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I am purchasing some carnivorous plants online

1 venus flytrap

1 sundew1

1 buttewort (Pinguicula)

1 Pitcher plant (Nepenthes)

1 pitcher plant (sarracenia)

My question is, when should i purchase them. Would it be best to buy now and allow them to adjust to the climate during dormancy or wait until March.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-Thanks :)

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Hi Fly trap

It depends on your situation and also on the plants themselves.

Where are they going?  In a frost free greenhouse, a heated greenhouse, a windowsill or an indoor terrarium?  Are the plants hardy or tender?

If you buy them now, they may not be sent out until the weather improves and gets a little warmer anyway.  In any event they will probably all be dormant at present and you are not going to see any growth until the weather warms up a little so they could be difficult to keep healthy as you may try to inadvertently "coddle" them into growth by giving them too much attention which they don't want at this stage :yes: !

If you are a beginner, which I assume you are from your question and difficult as it may be to curb your enthusiasm, I would suggest waiting until the Spring when the plants will be in active growth and you will be able to literally see them grow almost on a daily basis.  They will also be easier to manage and they should all stand in about 2-5 cm of rainwater in a tray.  If you bought them now, they should only be kept damp and there is always the danger of rot by over watering since they will not be in active growth.

The choice is yours and I am sure others will add their comments.  Overall, I think you will find it better to wait until the Spring :tu:, but probably that will be a lot more difficult for you!  The plants will adjust quicker to your conditions when in active growth since they are quite resilient to environmental conditions provided they have adequate light, reasonable temperatures and most importantly rainwater, not tap water.

Hope this helps,  Rob

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As someone who decided this time last year that I wanted to get a few CPs for the (unheated) greenhouse (I intended to get maybe half a dozen plants, I now have 60 a year later!) I know the problem. If you buy from a proper grower (nursery or seller here), flytraps, Sarracenia and any temperate sundews will be dormant and you will be staring at an active and boring plant for the next 2 months before they burst into life. Some garden centres may have some of these that look nice and growing. Avoid them;  these have not been allowed to go dormant and the stress of putting them into a 'normal' season may kill them or stunt them. 

Other sundews (like the Cape or Alice sundew) will be growing, albeit slowly, as will Nepenthes. With Nepenthes especially, I would not trust the postal system to be uniformly warm this time of year, and a night in a warehouse at -2 will kill them. 

If you want to save a bit of money, you can buy ready made compost suitable for the Sarracenia'VFT/sundews and buy the plants bare rooted and pot them yourself. Look on here and online auctions and you can get dormant Sarracenia at great prices (but check they are adult plants and not seedlings). You can do that now or wait till March-April.

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If your pinguicula is of the tropical kind then don't put it outside in a g/h. Keep it warm on a windowsill indoors.

Sarracenia can be repotted this time of year with no harm but as already been said you'll not see much growth for a month or 2. If they're coming from reputable sellers they'll already be acclimatised to the cold weather so can go straight into the g/h once potted.

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On 1/24/2019 at 4:49 PM, Fly trap said:

Do you reckon it would be safer to purchase them now if they are bare root plants?

I think HC carnivorous plants, Hampshire and P-J plants (other nurseries are available) all sell potted plants, so you'd be safe with any of these. There's no advantage to bare rooted plants, except maybe cost of postage, but there shouldn't be a problem with them. I'll be getting some in the post soon, the Italian postal system willing!

Should make clear that I'm mainly talking about sarracenia here. I wouldn't buy drosera, for instance, at this time of year unless the plant was already potted.

Edited by linuxman
Clarification
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Temperate plants in dormancy should be fine, but I wouldn’t buy tropical plants to come through the postal system at this time of year.         

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