Carnivorous Plants/Winter Care

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Question
Jeff,
I'm sure you've mentioned this before, but it may be buried on the AllExperts website where I can't find it.  I have hardy carnivorous plants growing in a Portland suburb.  Currently I have hardy sundews, sarracenias, darlingtonias, etc. growing in tubs of water with the pots set inside.  The pots are all on a deck that's about 5 feet above the ground.

With the cold weather setting in, is it ok to leave them setting in open water unless it gets below 20 degrees or so?  Or should we set them outside the standing water tubs? And is only a few days in a row of 20 degrees or so a problem, or even one night of a cold snap?  Also, with the raised deck as an added factor, is there a higher temperature at which I should start to be concerned?  Thank you.

Answer
Hi Dresden,

Leaving the plants in their water trays is no problem.  It'll freeze and actually offer a little insulation around the roots.  What is more of a problem is being up on the deck.  When more substantial cold arrives later in the week you'll want your plants on the ground and covered with black plastic or frost protection fabric (Remay).  Being on the ground gives them residual heat, and keeps the pots from freezing so deeply.  Open them up during the day, but cover at night if the temperatures are going to be in the low 20's or colder.  Last night was no big deal (29 degrees F) but when we start approaching the teens that extra protection is good insurance.

Later on this winter if we have temperatures that don't break freezing during the day, especially if it's windy, leave your plants covered until the weather moderates.

Good Growing!

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

Carnivorous Plants

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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.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

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