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Overwintering Sarracenia Bare-root

NemJones

I Am the Terror Of the Night!
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Jun 28, 2014
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Zone 5
The dreaded season has returned, and I need to allocate the sarrs into the
fridge before they freeze solid. However, this year im going to be fighting for space,
so the sarrs will be bare rooted. What is the best way to do this without shocking them,
exposing them to fungus, or letting them dry out?
 
Joined
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Unless you're growing something like S. psittacina, you should be able to overwinter Sarrs outside in zone 5 given proper insulation. My plants freeze solid for most of the winter and regularly experience lows of 15F with no issues under 1' of pine needle mulch.
 

NemJones

I Am the Terror Of the Night!
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MY plants are potted, only maybe 10 inches tall. 2 Flavas, A purp, and Catesbaei. Along with 6 oreo seedlings and 2 jonseii seedlings.
Winters here are hellish. Temps easily hit -5 on a warm day.
 
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Joined
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If you mulch heavily and sink the pots into the ground, you shouldn't have an issue except for the seedlings (which should probably be inside under artificial lights anyway) - purps and flavas are some of the most cold-hardy Sarrs. Regardless, if you still want to go the refrigerator route, I would suggest doing it how one would do VFT refrigerator dormancy. I've never found a need to keep my temperate plants anywhere besides outdoors during winter, so I can't help you much with this.
 

ErrorEN

Your Real Mom
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Morgantown, WV
Unless you're growing something like S. psittacina, you should be able to overwinter Sarrs outside in zone 5 given proper insulation. My plants freeze solid for most of the winter and regularly experience lows of 15F with no issues under 1' of pine needle mulch.

Just curious, Alvin. Where might one find pine needle mulch for sale locally? :scratch: Used some sort of wheat straw as a mulch last year and it was disastrous.
 
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Sorry Eric, I've never actually seen pine needle mulch for sale at any garden center, I just collect it from the neighbor's bhutan pine branches that overhang my yard - it makes up for the annoying pine cones, I suppose. The needles are large, flexible, and resist rot much better than larch or juniper. I would definitely avoid straw-based mulches, I've used them on vegetable beds before and had huge fungal outbreaks.
 

NemJones

I Am the Terror Of the Night!
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There are articles on how to cultivate fungus gardens using straw mulch.
I believe the acidic properties of the needles is what keeps them away
 
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Unless you're growing something like S. psittacina, you should be able to overwinter Sarrs outside in zone 5 given proper insulation.

I strongly disagree with that..
Im in zone 6, Western NY, and its waaaaaaaaaay too cold to overwinter Sarrs and VFT's outdoors..
Ive tried it..several times..they didnt make it.

yes, if its a milder winter they *might* live..maybe..but IMO there is a 50/50 chance of death.
and its not just the cold, its the duration of the cold.
yes, they can take a few days at 15F, but two solid months at 25F will almost certainty kill them..
we can have weeks at a time below freezing, day and night. and winter lasts 5 months.

Zone 7 - no problem.
Zone 6 - iffy.. maybe ok, maybe not..I wouldnt try it, but some have success with HEAVY mulching, and plants in an in-ground bog, not in pots.
Zone 5 - almost certain death IMO..far too cold.

Scot

- - - Updated - - -

My thoughts on zones:

Scot's Carnivores

Coastal areas are generally much milder than inland.
Long Island NY is almost tropical compared to Western NY..very different winters.

Scot
 
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I strongly disagree with that..
Im in zone 6, Western NY, and its waaaaaaaaaay too cold to overwinter Sarrs and VFT's outdoors..
Ive tried it..several times..they didnt make it.

yes, if its a milder winter they *might* live..maybe..but IMO there is a 50/50 chance of death.
and its not just the cold, its the duration of the cold.
yes, they can take a few days at 15F, but two solid months at 25F will almost certainty kill them..
we can have weeks at a time below freezing, day and night. and winter lasts 5 months.

Zone 7 - no problem.
Zone 6 - iffy.. maybe ok, maybe not..I wouldnt try it, but some have success with HEAVY mulching, and plants in an in-ground bog, not in pots.
Zone 5 - almost certain death IMO..far too cold.

Scot

I strongly disagree with all of this. I live just outside of Boston and all my Sarracenia and Dionaea are grown outside all year with just some light mulching and I wouldn't even do that if I had guaranteed snow cover to protect the Dionaea. I also have several bogs at my mothers house in NH (Zone 5) where many Sarracenia species and hybrids are grown outdoors year round with absolutely no protection and they do just fine.
 
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Messages
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Location
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Im in zone 6, Western NY, and its waaaaaaaaaay too cold to overwinter Sarrs and VFT's outdoors..
Ive tried it..several times..they didnt make it.

yes, if its a milder winter they *might* live..maybe..but IMO there is a 50/50 chance of death.
and its not just the cold, its the duration of the cold.
yes, they can take a few days at 15F, but two solid months at 25F will almost certainty kill them..
we can have weeks at a time below freezing, day and night. and winter lasts 5 months.

