Carnivorous Plants/Venus Flytraps

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Question
I bought 2 Typical flytraps and a Big Jaws cultivar I was told to put them in dormancy Oct 31 until V-day this did not workout cause despite lots of water and light all of the 7 leaves turned yellow and shriveled long before Oct 31.
I asked some one about this and was told to put it in a unheated shed and just mist the surface until moist with RO distilled or rainwater because this sounded like dormancy(mistakes 1 and 2) the pots got cold so I dug it up to inspect the bulb which by this point was brown and soft(death)
I plan to try with traps again in the spring what can I do so I don't repeat this colossal mistake again My zone I think is 4B(Newfoundland), Canada

Answer
Hi Dennis,

If we are only talking about a few plants, the simplest way for you to overwinter them will be in a windowsill.  Since you are in a much colder climate, having your flytraps in right up in a window (such as behind curtains or shades) works well.  What will happen this way is the plant will experience temperatures in the 30's right next to the window, and natural daylight hours.  This will hold it in dormancy.  It's good to spray the plant with sulfur-based fungicide to minimize mold growth on the soil.  Keep the soil just damp during the dormancy (but don't let the soil dry out).  When outside temperatures are staying above freezing in spring, you can move them outside.  Still watch for freak late freezes.

Your plants will do best being grown outside for the growing season, then bring them to your window after the first few frosts in the fall.  Flytraps can handle down to the mid-20's F with no trouble, but colder than that, or for extended freezing periods, they need more extensive protection.

Now, you can have the flytraps outside permanently, but it requires much more extensive winter protection.  The best method would be a bog garden that is heavily mulched for the winter.  You could have many other cp this way too, including your native pitcher plant, sundews, and butterworts.  This page should be of help:  http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingEnvirons/BogOntarioCanada.php

Good Growing!

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

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