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Discuss Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus plant care here

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By Kurblius
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:30 am
#374023
I recently acquired a wine cooler, which I'm thinking of using to grow some CPs. I was thinking specifically of housing Darlingtonia, given that it prefers it's roots in cooler temperatures, and I can control the temperature inside the wine cooler. California Carnivore recommends keeping the roots between 40-55 degrees F but isn't that close to the temperature for Sarracenia dormancy? I understand that Darlingtonia also require a dormancy. So what temperature should I set my wine cooler so that it's ideal for the plant to grow, and what temperature should I set it if I want to trigger dormancy?
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By MikeB
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Posts:  457
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#374028
Kurblius wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:04 amCalifornia Carnivore recommends keeping the roots between 40-55 degrees F but isn't that close to the temperature for Sarracenia dormancy?
That's just the temperature of the water flowing over the roots. The air temperature can be 90+ F.

There's a spring-feed creek like this near my parents' house. When I was a kid, we loved stopping at the creek on a blazingly hot, humid, summer day and splashing on some water that was lucky to reach 60 F.
Kurblius wrote:I understand that Darlingtonia also require a dormancy. So what temperature should I set my wine cooler so that it's ideal for the plant to grow, and what temperature should I set it if I want to trigger dormancy?
Here is the range map for Darlingtonia californica.

If you go to Google, enter "climate Cave Junction Oregon", and then click on the "Graphs" link, you'll see the conditions that the wild plants grow in.

Sarracenia Northwest has a good cultivation care guide for this species.
By steve booth
Posts:  875
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#374038
Unless you live somewhere ridiculously hot I wouldn't worry too much about the root temperatures, growing in a 4" deep tray and in live sphagnum I've had root temps well into the 80s without a problem, that could be due to the wicking effect of the sphagnum, other mediums may not be as good.
From my experiences over 30 years, I would always recommend growing in pure live sphagnum
Cheers
Steve
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By Matt
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Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#374058
To add to what MikeB and Steve wrote, the water flowing over the roots of Darlingtonia can be in the 80s or 90s at times during the summer! So it's not just the cool temp that they need. I think it is more about cool night-time temps and non-stagnant potting conditions that lead to the long-term health of Darlingtonia. They are best maintained in cultivation by watering them at least once daily and not leaving them standing in stagnant water.
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By MikeB
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Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#374068
Matt wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:52 pmI think it is more about cool night-time temps
This is why I can't grow Darlingtonia californica at my location. During the summer, the highs reach into the 90's, but the lows struggle to hit 70 (the ridiculous humidity traps the heat). I'd have to live in the mountains to get cool nights during summer.
By Kurblius
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:30 am
#374075
Ok thanks guys. I just read the care guide from Sarracenia Northwest.

A lot of you guys talk of night time temperatures. Unfortunately, I can't simulate that with a wine cooler. I have to pick a single temperature constant. Summer temperatures can get well over 30 degrees C here, and both of the Darlingtonia growers living near me lost all their darlingtonia recently while growing outside despite using ice water. I think growing Darlingtonia outside is too risky in my area, hence I prefer growing it in a controlled environment. If you could only set one temperature, what would it be?

After reading the Northwest guide, I'm thinking of using one of those long rectangular windowsill pots to give it's roots stolons some running room. I'm planning on placing it on some aquarium rocks so it doesn't stand in water after I water it with distilled water every other day. May make it every day, we'll see. Humidity in the wine cooler should be a constant 70%. For soil medium, I'm still debating between 50% live Sphagnum 50% perlite or 100% live sphagnum. Northwest recommends peat moss and perlite, but I suspect that live sphagnum's anti-microbial properties must be beneficial in preventing sudden root rot.

For dormancy I guess I'll just keep it with my other dormant sarracenia in the garage, though I may need to trim the pitchers so they'll fit. I live in Canada where it gets super cold in the winter, so it has to go into a special insulated aquarium with a heat pad. The only problem is that there's no light in there. Does Darlingtonia require light during dormancy?

Other thoughts or feedback would be much appreciated.
By steve booth
Posts:  875
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#374127
I know I'm in the Uk and my growing conditions are different to yours, but I have grown in 50/50 peat perlite and pure live Sphagnum and have settled on pure Sphagnum as being superior for growth.

