Carnivorous Plants/VFT dormancy


Dormant VFT
Dormant VFT  
Right now I have a dormant VFT in my garage. At this time of year I always screw it up. Either I water it too much or too little. This year I may have done it again by drying out the soil for about 2 weeks I believe. It still holds signs of green however I am uncertain if it will come back this spring. Would like to hear your thoughts.

Hi John,

I think you have a little something there that will re-emerge, but it will probably produce lots of tiny shoots rather than one big plant.  And yes, it got way too dry.  If the soil is pulling away from the pot like that, it's not good.

Here's a lesson I've had to learn over the years with many other cp, and this applies to your situation too.  With cp that we are told to keep dry at certain times of year, what is really meant is dri-er, not bone dry.  This applies to Mexican Pinguicula, Tuberous Drosera, Winter-growing South African Sundews, and even Drosophyllum.  None of these things, not even Drosophyllum, grow in a true desert.  All of them are going to have damp soil to some degree down deep in the soil.  Not that many of them will survive bone dry conditions.  Like everything there are exceptions, but most want the soil a little damp even during dormancy.  I can't tell you how many Drosera cistiflora I killed before learning this.

Now Flytraps are nothing like the plants I just described.  They're bog plants.  It's not dry in Eastern North Carolina in the winter.  What you want to do is just keep a shallow tray of water under it.  It looks like you have a good sized pot, so no more than one inch deep.  You do need to check it weekly for mold, if you need to add more water, etc...  When you do add more water, top water it.  That helps to keep mold spores from getting established.  What flytraps don't like is being waterlogged.  That would mean keeping the water level way up on the pot.  Definitely don't do that, but a little water is good.  If you can't remember to water it in the garage during the winter, you might be better off just keeping it in a window in the house that you will see it in often.  That way it won't get neglected.  If the window is cool, it will stay dormant.  North windows work best for this in winter.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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