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By Ashnewto
Posts:  13
Joined:  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:31 pm
hi there guys,

only just starrted growing cp's this year and its my first dormancy with them.. i knew they'd get drab and black and fall apart etc i just wanted to make sure they look.. well.. normal! so i can stop worrying

i have included a few pics, (btw i keep them in south facing conservetry with no heating.. which stays between 0 -10c on average i'd say 5-6)

I'f you've bad news break it gently to me! :)
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By dantt99
Posts:  5045
Joined:  Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:48 am
They look like they are dying, but that's just what I see. Look at some of these articles at the top and you can probably figure out yourself if they're dormant or not. What type of water are you using, how often do you water it, what type of media is it in, etc. are many questions that will help determine that.

Look here: ... tions.html
By Veronis
Posts:  2200
Joined:  Fri May 29, 2009 8:41 pm
Your purpurea, flytrap and other two other pitcher plants look ok to me, just cold and dormant.

How many hours of direct sunlight are they getting? They should be getting somewhere around 4-5 hours per day during winter; during the summer they'll need 6+ hours. The closer to 10 the better.

Make sure you give them just enough water during dormancy to keep the soil from drying out; no more.

Plan to repot them in Spring in a mixture of 50/50 sphagnum peat moss and perlite (or silica sand). They look like they're in something closer to pure peat which isn't ideal long-term.

As for your capensis and aliciea, those are subtropical/tropical plants. They should not be out in the cold at all. They probably won't survive the winter out there; they do not need dormancy. Bring them in the house and put them in a sunny windowsill instead.
By dmagnan
Posts:  603
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
Well, the flytrap either froze on a particularly cold night, or it's dying. If a plant freezes then I think it's common for all of the leaves to shrivel and die like that, it's not ideal but I think the plant usually lives. Without freezing, the leaves dying should be a regulated process, a few at a time. They shouldn't all go like that. And it should generally be the oldest leaves that go first. In that picture you have a leaf that didn't even finish development but is starting to go black.

The thing that worries me is that it doesn't appear that the plant was in dormancy, so I don't know how an actively growing plant handles freezing. Dormancy leaves should be short and compact, on most of my plants the leaves are now shorter than the traps. I think most flytraps have been dormant for about a month, so I'm not sure why yours isn't.

On a side note your flytrap isn't getting enough light. Those long spindly leaves are the plant reaching for light. See this post:
By Veronis
Posts:  2200
Joined:  Fri May 29, 2009 8:41 pm
Ashnewto had said in a previous post in late November that he had just gotten them, so these plants were in the shape they're in now when he brought them home. The light the plants were getting at the garden center was likely insufficient, but I can't speak for the light they're getting now.

Also, they were probably not sun-hardened at the garden center, being likely in a light-filtered greenhouse, which explains the darkened edges of the flytrap. The three sarracenia just look like they're going dormant. It's the two tropicals on the far right I'm worried about. They need to be moved indoors ASAP or they'll die.
By Ashnewto
Posts:  13
Joined:  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:31 pm
thanks for helping people! i've been checking every half hour for a reply!

they are in an unheated south facing conseverty (as it got told it was the best places) are getting as many hours sunlight as in the uk at the moment.. when you say sun.. its not sunny but day light?

in the summer they were in kitchen window sill and were all really healthly, i posted pics earlier in year.. about a month and half before now (dmagan not sure which "long spindly leaves" you mean? the only fly trap is bottom left corner) ... t8381.html please look at this to see what they were like (just looked at dates and they were taken last quarter of november)

i hardly water them out there! as they seem to keep the little bit of mositure quite well unlike the summer it was every day or two for some!

moved the sundews into kitchen already although i had advise to put them in consevetry aswell.. they even told me they'd appriciate cutting right back aswell? and would grow back better and bushier next year.. but i never did that

I have ordered some potting mixture and was going to repot although then was advised agaisnt as they were all doing well in current mix and the saying about if it aint broke dont fix it.

I hear you about the dormancy of fly trap.. they were living their normal summer lives and the fly trap especially was growing big time.. i even think a baby plant growing near the core as there were tiny tiny traps there. (apart from two pitchers seemed to slow and tips go brown) even though they were all supposed to be going dormant so i had to put in consevetry.. maybe next year i should towards end of summer move to a halfway place to slow down? although i thought the place i put them was sufficient?

sorry if my replys not formatted so well.. so much info to put down!

awaiting your appriciated replys
By Ashnewto
Posts:  13
Joined:  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:31 pm
Veronis wrote:Ashnewto had said in a previous post in late November that he had just gotten them, so these plants were in the shape they're in now when he brought them home. The light the plants were getting at the garden center was likely insufficient, but I can't speak for the light they're getting now.

