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Will this set up work for dormancy?

Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
311
Location
SW, Ohio
My collection soon needs to be put in a permanent place for dormancy... basically I am tired of bringing them in and out at night when frost threatens.

My plan it to place them all in an old 29 gallon aquarium and then set up two... 2 foot light hoods (4 bulbs total) and set them on a timer. They would then get placed in the garage for the winter.

Is this light going to be enought to get them through the winter? I would use warm and cool lights... correct? And keep the day length similar to natural day length as well...
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
328
Location
Puyallup, Washington
You do not need to let frost worry you.  Only deep freezes where the temperatures do not go above freezing for days on end need to worry you.  I live in Western Washington, and I have grown my sarracenia outdoors for five years now.  What I do is this:  dig holes in the garden and place the pots directly into the ground.  This helps to insulate them over the winter.  I have yet to lose any of my plants by using this method.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
311
Location
SW, Ohio
I am in southern Ohio... so we do get long deep freezes here. This is my first over-wintering so far, so I was thinking I would stick it out in the garage where I can monitor them better this time around.

My father has a leuco and a purpera that he planting in ground by his pond that he is going to mulch over... so i was planning on comparing them... but they didn't do too well during the growning season... so who knows.

I have couple types of leucos, a coppertop flava, a sar. minor,  a purpera, and a few small hybrids, with a sprinklin of vfts for good measure. My sundew are in with my orchid cases for the winter.

Will the 4 2foot bulbs be enough light?
 
Joined
May 4, 2003
Messages
3,077
Location
San Francisco, CA
Sounds to me like that would work fine. Over winter, the natural light is lower, anyway, and those four lights should light the terrarium well. I'd just use the cool whites, by the way. They're just a better spectrum than the warm ones.

Capslock
 
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
77
Location
Michigan
Hi Matthew, I live a few miles north of you in SW Michigan. Does your garage have any windows? If so, I wouldn't worry about setting up grow lights. Like some of the others have said, I too keep my temperate CPs outdoors throughout the winter. I have purps, leucos, rubras, Hyndle, Danas and darlingtonia among my outdoor collection. This time of year I place the potted plants in deep rubbermaid tubs filled with LFS up to the brims of the pots. I also make sure the pots have at least two inches of LFS beneath them. LFS makes fantastic insulation. In addition, I dress the surface with an 1" layer of live sphagnum. This acts as a natural fungi inhibitor. I place the tubs inside a cheap 6' standing poly greenhouse I purchased at a Big Lots store. On days and or nights above freezing I leave the door rolled up and when temps drop below freezing I simply zip it shut. The greenhouse is under a porch overhang so it gets plenty of natural indirect light with very little direct sunlight. Hope this gives you some additional ideas to ponder! Good Luck
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
311
Location
SW, Ohio
My garage has no windows so I will have to do the grow lights.

Next year I might try out keeping them outside. I just got my collection this year so my live spag isn't very plentiful. I also just moved into a new home and will next year be adding a garden and pond so I might make a more permanent place for them.

How deep of a tub do you put your collection in? add drain holes?


Thanks for all the advice!
 
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
77
Location
Michigan
The tubs are 11" deep. I thoroughly dampen the LFS which retains the moisture for quite a long time. A couple of times throughout the winter months I'll spray mist the plants and moss if it looks like they're beginning to get dry. The tubs don't have any drainage holes. If I were burrying them in the ground, out in the open (I've done this in the past), I would poke drainage holes along the sides about half way between the top and bottom.
It's interesting to try a variety of methods. What works for some fails for others. Good luck!
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2004
Messages
249
Location
NJ
I would not worry about the lights. I am in NJ and grow my Sarracenia in large pots, which I bring into my attached garage over winter. It works well. Don't worry about the lights during this dormancy period, they should be fine. I just brought my plants in last night, and will bring them out again in late March, early April. Keep them slightly moist over winter (not sitting in water, not dry).
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2004
Messages
249
Location
NJ
Well, there is a row of small, north facing windows, but they don't provide enough light to be worthwhile to plant growth. I also bring some cactus in there over winter. As long as the plants are kept cool, they are fine. The problem is if they are warm and actively growing in dim light, then they will quickly grow spindly and exhaust themselves. However, during dormancy you can keep them in total darkness, if you wish. Some people even put their plants in a refrigerator for dormancy. In any case, the plants grow, increase and flower every year. Look in on them occasionally to make sure they dont' dry out too much, and occasionally trim off leaves that have completely turned brown. I usually trim all the leaves back before they go outside again in Spring.
Note, your father's plants outside may not be doing well, by his pond, due to too much nutrients in the soil and/or provided by the pond water (esp. it there is fish in the pond)
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
311
Location
SW, Ohio
My garage has no windows at all... so it is pitch black. Right now the temps are hovering around 30-50 degrees. I might move the shelf to the opposite corner where neither wall is connected to the house.... might drop it a bit in temp. Are these temps ok... it will continue to drop as we get into winter more.

Wouldn't the plants in their native home still be getting a good amount of winter sun?

I will pass the info on to my father. I didn't think of the water from the pond.... he did dig out a good amount and filled it with spag and sand.. but they are in the run-off area. I doubt they will make it.
 
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
77
Location
Michigan
Matt, You've brought up a good point; most temperate plants still receive full sun in their natural habitats during the winter.  The difference between them and our "pet" CPs is found in their growing mediums. The ground disperses and reflects radiant heat from the sun. On the other hand, the pots we grow our CPs in will, in most cases, absorb and retain heat making dormancy difficult.   It also appears that when many CPs go dormant they don't require any light at all. Reduced daylight hours bring the plant into dormancy while a combination of reduced daylight hours and lower temps is what maintains it.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
311
Location
SW, Ohio
sounds good to me. I will get some shallow bins to put all the pots in and keep damp spag in there to keep humidity up as much as possible but also help keep the temp down. Thanks for the help on this one. I can't wait till the spring to actually have a full growing season.
 
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