Carnivorous Plants/King Henry didn't seem to go dormant
QUESTION: Rather than leaving "him" outside in the very windy unpredictable New England weather, he resides in the unheated garage and gets about 8 hrs of what I think is 2 bulbs around 6000k and 2 around 3200. From about 3 ft above. Watering distilled to keep damp. This year's weather is way off kilter so temp could swing from 20f to 50 plus, overnight... And back again. Just won't stop growing. Nothing is Browning. Flower stalk has appeared and traps are active. Should I waste (snip) all this awesome growth to preserve plant's strength, or revel in its beauty until something finally decides to Brown off?
ANSWER: Hi Steve,
Basically what you have happening here is the plant has just woke up early. This is pretty standard to see this at this time indoors. What you want to do is cut the flower off, and increase the light levels. Depending on what kind of fluorescent light you have, 3 feet is way too far away. Your plant is very pale green and should be much darker. Get them about 6 inches from the lights. If that's not possible, find a sunny South or West window in your house. Once the weather looks like it's not going to freeze anymore, move everybody outside.
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QUESTION: Hi Jeff,
Thanks for your quick reply. Just to clarify I only had the lights that far away to try and get it to go dormant, setting them up in the cold garage and such. I had no place safe to put them outside over the winter. Should I have gone for the fridge?
It never even went dormant to my eye; it has been growing quite rapidly since I bought it. Hopefully the New England weather will cooperate and I'll get these guys outside soon. Just curious, why would I snip the flower?
Thanks for sharing your gift!
Considering what King Henry's look like in summer when they are in full growth, it very much looks like it was dormant for a period. Flytraps reduce in size greatly during the winter, but rarely die back entirely. They still do a certain amount of photosynthesis during the winter. I wouldn't do the fridge method unless there's no other option. Too many folks end up loosing their plants to mold in the fridge.
It's good to clip the flower off for a couple reasons. First, your plant is small. There's no problem in letting an older, mature plant bloom. But with the early wake-up and low light, the plant will put too much energy into the flower and you could have problems from that.