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Carnivorous Plants/frozen sarracenias

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Question
Hi,
I'm Geerard an living in Belgium. It's n ow about a year i started growing Cps and I'm totaly hooked.
I keep my sarracenias(flava, leucophylla, oreophylla, purpurea and some hybrids) outdoors in a big basin filled with a mixture of peat and sand. They are doing very fine.
Now my question: i'ts starting to freeze here and i'v noticed that my soil mixture is also frozen. Is it dangerous for my plants or is there no need to worry?

Greetings from Belgium
Geerard

Answer
Hi Geerard,

In Belgium you are the equivalent of USDA zone 8, which is the same as us here in the Pacific Northwest, USA.  Your freezing temperatures are sporadic I'm guessing, with occasional bouts of snow and low's during periods of arctic air around -9 C for brief periods.  With a maritime climate, however, your winters are mostly just cool and rainy.  Does this sound about right?  If so, all you need to do is cover your Sarracenia during periods where the temperatures are going to be below -4 C.  In our nursery we cover the plants with black plastic during hard freezes, then take the covers off when we are just back to rain.  Make sure your plants are down on the ground, not up on a table or shelf if you cover them during freezes.  Plants are less freeze tolerant when they are up exposed.  Most Sarracenia in nature are zone 7-8 (zone 7 is colder, like central Germany), so they regularly get freezes in nature.  Wilmington, North Carolina, where the Venus flytrap originates, is zone 8.  Frost is common there in winter.

We have a whole chapter on our volume #1 DVD on winter care of North American Carnivorous plants:  http://www.cobraplant.com/dvd/volume1

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.cobraplant.com

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