Re: Dormany advice for Dionaea and Sarracenia

From: Phil Wilson (
Date: Wed Oct 06 1999 - 15:41:36 PDT

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 23:41:36 +0100
From: Phil Wilson <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3478$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Dormany advice for Dionaea and Sarracenia

>Any British cp growers out there? If so, I was wondering what you are doing
>about dormancy for my windowsill Dionaea and Sarracenia species. Any advice
>would be useful (The Savage Garden has been reasonably helpful) such as when
>to commence dormancy, how long it should go on for, and what, if anything,
>should be done to the plants for it.
>For instance, I have noticed the sickle shaped leaves replacing the main
>pitchers, the latter of which are becoming mostly discoloured and brown at
>the top. Do these need removing?
The first thing to consider is if the room the plants are in is heated
during the winter. If not leave the plants where they are. If it is
heated move the plants to an unheated room. Don't worry about the cold -
both Dionaea and Sarracenia are totally hardy as far as the British
climate is concerned. Don't worry too much if the room you chose does
not get much direct sunlight. While the plants are dormant they have
less of a light requirement, though very dull conditions can lead to
problems with mould.

Next, reduce the water. Do not stand the plants in any water during the
dormant period. Aim to keep the soil in the pots just damp.

Finally start to remove any dead leaf material. For low maintenance you
can cut all the pitchers down to within a few inches of the rhizome.
With one or two plants its better to simply cut back to live material
since this leaves more green leaf for photosynthesis. Also the plant
will probably still be extracting nutrients from the trapped insects.

With the Dionaea do the same thing, removing the leaves as they blacken
and die.

The biggest problem over the winter and early spring is botrytis mould.
This often starts on dead growth (hence the need to keep this trimmed
back) and then will invade the living tissue. If it gets into the
rhizome it can result in the death of the plant. If this does happen you
need to remove the infected part of the rhizome until you see clean
white material. You will need to be pretty ruthless in doing this since
otherwise the plant will be re-infected. I used to lose a fair
proportion of plants to this fungal disease each year despite using
systemic fungicides as a treatment. I have found the most effective
treatment to be sulphur which is applied to the cut surface of the

Hope this helps.
Phil Wilson
My Sarracenia plant list is now available at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 02 2001 - 17:32:06 PST