Also, they were probably not sun-hardened at the garden center, being likely in a light-filtered greenhouse, which explains the darkened edges of the flytrap. The three sarracenia just look like they're going dormant. It's the two tropicals on the far right I'm worried about. They need to be moved indoors ASAP or they'll die.

veronis.. no i got them earlier in year.. around july! and i took a picture of them late november which is in the link it last post
By Veronis
Posts:  2200
Joined:  Fri May 29, 2009 8:41 pm
Ah. You posted in November and said they were new, so I assumed they were newer than July. ;) This changes quite a bit of things, and for starters I agree with dmagnan.

They do look like they aren't getting enough light, and the purple pitchers should be much more purple than they are.

And then like dmagnan said, the flytraps, in this case, might be getting too cold at night. If the temps are freezing or below in there, eventually they will succumb to the winter and die. The same goes for the pitchers, although some pitchers are much hardier than others.

They all definitely need DIRECT sunlight to thrive long term; regular daylight won't cut it for them to be healthy.

I don't know who advised you to keep tropical plants in a temperate environment where temps approach freezing, but this was incorrect advice. Only trim them when the leaves die completely and dry up. Frankly you never need to trim them, it just makes them look nicer. ;)

As for the potting mix and repot, media needs to be changed every year or two. Further, pure peat moss is just about the least recommended mixture of any CP-safe mixture, which is why I recommended using peat/perlite mix. It *can* be used, but it retains entirely too much water for the flytraps' liking. The Sarrs are fine with the dampness, but the roots are getting less air than they should, which is why perlite is used - to aerate the soil and to help with drainage.

Sarracenia can sit in inches of water 24/7 during the growing season and will be happy as pigs in crap. Flytraps don't like to sit in water that much, and their soil is best left "just damp". The two topical plants you have fall closer to the middle of that road.

Back to dormancy...if you had them in the house or a much warmer place and then put them in the conservatory where the temps were suddenly much colder, then the plants are in serious shock and may or may not survive dormancy - if this is the case, that's why you're flytrap's leaf edges all look burned. It's too late to reverse the affects now.

Think about these plants in nature; temperatures slowly get colder and daytime slowly gets shorter; even in the dead of winter temps rarely ever drop below freezing. You need to emulate this as closely as possible - if you don't, you may very well run into problems or dead plants.
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By Steve_D
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
During dormancy, it would probably be better not to leave the pots standing in water, because the plants water needs are drastically reduced during dormancy, and cold and wet conditions can promote fungal and bacterial infection and rot.

Try not to worry too much about them. Good luck-- :)
By Ashnewto
Posts:  13
Joined:  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:31 pm
Thanks for the comments thanks for trying to help..

A litte confused about a few things now though? cant see i said they were new? apart from in another post i said i'm new to cp's? maybe you assumed from that?

and i dont water them much at all, they are not standing in ANY water in the conseverty, just wanted to point that out.

it was actually someone in last post (that i included the link above) that someone said for sundews to be dormant, and also from someone else who runs on online shop selling them that said it aswell...!? no wonder i'm confused! hope their not gonners!

and i said they get daylight in the conservatory... its winter in uk, we dont really get sunlight?! so i'm not sure if you were on about that? plus i've heard that when they are dormant sunlight is not essential?

in the summer they were in kitchen on southfacing windowsiill, soaked in sun all day? i'm not sure if you mean you think then or now there are not getting enough?

i thought it would be ok to move from kitchen to consevetry as the sunlight started to drop obviosuly becasue of time of year in kitchen.. plus it was getting colder in their last few months as there is no radiator so thought they'd be getting used to it a little colder

my head hurts so much now! :|
By Veronis
Posts:  2200
Joined:  Fri May 29, 2009 8:41 pm
When you posted here ( ... t8381.html) last week, you said you were new to this, so I assumed you had just gotten them. It's neither here nor there anymore anyway. You clearly stated now that you've had them since July. ;)

Some sundews are in fact temperate and require dormancy. However, Capensis and aliciae are both tropical and a full temperate dormancy will kill them. The capensis is probably fine as it's sub-tropical and damn near impossible to kill; the round aliciae may be set back for much longer but even that should recover in time unless it froze one night.

