Refrigerator Dormancy

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boarderlib

 
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Refrigerator Dormancy

by boarderlib » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:59 pm

My successful refrigerator dormancy.

To start off I live in a cold winter climate. I bring my plants in because it's to temperamental for them to survive outside all winter. As we learned in the dormancy thread it's the freezing and thawing repeatedly that will kill your plant.

If you have a lot of plants, you may want to consider throwing them in the garage. Also do not use a fridge dormancy for low growing opened topped sarracenia. I did and ended up with mold problems in that bag. I managed to save the plant, but it was a PITA having to keep treating it and keep it isolated.

Step one, let the plant go dormant. I let mine get hit by several frosts before I placed them in the fridge. The plants are dormant now I'm ready to put them in the fridge. Let's get everything we need together and prepped.

1) New quality LFSM
2) Hydrogen peroxide (I used the Dollar Store stuff)
3) 5 large Tupperware bowls
4) Ziploc bags (I used gallon sized to keep each cultivar in its own bag)
5) A couple gallons of distilled water
6) A couple paper towels
7) Cinnamon (it's a cheap antifungal) thanks hollyhock fort the idea!

I dipped my paper towels in hydrogen peroxide, and cleaned the insides of the bags. Opened them up the best I could so they could air dry. While they were drying I mixed a 3:1 mix of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water, and filled Tupperware bowl number one with that. Then filled the bowl with LFSM, so it could rehydrate. You can go ahead and fill bowls numbered 2-4 with clean water now.

Get plant number one and unpot it, and throw the old media away. Clean, the plant thoroughly, remove all dead and or dying growth. If it has black anywhere the whole leaf needs to come off. You need to be very meticulous here with this step. So take your time and clean it.

Sarracenia are a little different with cleaning. Once you have the root zone clean and the dead growth removed you need to cut open pitchers back. Any open pitchers need cut back below the tube opening. If you cut and still see black in the middle of the tube, cut lower until the cut is green all of the way through. Phyllodia are fine to leave if you can fit them in the bag.

Now get a bag and label it with its contents. Take a handful of the hydrated LFSM and ring it out, place it in bowl two to rehydrate in clean water, ring it out. Follow these steps through bowls 3 and 4. Now take your plant that you've thoroughly cleaned and loosely wrap around the roots and rhiozome with your clean LFSM. This is not potting it doesn't need to be packed in at all. It's okay to have a six inch root in one inch of media, just make sure its in the media. I made a little birds nest with LFSM and set the plant in it, and then stuck a couple pieces around the top of the rhiozome under the leaves.

Now you can place the plug of media and plant into the bag. Once that bag has all of the plants that will be in there, you sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of the plants and media. Seal up the bag and place in the fridge.

I used a mini fridge, and if you do choose that route be careful with your plant placement. I placed my Megatraps to close to the freezer section and ended up freezing it solid for 2-3 weeks. The plant came out unharmed, but I much prefer to be safe and not sorry.

This is the only pic I have from my fridge dormancy, but it should give you a good idea of the packing and placement in the bags. Image

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Last edited by hollyhock on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Important topic

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by DesireeCoffey » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:07 pm

Wow, you did an awesome job. Thank you for the information. Since the time is coming and this will be my first dormancy, I have been doing lots of research. I live in Alabama so I think I'm going to leave my plants outside all year. Great write up though. I know it will help a lot of people here.

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by hollyhock » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:54 pm

Again thank you for taking your time to give us all a very complete explanation of an option for dormancy. I know it's a subject of fear and mystery for new growers. At least it was for me my first time. Do you know how to make this post a sticky?
You can't go! All the plants are gonna die!
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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by boarderlib » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:38 pm

DesireeCoffey wrote:Wow, you did an awesome job. Thank you for the information. Since the time is coming and this will be my first dormancy, I have been doing lots of research. I live in Alabama so I think I'm going to leave my plants outside all year. Great write up though. I know it will help a lot of people here.

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Thank you for the kind words! Lucky you! You can enjoy your plants year round

hollyhock wrote:Again thank you for taking your time to give us all a very complete explanation of an option for dormancy. I know it's a subject of fear and mystery for new growers. At least it was for me my first time. Do you know how to make this post a sticky?


You are very welcome! Hopefully it helps people with smaller collections and adverse weather conditions get through their dormancy with happy plants. Thank you for the cinnamon tip, it worked like a champ!

Unfortunately no I do not know. I'm the resident troublemaker so they won't give me that kind of power

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by jpad1208 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:22 pm

How bad is the refrigerator method? I always read that it should be used as a 'last resort'. This will be my first dormancy and I'm scared my porch might get too cold and too little sunlight. The refrigerator method of dormancy seems so much more reliable in terms of not killing my VFT's.

