does make sense that the cold of last winter may of weakened it and the wind then finished it off. I don't have much luck when it comes to VFTs and find Sarracenia and Drosera are easier to keep. Even growing them from seed.

Aye D. capensis don't particularly like the cold as I've found with some seedlings that I left out in the cloche the other year due to losing their label and me thinking that they were D. intermedia. But D. capensis need a dormancy period or do they slow down with the drop in daylight hours?

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I don't have any records of actual temperatures to share but in my experience, with the protection an unheated greenhouse provides against wind, torrential rain (or snow), animals, air frosts and the constant freeze-thaw, my VFTs and D. capensis cope perfectly well with being frozen solid in their pots, literally, for a few days most winters. Full grown D. capensis often lose some or all of their growth points over winter only to grow back strong from the roots or, more usually, from portions of stem above soil level before the end of winter. Similarly, D. madagascariensis dies off completely when things get frosty but reliably re-sprout from roots in spring. Even D. slackii will tolerate some light freezing (I bring them indoors if forecast is too arctic but haven't needed to this year and it's been cold enough for water to freeze in the greenhouse).

Interestingly, Drosera verrucata seems to take the same conditions in it's stride, while D. binata lives but does not thrive, having to grow back from the roots each year.

I provide no additional insulation nor are they kept particularly dry -still wet would be more accurate. So will definitely trial some spare VFT's on the outside of the glass next winter, in a sheltered position, just to see how far I can push them.

Edited by Ordovic
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On ‎25‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 8:42 PM, Karsty said:

Hi DeansGA,

Are you saying you have a D. capensis out in the cold?

Hi Karsty, I think it counts yes. It is strictly speaking 'in' a polytunnel but there is a lot of out in. Very exposed location, they were with a couple of others testing for such things next to the vents that aren't there anymore, close to the door that isn't. I have emptied the hailstones out of the trays and picked them up after the wind blew them over. Put there because the foxes don't walk through it not for weather protection, would be more protected from the elements outside behind the tunnel! All seeds are in emergency tent shelters until I can recover the tunnel :)

On ‎26‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 9:04 AM, MWilko86 said:

But D. capensis need a dormancy period or do they slow down with the drop in daylight hours?

Hi Mwilko, just slow down over here by the sounds of it if you keep them in , either or. I want to try a couple of outdoor planters and one with a few capensis in, love them, we have some seeds to sow soon so hopefully we can try a trough of albas and a red form outside, I will try your methods for the first year as they will be young so thanks for saving me from fleece in advance!

11 hours ago, Ordovic said:

Full grown D. capensis often lose some or all of their growth points over winter only to grow back strong from the roots or, more usually, from portions of stem above soil level before the end of winter. Similarly, D. madagascariensis dies off completely when things get frosty but reliably re-sprout from roots in spring. 

Yay!! Thanks Ordovic, another win recorded lol so I should see the one I felled again :) The other is happy though so I think here it is mainly how the plant is acclimatised and a bit of wind protection? One went to from my Sisters house windowsill to the tunnel in what was I admit a mean test of the plants regeneration capabilities but does seem to be true. I also have a madagascariensis out there..... maybe this should of been an adult plant first I will be more impressed if I see this again.

Dean

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I've some Capensis, along with Sarracenia and Pinguicula Grandiflora that live outside all year round in a planter, they usually grow back from the roots in the spring.  The Capensis, Bintata and Filiformis usually die down in my polytunnel over the winter and come back from the roots in the spring.

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I have several binata forms (binata, two types of multifida, dichotoma, dichotoma giant and also a 'marston dragon') outside and they all survive. They die back but come back from the roots. This year the winter has mostly been mild and they already started sprouting about a week ago. 

I have all species of sarra plus multiple hybrids, darlingtonia, cephalotus, drosophyllum, drosera filiformis and temperate pings outside without problems. I decided to put my vft's in a cheap growhouse just to try to encourage them to get back into growth a bit quicker this year. They were outside last year and were okay but a bit slow to get going in the spring. 

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8 hours ago, danl82 said:

I have several binata forms (binata, two types of multifida, dichotoma, dichotoma giant and also a 'marston dragon') outside and they all survive. They die back but come back from the roots. This year the winter has mostly been mild and they already started sprouting about a week ago. 

I have all species of sarra plus multiple hybrids, darlingtonia, cephalotus, drosophyllum, drosera filiformis and temperate pings outside without problems. I decided to put my vft's in a cheap growhouse just to try to encourage them to get back into growth a bit quicker this year. They were outside last year and were okay but a bit slow to get going in the spring. 

Cephalotus outside is this with a cover or without as I didn't think they would last outside in a UK winter

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I have a single pot of cephalotus which I risk uncovered, there is another two pots which I moved to the cheap growhouse just in case. My uncovered one is amongst my sarra pots and so gets a little element of shelter from the taller pots around not much though. 

That plant has been outside for 3 winters now and is doing okay.

Edited by danl82
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