Carnivorous Plants/dormancy


Hi, I've gone through all of your DVD's and read quite a few of your various posts but I'm confused in regards to dormancy. I live in zone 9b and have several sarracenia's and VFT's. I've purchased from you, Sarracenia leucophylla and Sarracenia x red minor. I was headed out to the grocery store to buy plastic bags to seal my plants and refrigerate them, for winter dormancy, when I ran into another website that says DO NOT refrigerate them if living in 9b, Windermere Florida, where I live. However I've also read that not allowing a "strong" dormancy will eventually kill them for sure. This is my first winter with these plants. Any advice?

Sarracenia on The Big Island
Sarracenia on The Big  
Hi John,

You won't catch me recommending refrigerator dormancy unless it's the only option.  In Zone 9B you experience enough cool and short days that you don't need to do anything special.  You may have some individual species that are not fond of your climate, such as Drosera rotundifolia or Pinguicula grandiflora, but Flytraps, most other North American Sundews and all Sarracenia will be just fine outside with no special treatment.  If you're in a true tropical area such as Key West, or Hawaii, then Venus Flytraps would need to have dormancy induced somehow, but Sarracenia are actually just fine.  They respond to the shorter daylight hours and go dormant for a month or two then start growing again.

Refrigerator dormancy carries lots of risk of fungal problems, so I always try to recommend other options first.  We have a customer in Puerto Rico that does well by putting his flytraps under artificial light indoors, and drops them to an 8 hour day for winter, then returns them to a 14 hour day after two months.  He's done very well that way.  You, however, don't need to do that.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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