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Carnivorous Plants/Putting plants out


Hi Jeff and Jacob

  It appears that spring is finally arriving here in the northeast and I am chomping at the bit to take my plants out of the unheated cellar they ride the winter out in. The night time temps are all predicted to be in the low to mid 30s over the next two weeks. The question I have is about the Sarracenia  that have been growing on my windowsill for the last two months. The all either have fully formed pitchers, or soon to be fully formed. My concern is that they have been living a soft life on my windowsill, and if I was to put them out into the comparatively cold cruel world they will experience shock when the night time temps dip close to freezing. Should I just be patient and hold off till the night time temps are more steadily abound 40  or would it be OK to kick them out of the nest now ?

I am less concerned about putting the plants that are still in my cellar out since they don't have any foliage yet.

90 miles north of NYC
Zone 5A

You'll likely need to wait until mid to late May to place your plants outdoors.  Given your location, a mid spring frost can happen.  Though it won't kill your plants, it will damage the fresh new growth and slow the plant down.  But in late spring and early summer, they'll act like nothing happened.

Another option is to build a temporary cold frame to protect your plants should a frost happens.  We built temporary structures for this specific purpose.  We use it only with freshly potted Sarracenia to be sold for the season.  We did this because we got tired of seeing our newly potted plants for sale suffer from hail damage and springtime frost.  I would cover them up when I see predictions for heavy rain or frost.  I would then uncover them if the sun was out.  By the end of May, I remove the plastic completely.  Watch our April 2013 podcast for an idea of what we did.

The PVC structures are semi-permanent.  We keep it up throughout the year, but we only use it in spring for this specific purpose.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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