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Overwintering my tender Sarrs

Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
For the past two years I've been burying my plants under a very large pile of dry leaves covered over by a sheet of plastic to keep the leaves dry. I did that today. S. leucophylla 2 plants, S. minor 1 plant, S. psittacina 1 plant, S. flava 3 plants, S. rubra 1 plant, S. Scarlett Belle 1 plant, 4 pots of VFT, a few hardy orchids, a few S. purpurea since I had the room.

I place saucers on about a foot thick of leaves which contain the plants and then fill with rain water or DI. I enclose them in a wire cage and add leaves on top and around. There is about a 2-3 foot layer between the cage and the outside. I then cover the leaves with plastic sheeting and anchor is down with rocks and fence sections. I then put my tomato cages over top to prevent deer from trying to walk over the pile and puncturing the plastic.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
So I finally uploaded the photos that need to go along with this post. I buried my plants on Dec 12 this year.

First photo is the rock pile in my backyard that normally is my compost pile. I moved the pile to the right this year. I put a layer of leaves on the ground to start. I actually have the pile about a foot below grade and water can pool there when we get a lot of rain. That is why I put in a good layer of leaves first.

2020-12-12-1.jpg


The second photo is of my plants set into their saucers which will be filled with DI water. I did trim most of the dead material off of the plants first. I removed the pitchers from S. leucophylla since they were taller than most and would not fit.

2020-12-12-3.jpg


The third photo shows a fence gate over the top of the plants with the plants surrounded by fencing to try to keep larger critters out. I will fill up the spaces between the rocks and fencing with dry leaves.

2020-12-12-4.jpg


The fourth photo shows the plants from ground level before covering.

2020-12-12-5.jpg


The fifth photo shows me covering the plants with the leaves. You can see I put finer mesh fencing over the top of the plants to keep the leaves from filling the area around the plants.

2020-12-12-6.jpg


The sixth photo shows the completed pile. There is a sheet of plastic over the top of the leaves to keep them dry. This plastic is weighted down with boards, rocks, and other fencing.

2020-12-12-7.jpg
 

Gadzooks

Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
87
Location
Connecticut
When do you like to take them out? I'm aware of the Thanksgiving to Valentine's day rule of thumb. Also, raised on planting on the "first full-moon after mother's day" for last frost. Sarracenia can take a bit of frost at the end of dormancy -no? Much of March sees sunrise at 40F and afternoons at 70F. Again, curious because I'm looking to buy-in on Sarracenia this year.

***

I bet the squirrels hate the man in the flannel shirt who burried a mountain of tasty treats under chain link fence.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
I almost took them out of the mulch Saturday but it is supposed to go down to 17 tonight. I did put out a bunch of S. purpurea and a S. rubra that were not buried, just stored in my detached garage. I brought them all in tonight. They got a really good light rain all day Sunday. Really flushed them out. Very good. One pot of dormant hardy Drosera had a fine network of mold/fungus on the surface. Placing it outside in the rain really helped it a lot.

I opened up my pile on March 2, 2019. It was March 9th, 2020. So, I guess it is my job for this Saturday.

I don't worry about 28F, but lower than that I end up placing the plants in the garage overnight. But, I usually don't have time to get them out again in the AM before work, and it is too hard for my wife to do it for me. That means I miss a day of sun from time to time.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
100
I’m not too far from you so I’ll probably put mine out tomorrow. How deep do you bury the plants in the leaves, I’ll run out off room eventually in the garage so I’ll need to start putting them outside in a few years.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
Sangrocks101 How deep do I bury my plants? I'll quote the first post:

I place saucers on about a foot thick of leaves which contain the plants and then fill with rain water or DI. I enclose them in a wire cage and add leaves on top and around. There is about a 2-3 foot layer between the cage and the outside. I then cover the leaves with plastic sheeting and anchor is down with rocks and fence sections. I then put my tomato cages over top to prevent deer from trying to walk over the pile and puncturing the plastic.

If you do use leaves, you have to contain them in fencing or rocks so they don't blow away.

I have read that some CP need light even in dormancy. I have not really looked into this very much. I have noticed my S. leucophylla has gotten smaller and I'm wondering if that is true. I am kind of stuck though. I don't have a very cool spot to store it in.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
19
I'm so sad. My S. Purpurea "Fat Chance" has been under my grow light for nearly two weeks, and is not yet reviving. That plant was from the first batch of CPs I bought back in 2018. Had one successful dormancy, but maybe didn't make it through the second. Ah well.

I guess I need to replace it. One of my wife's favorites.