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by boarderlib » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:18 am

Hollyhock could you share with us how your Megatraps looked in general? If I recall correctly I pulled your plant out of the bag and shipped it. Never even potted it.
jpad1208 wrote:How bad is the refrigerator method? I always read that it should be used as a 'last resort'. This will be my first dormancy and I'm scared my porch might get too cold and too little sunlight. The refrigerator method of dormancy seems so much more reliable in terms of not killing my VFT's.
If you have a small number of plants, less than 10 or so, it won't be bad at all. The sunlight should be a non issue, I left mine in the fridge for right about three months with no light at all except when I checked for mold every two or three weeks.

It can be more reliable or it can be a disaster, that is all up to the person doing it. I believe the key is in the prep work making sure everything is as clean as possible.



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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by hollyhock » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:17 am

It was beautiful when it arrived. And now has divided and is twice as beautiful. :D
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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by boarderlib » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:17 pm

Thank you hollyhock! I thought it might be good to pull that in since you have first hand experience with a freshly pulled plant.

Like it would do anything but great under your care

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by tommyr » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:58 pm

jpad1208 wrote:How bad is the refrigerator method? I always read that it should be used as a 'last resort'. This will be my first dormancy and I'm scared my porch might get too cold and too little sunlight. The refrigerator method of dormancy seems so much more reliable in terms of not killing my VFT's.


It's not "bad" at all. I've been doing it for nearly 10 years now. Here's how *I* do it, I don't go through all the stuff boarderlib does:

For me, in N.Y., once night temps get and stay 35-40 F. I remove my Sarrs from the pots, dunk and clean the roots in rainwater. Put them in zip lock bags, spray a little sulphur based fungicide on them and put into the bottom of my fridge. Works great.

For VFTs, I drain off excess water from the pots, hit them with a sulphur based fungicide and place in zip lock bags and pop them in the fridge for 3-4 months. Late winter around March I take them out hit them with sulphur based fungicide again and place in a south and west window until night time temps. Regularly stay above freezing then slowly acclimate them to full outdoor Sun.

Tom

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by jpad1208 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:43 pm

tommyr wrote:
jpad1208 wrote:How bad is the refrigerator method? I always read that it should be used as a 'last resort'. This will be my first dormancy and I'm scared my porch might get too cold and too little sunlight. The refrigerator method of dormancy seems so much more reliable in terms of not killing my VFT's.


It's not "bad" at all. I've been doing it for nearly 10 years now. Here's how *I* do it, I don't go through all the stuff boarderlib does:

For me, in N.Y., once night temps get and stay 35-40 F. I remove my Sarrs from the pots, dunk and clean the roots in rainwater. Put them in zip lock bags, spray a little sulphur based fungicide on them and put into the bottom of my fridge. Works great.

For VFTs, I drain off excess water from the pots, hit them with a sulphur based fungicide and place in zip lock bags and pop them in the fridge for 3-4 months. Late winter around March I take them out hit them with sulphur based fungicide again and place in a south and west window until night time temps. Regularly stay above freezing then slowly acclimate them to full outdoor Sun.

Tom

For the VFT's, you leave them inside the pot in the fridge in a 'big' ziplock bag? Or you uproot them and then stick them bare -rooted inside the ziplock bags? You should post some pics or write about your method. It sounds very interesting.

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Re: Refrigerator Dormancy

by tommyr » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:27 pm

jpad1208 wrote:
tommyr wrote:
jpad1208 wrote:How bad is the refrigerator method? I always read that it should be used as a 'last resort'. This will be my first dormancy and I'm scared my porch might get too cold and too little sunlight. The refrigerator method of dormancy seems so much more reliable in terms of not killing my VFT's.


It's not "bad" at all. I've been doing it for nearly 10 years now. Here's how *I* do it, I don't go through all the stuff boarderlib does:

For me, in N.Y., once night temps get and stay 35-40 F. I remove my Sarrs from the pots, dunk and clean the roots in rainwater. Put them in zip lock bags, spray a little sulphur based fungicide on them and put into the bottom of my fridge. Works great.

For VFTs, I drain off excess water from the pots, hit them with a sulphur based fungicide and place in zip lock bags and pop them in the fridge for 3-4 months. Late winter around March I take them out hit them with sulphur based fungicide again and place in a south and west window until night time temps. Regularly stay above freezing then slowly acclimate them to full outdoor Sun.

Tom

For the VFT's, you leave them inside the pot in the fridge in a 'big' ziplock bag? Or you uproot them and then stick them bare -rooted inside the ziplock bags? You should post some pics or write about your method. It sounds very interesting.


I leave them in their pots. Just re-read what I wrote above. If any need to be re-potted in the late winter/early spring then I unpot those of coarse.


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