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Carnivorous Plants/Darlingtonia Dormancey ??????

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Question
Because my winters are way too cold here in Canada I'm assuming I should wrap them & put them in the fridge at the end of the season,  what if they have stolons,  should I cut them off before I put them too sleep ? How do you suggest I should do it ? & if I do dig them up to put them in the fridge should I use the same soil / pot as the previous year that they were in after dormancy ? & how long you figure I should keep them in the fridge ? & will sulphur for fungicide be good enough to spray just before they go into the fridge ?

Thank you friend;)
         Michael G. Carter,

Answer
Hi Michael,

First, understand that Darlingtonia is not the least bit sub-tropical.  It is a temperate perennial, USDA zone 7-8 in it's range.  Snow is not uncommon for many colonies.  The amount of cold it experiences in nature would be similar to the northern most native range of Sarracenia flava.  Zone 8 plants can be set up to survive in colder climates outdoors as shown here:  http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingEnvirons/BogOntarioCanada.php

I realize this may not be a practical approach for you.  Before going to the refrigerator method which carries great danger of loosing plants to rot, do you have anywhere in your house where the plants could overwinter with some light that the temperatures would be between -4 to 4  C ?  This might be a room that stays cool or not heated much during the winter with windows?

If not, to prepare your plant for refrigerator dormancy, first let it go through a few frosts outside in Autumn.  When it looks like you're about to have your first round of significantly cold weather (not getting above freezing during the day) unpot your plants and wrap them in some fresh, damp sphagnum moss.  Spray them with the sulfur fungicide and place them in large ziploc bags.  Place them in the fridge.  Check them weekly and re-apply fungicide as needed.  Don't cut off the stolons.  Just wrap them around the mother plant before placing in the bag.

Take them out and pot them back up in fresh media.  Never reuse soil, especially since Darlingtonia is so prone to root diseases.  March 1 roughly be a good time to take them out.  Put them in a window until it's warm enough to go back outside.

Good Growing!

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

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