Good tips here, though. I'm still perfecting my dormancy techniques.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
I'm so sad. My S. Purpurea "Fat Chance" has been under my grow light for nearly two weeks, and is not yet reviving. That plant was from the first batch of CPs I bought back in 2018. Had one successful dormancy, but maybe didn't make it through the second. Ah well.

I guess I need to replace it. One of my wife's favorites.

Good tips here, though. I'm still perfecting my dormancy techniques.
What did you do for your Fat Chance to overwinter it? Do you grow it outdoors, or is it an indoor plant year round?

This is a S. x "Maroon" I was overwintering in my garage. We had a warm January this year and I noticed this plant was putting out new growth. It is the light green growth compared to the red older pitchers.
 

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Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
19
What did you do for your Fat Chance to overwinter it? Do you grow it outdoors, or is it an indoor plant year round?

This is a S. x "Maroon" I was overwintering in my garage. We had a warm January this year and I noticed this plant was putting out new growth. It is the light green growth compared to the red older pitchers.
I wintered it in the garage. At some point, it just went all the way brown, and it was my hope that it still had some life left in there. I still have it in my grow tent. Hopefully something sparks.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
I wintered it in the garage. At some point, it just went all the way brown, and it was my hope that it still had some life left in there. I still have it in my grow tent. Hopefully something sparks.
How cold do your winters get? What USDA Hardiness zone are you? I overwinter some S. purpurea in the detached unheated garage. It does get warmer from sunshine through a window.

Don't give up on your plant until June at least. If its alive it will send up flowers (if old enough) first and then new pitchers.

How long have you been growing CP?
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
19
How cold do your winters get? What USDA Hardiness zone are you? I overwinter some S. purpurea in the detached unheated garage. It does get warmer from sunshine through a window.

Don't give up on your plant until June at least. If its alive it will send up flowers (if old enough) first and then new pitchers.

How long have you been growing CP?
Yeah, I will keep that plant in there until at least the summer if necessary. I love that thing.

So I grew them in 2012, but a batch of salty sand killed my plants and made me step back and do a lot more research before I got back in.

I have been growing seriously since 2018. I have kept to the basics for the most part, but I am starting to branch out into new areas right now, actually. D. Adelae, D. Graomagolensis, a couple different Venus flytrap cultivars, etc.

I love this hobby enough that I want to do it right. The sarracenia is a setback, but not too demoralizing. I'll get through it either way.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
19
How cold do your winters get? What USDA Hardiness zone are you? I overwinter some S. purpurea in the detached unheated garage. It does get warmer from sunshine through a window.

Don't give up on your plant until June at least. If its alive it will send up flowers (if old enough) first and then new pitchers.

How long have you been growing CP?
Oh, and you asked about my winters. I live in Chicago, so it gets pretty cold. Anytime it got into the twenties, I would move them to an unheated laundry room for a bit. I was aiming for a temperature in the 30s at most times. All the other plants made it. I'm hopeful the sarracenia will too.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
The 30's is nothing for your Sarracenia. Do you have any place outdoors under full sun to keep your plant? I'm attaching a photo of my Sarr's taken March 21, 2014 when I brought the plants out into the light but before I trimmed off the dead pitchers. I leave as much of living pitcher as I can. They will grow out by fall. I also uploaded a photo of one of my S. purpurea taken Oct 31, 2020 to show how they look after a season of growth. I do pour all liquid out of the traps before overwintering them.
 

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Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
182
Location
Bloomingdale, NJ
Well I opened up this storage pit tonight after dinner. I took some photos, but I have to wait till another day to post them up. Too late now. A rodent got in there and really ate the pitchers of my S. minor. Lots of oak/maple leaves filtered down on top of the pots. I shook off what I could and rinsed out the water trays. I have most of them outdoors and will be in the sun tomorrow. According to the weather forecast for my area it should go down to 32 by midnight and then climb from then on until it hits 55F around 2 pm. We are supposed to have a few days into the high 50's into low 60's.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
27
Hey Jerry I happen to live in Rhode Island where our zone it also 6b about 3 hours away from you, anyways it’s a very similar tactic that you use to winter your plants cause I also bury mine as well tho I don’t leave a gap between them. What I do is I grow my plants in their pots and they sit in clear storage bins that are about 4 inches deep and sit in around 2 to 3 inches of water and I move all of them together into my garden for dormancy. Next I cover them with a layer of pine needles and then a layer of leaves and then a layer of burlap over them and then I repeat the process and have them like that till March or until the nights aren’t below freezing.
 
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