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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By kitkatmreow
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun May 31, 2020 1:03 am
#355547
Hello! I'm new, and pretty much just joined to ask this question. I'm nervous and want to make sure I do things right this time.

I've actually had flytraps for years, but could never winter them correctly. I tried several times by keeping them in my unheated garage with a sun lamp on a timer. It seemed great at first, but then when I stuck it outside it died. I tried again the next year, and it died. And the year after. I can never winter these things!

I've been reading through this forum and on other websites. I know that one of my problems was water; I was definitely keeping my flytraps way too wet. That's probably the big problem. I also am unable to stick my flytrap in a sunny window, the house I live in is laid out in such a way that there's no table or windowsill to sit them on. I can't even add a table, cuz then I would block a lot of the living space and I don't know if my family would put up with that for very long. So, I'm trying to come up with a creative solution.

My first idea was to winter them outside. However, I live in zone 6, so it can get pretty cold. My idea was to put mulch around the plant, and then cover the whole pot with a see-through storage tub. My thought was that the tub would protect the plant against the wind and snow, and the mulch protect against the rest of the cold.

So my question is, is that a good idea? Or, should I try the unheated garage again now that I know about watering? The sun lamp makes me nervous though, I'm afraid it won't be as good as actual sun and might still kill the plant. These might be stupid questions, but after trying to teach myself how to care for flytraps I've realized that it might be better just to ask for help.

Any help is appreciated, thank you! :D
By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  548
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#355549
Your idea with the tub probably won't work, although it would protect against the wind it won't help with the cold, and the snow, at least until it melts, doesn't really matter. If you go with the garage you can nix the sun lamp since it is not necessary if you keep your plant at those temps.
By kitkatmreow
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun May 31, 2020 1:03 am
#355550
Hmm, I thought they needed light during dormancy though, is that not right? No light gets into the garage, which is why I had the lamp.

Also I think I was unclear, but I'd put the tub over the pot upside down so no snow would get on it. Would that change things at all?
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By Shadowtski
Posts:  4072
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#355551
I'm in Milwaukee ( 5B ) and I leave my Flytraps outside until the first frost.
That puts them into dormancy naturally.
Then I move them into a cool/cold basement.
They sit under LEDs synced with local sunrise and sunset.
I give them less water over Winter, 1/4 inch in tray and let it dry up before adding more.
The basement will drop into the upper 40s if I close off heating vents down there.
Then when Spring comes to Milwaukee, in mid-May or so, I put them back outside.

Just my 02¢ worth.
Good growing,
Mike
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By kitkatmreow
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun May 31, 2020 1:03 am
#355552
Thank you so much Mike! That was actually just the information I needed but somehow couldn't find. I guess I'll got with the garage again, but this time I feel a lot more confident about it. Thanks again!
By Huntsmanshorn
Posts:  548
Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#355553
kitkatmreow wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 2:17 am Hmm, I thought they needed light during dormancy though, is that not right? No light gets into the garage, which is why I had the lamp.
Not if they are kept cold during dormancy, no light needed if kept on average below, oh say, 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
kitkatmreow wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 2:17 amAlso I think I was unclear, but I'd put the tub over the pot upside down so no snow would get on it. Would that change things at all?
You were not unclear at all and it wouldn't hurt the plant to get snow on it. Freezing the plant solid for an extend period or freezing and thawing over and over would be a problem though.
By tommyr
Location: 
Posts:  1492
Joined:  Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:38 am
#355568
kitkatmreow wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 2:17 am Hmm, I thought they needed light during dormancy though, is that not right? No light gets into the garage, which is why I had the lamp.

Also I think I was unclear, but I'd put the tub over the pot upside down so no snow would get on it. Would that change things at all?
For VFTs, I drain off excess water from the pots, hit them with a SULFUR based fungicide and place in zip lock bags and pop them in the fridge for 3 - 3 1/2 months. I occasionally check them (once a month) for fungus and hit with the fungicide if needed. Late winter around February/March I take them out and clean them up, hit them with SULFUR based fungicide again and place in a south and west window and some under florescent and white 'daylight' LED lights until night time temps. regularly stay above freezing then slowly acclimate them to full outdoor Sun. I've been using this method for 12 years with no losses.
By Benny
Location: 
Posts:  449
Joined:  Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:46 pm
#355574
Snow will not hurt it. Snow is an insulator, protecting it from the cold. However, zone 6 is pretty cold. I would use tommr's idea.
User avatar
By Bob Beer
Posts:  570
Joined:  Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:39 am
#355578
Another way is to find the coldest room in the house and put it right by the window, and tape some paper or cardboard to the window around it (leave the top somewhat open). This insulates the plant from the warmth in the room, and lets it be influenced mostly by the cold air coming off the window, but it won’t freeze solid there. It works for a couple of plants so you could probably adapt it to deal with more. I grew up in Iowa, and tried to overwinter my plants in an unheated room that was a former garage. It still got way too cold, though I believe the major problem was that I let them get too dry at times. (Fearing tot...hehe). I know there are people in places like Colorado who put a layer of straw over their plants, and then top that with a tarp.


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