Indoor VFT preparations for dormancy


GoblinGirl
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Hey folks! 

Meet Schnappy. We live in London, England. He was acquired in a sorry state half dead in April from Home Depot. He only had around 4 traps still alive. I've never had a carnivorous plant before and in fact I've never had any plants before so he's pretty much my first plant!

 

As you can see he's been living next to my south facing window and if I dare say he's been quite happy. Lots of big new crimson traps. A few green ones that came out the last couple of weeks, but they've been slower to turn red than previous ones as it's been getting gloomier.

I haven't really fussed with him too much. I placed his pot is in a ramekin which I fill with distilled water whenever the plant sucks it all up. Sometimes I leave it dry for a couple of days and refill it then - he seems to like that.  A couple of the old traps he had when he joined the family went black so I remove them when they get crispy. One time he ate a fly.

I want to get him to go into dormancy this winter so he can rest and wake up happy and healthy next spring. 

The flat has underfloor heating though so I don't think this room will get cold enough for the plant to fall asleep. However I do have a nice balcony! 

Heres my questions: 

1. How do I avoid the plant going into shock from being moved outside? Should I bring the plant outside now and just leave it there until spring? Right now it's 18°C - 21°C during the day and 12°C-13°C during the night. In the flat it's 20-22. But I do crack  open the window he's next to a lot so he gets fresh breeze every now and again.

2. Sometimes it gets very windy and we've had hail twice this year and Schnappy and his pot are very small and light! There's also tons of annoying pigeons that come on the balcony and he's in danger of being pooped on. Should I perhaps get one of those ventilated propagation trays and stick him in there to protect him from the elements? 

 

I've been considering getting him to spend a day outside, then a day inside, then 24h outside, etc. and increasing the days but I don't know if that won't be worse than just taking him outside and leaving him get used to it while the temperatures are still warm-ish.

 

Suggestions?

 

Thanks!

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Edited by GoblinGirl
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Nice looking plant, GG.  You've definitely given it the right conditions to revive from its stay at Home Depot.

A steady drop in temperature will be better than moving between warmer and cooler areas.  These are pretty hardy, so temperatures below freezing can be tolerated.

Best bet is your balcony, assuming you don't have anywhere in your flat which will get cold over winter.  Also, if you put it outside while the weather's still good it'll probably find more flies!

The problem will be the wind.  Perhaps put him in a protected corner of the balcony?  Tie his pot onto something?  You'll need to use your ingenuity here, as you know your balcony better than anyone else.  As to the pigeon poop--do you get a lot on the balcony? 

Guy

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35 minutes ago, Guy said:

Nice looking plant, GG.  You've definitely given it the right conditions to revive from its stay at Home Depot.

A steady drop in temperature will be better than moving between warmer and cooler areas.  These are pretty hardy, so temperatures below freezing can be tolerated.

Best bet is your balcony, assuming you don't have anywhere in your flat which will get cold over winter.  Also, if you put it outside while the weather's still good it'll probably find more flies!

The problem will be the wind.  Perhaps put him in a protected corner of the balcony?  Tie his pot onto something?  You'll need to use your ingenuity here, as you know your balcony better than anyone else.  As to the pigeon poop--do you get a lot on the balcony? 

Guy

Thanks! 

Tricky one with sheltering from the wind, there is a nice sheltered corner but it's where all the dust and crap gets swept when it's windy! 

Pigeons haven't pooped every inch of the balcony but every now and then they come and stay for a while. It's my first winter in this flat so I'm not sure what they'll do when the temperatures drop - I'm kinda trying to play 3d chess and predict everything so I don't have to panic solve it so I was thinking aw they may start coming more when its colder...

It definitely sounds like the plant will have an easier time if I just take it out now while it's still warm.

I may get one of those propagation trays and wedge it in a corner and if it starts getting extremely cold or windy or it hails etc, just pop the lid on it....

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