Zone 7 - no problem.
Zone 6 - iffy.. maybe ok, maybe not..I wouldnt try it, but some have success with HEAVY mulching, and plants in an in-ground bog, not in pots.
Zone 5 - almost certain death IMO..far too cold.

Scot

- - - Updated - - -

My thoughts on zones:

Scot's Carnivores

Coastal areas are generally much milder than inland.
Long Island NY is almost tropical compared to Western NY..very different winters.

Scot

I'm growing my plants in pots in middle/northern NJ, also in zone 6. I get temperatures virtually identical to yours, and I have yet to lose a plant to anything that I can perceive as being related to cold-damage. Perhaps there's a few key differences in the way that we prepare the plants, like the mulch or sinking the pots into the ground?

It's always been my thought that the issue during dormancy is not temperatures below freezing, but constant thawing and refreezing of the media which can really do a number on the roots. The mulch I use guarantees that my pots will stay frozen solid in the case of an abnormally warm day and stay thawed in the case of a late frost. In my mind, temperature stability is key during a deep dormancy.
 

tommyr

Gardening freak!
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Jan 25, 2006
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Location
Hudson Valley of N.Y.
I strongly disagree with that..
Im in zone 6, Western NY, and its waaaaaaaaaay too cold to overwinter Sarrs and VFT's outdoors..
Ive tried it..several times..they didnt make it.

yes, if its a milder winter they *might* live..maybe..but IMO there is a 50/50 chance of death.
and its not just the cold, its the duration of the cold.
yes, they can take a few days at 15F, but two solid months at 25F will almost certainty kill them..
we can have weeks at a time below freezing, day and night. and winter lasts 5 months.

Zone 7 - no problem.
Zone 6 - iffy.. maybe ok, maybe not..I wouldnt try it, but some have success with HEAVY mulching, and plants in an in-ground bog, not in pots.
Zone 5 - almost certain death IMO..far too cold.

Scot

- - - Updated - - -

My thoughts on zones:

Scot's Carnivores

Coastal areas are generally much milder than inland.
Long Island NY is almost tropical compared to Western NY..very different winters.

Scot

Agreed I'm in Zone 6. WAY too cold. We get down into the low single digits to below freezing at times. Teens and 20'sF most of the winter.

I lost some sarrs a few years ago as well.

Tom

- - - Updated - - -

I'm growing my plants in pots in middle/northern NJ, also in zone 6. I get temperatures virtually identical to yours, and I have yet to lose a plant to anything that I can perceive as being related to cold-damage. Perhaps there's a few key differences in the way that we prepare the plants, like the mulch or sinking the pots into the ground?

It's always been my thought that the issue during dormancy is not temperatures below freezing, but constant thawing and refreezing of the media which can really do a number on the roots. The mulch I use guarantees that my pots will stay frozen solid in the case of an abnormally warm day and stay thawed in the case of a late frost. In my mind, temperature stability is key during a deep dormancy.

You live on the southern edge of 6, the warmer part. Jersey has warmer winters than the low Hudson Valley of N.Y.
 
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Perhaps a lack of snow cover in addition to discrepancies between mulching/protection methods, then. It's a fact that people do keep Sarrs outside all year in zone 5 to great success, but YMMV.
 
Joined
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Location
SW, Ohio
I am in zone 6a.. Southern Ohio... And I overwinter mine outdoors in bogs with protection. We had the worst winters in history for the past two years and didn't lose plants to the cold... Not one. I first used a foot of straw... It worked but was a pain to clean up come spring. There might have been some fungus come spring, but it didn't mess with the plants. After that I have just made a frame over the bog that is covered with old sheets and painter canvases. The frame holds the covers up off the plants. It's worked perfect. I have all sorts of sarracenia and vfts. I have even tossed some vft seed in the bog one spring... And they made it through the following winter.

If you would try the same with pots, you would just need more mulch maybe. The inground bog might regulate the temps a bit, but it's not going to be any warmer then a bunch of pots sitting on the ground with the same mulch.

Scotty... Are you trying to overwinter on the ground or balcony?

Also, read this guys blog about growing in zone 6b. He has been doing it for a while and would have good tips. You could always give it a try on a plant it two that you could live without.

https://zone6b.wordpress.com
 
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NemJones

I Am the Terror Of the Night!
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Location
Zone 5
Im just going to go ahead and say its way too cold.

Does anybody have any methods of how to bare root dormancy in a fridge, without molds or
drying/dying out over winter
 
Last edited:

tommyr

Gardening freak!
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Jan 25, 2006
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Hudson Valley of N.Y.
Im just going to go ahead and say its way too cold.

Does anybody have any methods of how to bare root dormancy in a fridge, without molds or
drying/dying out over winter

All I do is hit them with a little sulphur based fungicide and that's it. I check them once a month to see if they need more fungicide. Usually the inside of the zip lock bag is moist enough.
 

NemJones

I Am the Terror Of the Night!
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Do you wrap them with sphagnum or paper towels? or is it just pure, bare rootedness
 
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