- Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:58 am
You may be seeing curvy leaves or deformed pitcher openings due to the low light levels.
I live in South-Eastern Wisconsin and I am currently insulating my Sarracenia in a styrofoam cooler... not sure if it will do the job when temperatures stay below freezing here. I have been opening it during the day and letting my plants get some sun while it remains above freezing and closing it during the chilly and windy nights.
I would suggest that if you keep any of your cold-hardy plants outside right now, bundle them up in a mulch (or somehow insulate them) to keep them sheltered from wind chill at night. If the leaves begin to turn all brown and die back down to the rhizome, it's probably a sign that the plant itself is dying. I've had plants that lost all their leaves over the long winter and their rhizomes also shortly turned brown as well. If you think it will be too cold, definitely do not wait for the leaves to die to bring them back in (they will need them for photosynthesis, anyway)! Normally these plants are able to keep their leaves green and colorful throughout most of dormancy. Any brown leaves will be easy for mold/fungus to grow on, anyway.
If your plants will experience nighttime temperatures below freezing right now but above freezing during the day, I would recommend not letting them sit in water or be too wet. When the weather goes above freezing for brief daytimes, I would let the plants receive sunlight so they can photosynthesize but do not water them. When this happens, the ice will begin to melt from the top of the pot first... and if it's too waterlogged to begin with, all the accumulated and unmelted ice from the bottom of the pot will prevent the soil from draining and this will cause all the melted water to be pooled/concentrated at the rhizome level and will cause rhizome rot. If previously frozen solid and it melts for a brief period of time, I would pour out the excess water as it thaws (since ice expands, this will only worsen the situation the next time it re-freezes if it did not completely thaw out and drain). The soil should only be damp if it thaws out only during the day and re-freezes during the night. This is all based on how I lost all of my larger-rhizome Sarracenias from last season. If the water and the plant tissue is frozen, it can't photosynthesize/make energy anyway, so being a little bit on the drier side in sub-freezing temperatures will not negatively affect the plant.