Carnivorous Plants/Cold Frames

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Question
Good Doy Jeff and Jacob

 I hope you are both well.

 In my never ending quest to take my plants out of their winter home as early as possible I was thinking about using my makeshift cold frame as protection for them while the night time temps here still dip below freezing.

My cold frames, are PVC pipe covered with a 'clear' plastic. Not so much clear as frosted. In any case, I am thinking that I could just keep my plants under the plastic till the nights start averaging above freezing.

Right now nighttime temps are still dipping into the teens, so I know that is still way too cold. The question is, what is the lowest temps that my plants would tolerate with no damage while under the cold frame.

90 miles north of NYC
Zone 5A

Thanks for all your help
Hope the day shines on you
Nicole

Answer
Hi Nicole,

If you're still seeing teens, I'd wait a bit longer.  Once plants begin emerging from dormancy, and depending on what species you have in there, upper 20's is the most they can handle.  Here's the most delicate plants if they come out of dormancy too soon:  Drosera trayci, D. filiformis "Florida Giant", and sometimes Venus flytraps.

If you do the Visqueen cover, be sure to open it up quite a bit on sunny days.  You don't want it getting too warm in there if nights are still frigid.  It'll bring the plants out of dormancy prematurely, and you would get some losses then.  You want them to emerge at a pace consistent with the weather.  The Visqueen is fine as a night cover.  We use it in spring mostly for a rain shield, but the slight temperature increase from it does make plants grow faster.  If it gets sunny, we roll up the sides.

Good Growing!

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

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