The plants do love to be wet, wet, wet, with good root aeration, I would recommend planting in pure live Sphagnum and if its in a pot (the bigger pot the better, as they soon fill any pot once the stolons start). I would also let it stand in some water, an inch or so, so the sphagnum can wick up the water. The wicking and the 'airy' texture of the Sphagnum act to reduce the root temperature and maintains humidity around the plant.

A lot of the action with these plants seems to take place in the top 4" or so of the medium, so the rest of the depth acts as a reservoir for water and thermal mass for keeping the roots cooler than the surroundings. Dont pack the Sphagnum too tight, otherwise it will die and turn to goo.

I've never overwintered them without light before so I cant comment on that I'm afraid, but some of mine do sit outside in the UK all year round so do get frozen from time to time without problems (minus 15 C for a few nights here this year, but it could be I've got mountain clones) so they can take mild freezes. Could you hook up a small grow light in the terrarium on a 8 hr timer just in case?

Good luck
Steve
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By Matt
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Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#374146
MikeB wrote:This is why I can't grow Darlingtonia californica at my location. During the summer, the highs reach into the 90's, but the lows struggle to hit 70 (the ridiculous humidity traps the heat). I'd have to live in the mountains to get cool nights during summer.
Yeah, it would be super challenging to grow Darlingtonia in those conditions. Great for flytraps and Sarrs though!!
By hungrycarnivores
Posts:  13
Joined:  Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:53 pm
#374164
No. I did have a chicken rip apart a sarr pitcher and eat the living ants from inside though last year :lol: :lol: :lol: . Now I don't let her anywhere near my plants, she's quite the unpicky eater - fertilizer, perlite, plants, gloves.... it's there, she eats it.
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By sanguinearocks101
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Posts:  1546
Joined:  Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:56 am
#374200
hungrycarnivores wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:22 pm INDOORSSSSS people! I find that they don't even need dormancy!
Is this one of those things where they require lots of frequent care to replace their dormancy?
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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  21845
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#374246
sanguinearocks101 wrote:
hungrycarnivores wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:22 pm INDOORSSSSS people! I find that they don't even need dormancy!
Is this one of those things where they require lots of frequent care to replace their dormancy?
I wondered the same thing. They definitely go dormant in the wild here where they live. Winters can be pretty brutal in some places of their range. The coastal Darlingtonia have a mild dormancy, but it is still cold and wet in the winter months in the "State of Jefferson" as this area out here is called in northern California/southern Oregon where Darlingtonia grow natively.
By Kurblius
Posts:  14
Joined:  Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:30 am
#374254
steve booth wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:14 am I know I'm in the Uk and my growing conditions are different to yours, but I have grown in 50/50 peat perlite and pure live Sphagnum and have settled on pure Sphagnum as being superior for growth.

The plants do love to be wet, wet, wet, with good root aeration, I would recommend planting in pure live Sphagnum and if its in a pot (the bigger pot the better, as they soon fill any pot once the stolons start). I would also let it stand in some water, an inch or so, so the sphagnum can wick up the water. The wicking and the 'airy' texture of the Sphagnum act to reduce the root temperature and maintains humidity around the plant.

A lot of the action with these plants seems to take place in the top 4" or so of the medium, so the rest of the depth acts as a reservoir for water and thermal mass for keeping the roots cooler than the surroundings. Dont pack the Sphagnum too tight, otherwise it will die and turn to goo.

I've never overwintered them without light before so I cant comment on that I'm afraid, but some of mine do sit outside in the UK all year round so do get frozen from time to time without problems (minus 15 C for a few nights here this year, but it could be I've got mountain clones) so they can take mild freezes. Could you hook up a small grow light in the terrarium on a 8 hr timer just in case?

Good luck
Steve
Thanks!
By hungrycarnivores
Posts:  13
Joined:  Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:53 pm
#374350
Matt wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:53 pm
sanguinearocks101 wrote:
hungrycarnivores wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:22 pm INDOORSSSSS people! I find that they don't even need dormancy!
Is this one of those things where they require lots of frequent care to replace their dormancy?
I wondered the same thing. They definitely go dormant in the wild here where they live. Winters can be pretty brutal in some places of their range. The coastal Darlingtonia have a mild dormancy, but it is still cold and wet in the winter months in the "State of Jefferson" as this area out here is called in northern California/southern Oregon where Darlingtonia grow natively.
Not IME. One thing seems to be for me, skipping dormancy increases chance of root-rot. So keep them in LFS/Perlite 3:5 (my choice mix for them).
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