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A Pot Question

This will be my first time overwintering my CP's as I just began collecting earlier this summer. I haven't repotted anything that I got in a pot because I read the best time to do so is in February/March. Now Heather brought to my attention that my pots might be a bit small for overwintering. I'm in southern Virginia on the border with North Carolina. USDA says we are zone 7b; not really too sure what that means but we do get kinda cold here in the winter sometimes. Getting below freezing at night isn't that uncommon. The pots the plants are currently in are about 4 inches wide and just less than 3 inches deep. I have some VFT in death cubes that I know will need to be repotted. I do plan to pull them into the garage on nights that it gets cold and windy. My question is are the Sarracenia pots too small?


This is an old picture but it shows the size of the pots relative to a brick.
Those look fine to me but, I keep all my plants in a bog.
I usually drop my water levels down to less than an inch in the tray in winter.
In my opinion, those pots are fine, but you will defiantly want to let them dry out some. I don't mean bone dry, just down to damp.
Pots are definitely not too small..
and yes, let them dry out quite a bit for the winter..
on inch or less of water in the trays..
ideally, I wouldn't have any water in the trays at all..just watch that they dont dry out completely.

Moving them to the garage when unusually cold probably isnt really necessary..
they can probably stay outside 24/7/365 and be fine..
(because in your climate, "really cold" isn't very cold at all! ;) as far as the plants are concerned)
but it wont hurt either..if you do get an unusual cold snap, say 25F overnight, then the garage as added
protection could be a good idea..

I live a lil north of you and I wouldnt hesitate to leave a sarr outside in a pot that size for the winter. I've had pots feel like a big block of ice during the winter and come back fine. I even had a pot with leucophylla, oreophila and random seedlings freeze solid and even the small 3 inch seedlings survived fine. It can get well below freezing here during the winter.
Yeah, they should be fine.
Oh that picture is from back in June when we would have drenching rains every night. My plants are in a different container and will be much drier for the winter.
In fact they are drier now that we're not have biblical deluges on a weekly basis....

But that is excellent to know I don't have to repot EVERYTHING before the winter comes. Thank you for the help and easing my fears. I do know those plants need larger pots (and better soil), so I was hoping to wait until next February to repot them. So glad to know I can!
There are several approaches you could take. You could over-winter them outside by mulching them. You could put them in the basement or attic. You can put them in deeper pots by removing all of the contents as one unit, into prepared pots. You can do this in late fall. You could even put them in an insulated cooler.
  • #10
I do know those plants need larger pots (and better soil),

Better soil (media) perhaps..(I dont know what you are using now)
but you really dont need larger pots at all..
those pots are just fine, and will serve those plants well for many years..
In fact, some would even say those pots are on the "large end" of an acceptable range.

larger can be bad..more media means more chances for media decay and anaerobic spots.
and some say smaller pots and being somewhat rootbound = larger sarracenia pitchers.

You could go slightly smaller and still be fine.
IMO you should stay exactly where you are, on pot size.
for the "tray method" there is no need to go any larger at all.

  • #11
larger can be bad..more media means more chances for media decay and anaerobic spots.
and some say smaller pots and being somewhat rootbound = larger sarracenia pitchers.

Interesting. I have traditionally went for pots at least six inches deep, preferably deeper. The Holy Grail for me is a pot anything around nine inches deep and a width of adequate size for the intended plant. I have always done this in an effort to get the longest roots possible. They are capable of getting quite long in deep pots: at least eight inches or more. I also thought the extra media would keep the soil consistent in temperature.

Hearing that pitchers get bigger in smaller pots makes me reconsider this though. I was wanting to repot all of my stuff over the winter in the same model of pot (hopefully square) and have a decision to make, it seems.

Thanks for the new info, gang!