When I said direct sunlight, I was primarily talking about the growing season. As long as they are under where the sun should be if not overcast, that's (generally; within reason) OK. But if they're in an area that's bright but won't see any or very little sun even on a clear day, that's most often a problem. I'll explain more in a bit, as I'm sure this just confused you more.

They do need much less light during winter. But they still need some sunlight unless they are consistently between ~33 F (0.8 C) and ~39 F (3.8 C) degrees. In any case you are right, they really don't need much, but ideally they need about 4 or 5 hours to more closely emulate their natural habitat.

An example is fridge dormancy. Several of my plants sit outdoors under direct sunlight until late November, at which point they are dormant. We get very very cold winters here, so I uproot them and put them in plastic ziploc bags, then stick them in the refrigerator until Spring, occasionally opening the bags to cycle air and ensure I don't have any fungus growing inside. They get 0 hours of sunlight per day in the fridge, because it's 34 F (1.1 C) degrees in there at all times; it's so cold the plants are basically in a coma and don't need any light. The sudden light change doesn't shock them because 1) they're already dormant, and 2) the temperature drop to ~34 degrees F sends them into an even deeper dormancy. In their natural habitat, winter days can approach 50 F (10 C) or more degrees. At those temps, some light is needed, as the amount of direct sunlight they need is directly proportionate to the temp they experience over dormancy. Will flytraps kept dormant in 48F/9C degree temps that get no light die before Spring? I don't know, I've never tried it, but I'd be surprised if they didn't.

A South-facing windowsill in the kitchen is a great place for them during the growing season, but based on the coloration of the purpureas and the look of the flytraps, they weren't getting as much sunlight as they should. 6 hours or more direct sunlight per day is what they need, and that's the floor, not the ceiling. A few overcast days over the course of each week is fine, but it does up the daily sunlight requirements a bit in order for them to thrive and color up nicely.

When you moved them from the windowsill to the conservatory, my best guess right now is that the overall temp difference in the night time was too great and they went into shock. If that's not the cause, then night time temps may be dropping below freezing in there too much. Additionally, the sudden change in lighting put them into further shock since temps are still reaching what, around 50F/10C degrees or so at peak?

Stick to your current plan and see it through. The only other alternatives I see are these:

1) Keep them at the South windowsill year-round. This will only work if temps at that window sill approach or drop below 50 degrees F. To complicate further, if that is the case, the aliciae is going to be very unhappy, but the capensis (being sub-tropical to be exact) would be fine with it until around 45 and below.
2) Add a 6500K fluorescent light or two (the more watts the better - I'd recommend about 50 total or more) and run them 14 hours a day on a timer during the growing season, dropped back to 8 or 10 hours a day during late fall and winter. Keep said fluorescent lights within 6-8 inches from the plants. 4 inches away is even better if you can pull it off, as fluorescent light intensity diminishes exponentially as the distance away increases.

Growing carnivorous plants is not an exact science; there's a lot of trial and error involved, but we'll continue to help as best we can.

Is that all clear as mud?

Edit: Added Celsius temperature conversions since you're in UK.
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By Ashnewto
Posts:  13
Joined:  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:31 pm
thanks so much for the advice, it was so fustrating as i'd checked loads of website guide's and asked advice for things i've done and still seemed to goose up somenow

i've moved the sundews now! and will have to see how they do. below the black tops thety are still quite green, not sure if i should leave the black bits for now though just to not shock plants more.

i forgot to say the capenis started to curl up and go black on the window ledge and was one of the only ones to seem to be going dormant? thats confused me a bit.. not sure how to post pics here now? but it was in the past links when they were "healthy" also what is it that made the fly trap look un-healthy?

yeah i was thinking of leaving them on windowsill all year round, and maybe move the alicie somewhere a little warmer in winter. gonna see wha temps it gets to this year.. although getting cavity wall insulation in a few weeks soon so it will prob be warmer.

thanks again for your help! hope they pull through, i've been checking and never seen it get below 4-5c, even though its snowing outside so not sure its ever got to 0.c
By Jaws
Posts:  1296
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:11 pm
4-5 hours of direct sunlight even in Winter, we dont even get that in Cornwall (Far SW) :(

Saying that there is a commercial grower not far from me, and they keep trading with no problems year after year.

Ive moved my VFT troughs to my kitchen which is about 55c and Easterly, theyve been there about a month and seem like they are ok, i still stay with my view from experience that in UK, VFT arent good for indoors.

We shall see.

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