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Outdoor growin in dallas tx

Hello all,
  Well it is official, I am moving to Dallas, TX (Zone 8a).  I found a nice sunny apartment in "The Village" that should make my plants happy.  
 I've lived for short amounts of time down in TX and had great success growing a larger Coccinea outdoors during the summer.

I was wondering if anyone in the area has had success growing highlanders outdoors in this area during the colder months?  Could it work?  I'd bring them in during the exceptionally cold days, but from what I've seen and heard, TX winters are quite moderate.

My ideal situation, would be to have one indoor grow chamber that becomes a cooled highlander chamber during the summer and a warmer lowlander chamber during the winter, and just alternate plants appropriately between outdoors and in.

any thoughts?

I live in Texas and would never dare grow my plants outside in the winter...ever.....relatively speaking Texas winters are ON AVERAGE mild...but you live in Dallas and temp can drop into the 10-25 degree range VERY quickly and stay there for many hours or even days....don't risk your plants.....

I also play tennis in addition to growing killer plants and I know how darn cold it can get in one evening....I'm talking down in the valley too.....on 6 different years it went from 85 as a high to 40 as a high with 40 mile per hour winds howling from the North......and its always colder in Dallas
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Slyfi @ Oct. 20 2003,3:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">the 10-25 degree range VERY quickly and stay there for many hours or even days....don't risk your plants.....[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
dose that go for Droseras and VFTs too, that have yet to germinate? <-- lives in Houston and winter is almost here.
One advantage to growing them outside in Florida -- and probably Texas, weather permitting -- is the bug situation. Last night I left the porch light on around sunset. A swarm of flies and moths invaded my porch. Well, I have two 36" window boxes of sarracenia, two ten gallon terrariums of VFTs and sundews, two pft terrariums with sundews, one 24" window box of VFTs, one little box with two large sarracenia purpurea, and dozens of neps -- some huge and right by the light -- all on the porch either temporarily or all the time.

It looks like bug genocide in the sarracenia, on the sundews, and in the nep pitchers this morning. I am bug public enemy number one for introducing these plants into an ecosysten with only some rarely seen sarracenia, frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and other insects that the local bugs have to worry about.

The plants seem to like it, to say the least. Sure, pitchers die from being overstuffed a bit early sometimes. But, bigger ones replace the dead ones.

Texas weather is not as good as Florida weather, on average. You need to be more careful than I do.
Best advice I can give you if you are going to place a nep outside, and I forgot to tell you. Be careful with the light. This is one subject I'm getting very good at, especially since some other posters have recently confirmed what I thought I noticed. Plus, I've clipped the dead leaves, and grown the really nice ones, to have some idea of this one thing.

Neps love light. But in Texas, like Florida, afternoon sun (even now or December) could easily seriously singe or even eventually kill them. Morning sun and late afternoon sun are usually OK year round, to a point. Age and hardness of the plant matter a lot.

Look at the plant. Are the leaves long, light green, thin, and are the pitchers not colorful? If so, you have a healthy plant that could benefit from a bit more light. But, you can burn the leaves on a sensitive plant to death in ten minutes on, say, June 21 at 1 PM in Orlando on a cloudless day.

The leaves should thicken, start to grow a bit shorter for a while, get darker green, maybe a bit bronzey, spot red, possibly redden a lot as you increase the light. Those are good signs for the plant. Pitchers, unless the plant is very young, should color up.

Then the leaves and pitchers might start to wilt, turn brown, spot blackish brown, and kick the bucket if you don't lower the light just a bit below what you upped it to. Or lower it a lot more, depending on the damage. If you see red spots on a young or unhardened plant, I'd lower it a fair amount just to be safe.
dose that go for Droseras and VFTs too, that have yet to germinate? <-- lives in Houston and winter is almost here

I don't know much about outdoor gardening I keep my flytraps and drosera inside...people foregt just how big the grasshoppers are in Texas....they can strip a plant in an evening, so I kepp mine inside.....the VTF's and drosera will probably not germinate in winter outside.....but I'm not 100% sure they won't (plants have their own minds somethimes....)
Hey Lane,

I grow almost all of my neps outdoors. I live in So. California. I've had my guys get into the mid 30's on occasion without any ill effect. The catch is adapting your neps before the onset of winter. Once they get used to the temp fluctuations they should do fine. I don't know about Texas weather. But my neps have tolerated mid 30's in winter for a brief time (usually low 40's) to low 90's with 20-30% humidity in summer without any problems. Obviously if you don't want to take a chance on your plant, then move it indoors on those really low temp eves. However, I think with a little experimentation you'll find that those highlander neps are hardier than you think. You can check out my site below for possible alternatives.

Nepenthes Around the House
Howdy Lane,
The weather in Texas is just a little too harsh for these plants, because the summer can go several days at 100*F+ and winter can QUICKLY (5 minutes) Go from 80*F and sunny to 45*F and dark. That's not only in the night. Also, winter humidity can get into the thirties and forties, with temps in the twenties for many days at a time. About three weeks ago, there was a stretch of SoCal weather for about 2 weeks, with fog every morning, 72-75*F high, and nights in the mid fifties. Unfortunately that only lasted a little while. There are also some stretches in spring-early summer that you may be able to put your lowlanders outside for a little while. As intriguing as your idea is, unfortunately, we don't get the good nep weather like Joel. Yesterday Dallas had a high of 62*F according to the Channel 8 weather station. Where I am, and I suspect Dallas, too, we had some winds to about 50 MPH, nothing bad, considering in spring we get 100-250 (tornadoes and straght-line winds), but it did take off a few tree branches. But don't despair, you could maybe crow a Sarracenia alata or flava, maybe even VFT is you have an oversized, deep water tray kept full almost always. Plus there are those stretches where neps would be happy, and even if only for a few weeks, the insects could be very beneficial.
Good luck, and welcome to Texas,
It's like a whole other country.