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Carnivorous Plants/dormancy awaking


QUESTION: Hi! Since mid-November, by north American carnivorous plants have been dormant in my sheltered garage where it's usually around 40-50 degrees. Since the equinox is almost here, I'm planning to take my plants out of dormancy. I live in southern Massachusetts and the weather outside is getting warmer. Could I take my plants and leave inside my house until the end of the month so they can "wake up", and then put them outside to grow? Also, I have sarracenis rubra, leucophylla, purpurea ssp. purpurea, and alata. Many of their leaves are dead, but some are like half dead especially with the purpurea. Could I clip off all their leaves or would this hurt the plant?

ANSWER: Hi Victor,

Once you get past this big snowstorm you're getting right now I would just put them outside.  Your temperatures do look like they are moderating, and staying above freezing most of the time.  If a serious frost looks imminent, put them back in your garage overnight.  I wouldn't put them in the house only because they will think it's summer, and you'll delay getting them out into full sun.  You'll fight issues with the leaves getting lanky on some varieties, where as outside they will grow slower and stronger.

With any of the trumpet varieties cut off anything that's even a little brown from last year.  With the rubras cut all their leaves off.  With the purpurea selectively cut brown leaves off, but leave any that are still functionally holding water.  With any of them they'll be fine if you cut all the leaves off, but purpureas and psittacinas don't have a very big rhizome, so they have less energy storage.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks! So for now I'm going to wait to put them outside until all the snow melts away. So is it okay to cut off all the plant's leaves right now? Also, with the rubra I have, some of the leaves look perfectly fine and not brown. Should I still cut those off? Oh, and with my purpurea, all the leaves can still hold water, but they are all half brown/dead. Should leave these on then?

Hi Victor,

With purpureas what I usually do is cut off any that are up to half brown.  If the leaf is mostly green/red still I leave it.

I do cut off all leaves on rubras.  You'll find some growers that disagree with this, but I stand by this sternly.  Sarracenia rubra varieties, especially rubra rubra, alabamensis, and wherryi form dense clumps.  You get much better leaf development, and it opens up the rhizome crown to sun and rain which helps prevent mold.  S. rubra rubra is very prone to botrytis and crown rot when in thick clumps.  It's also a good idea to divide these before they get very thick rhizome masses.  This is advice that Adrian Slack gave in his books, and it has served me very well over the years.  Here's a video that could be helpful.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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