How to care for carnivorous plants in winter?

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by groundbeetle, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. groundbeetle

    groundbeetle Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2021
    Messages:
    207
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +305
    I have some carnivorous plants that have been living outside in pots during the summer. Drosera capensis, red and alba, Drosera aliciae, Venus Fly Trap, and pitcher plants. The Venus Fly Trap hasn't thrived too well even in summer, its traps rot and turn brown, but the Droseras have been thriving and are fascinating and the red one has even thrown up three shoots of pink flowers. They do a great job of catching all the tiny pesky flies and gnats.

    I am wondering how to keep them alive in winter. Are they better off outside, where the climate is mild for the UK, in the South, or would they survive better on my kitchen windowsill, which doesn't get much light?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  2. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,551
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mad Scientist
    Location:
    Paignton Devon
    Ratings:
    +15,948
    @groundbeetle I have problems with Venus fly traps and they only last a few years with me.
    Venus fly traps will take a light frost and tend to die back a bit in winter.
    Drosera tend to be perennials and hide below the surface over the winter returning in spring, they also can self seed.
    Sarracenias are fairly hardy and their range in nature runs up to Alberta. Some people in the UK grow them as bog/marginal plants the pitchers may disappear, but they regrow from the tubers.
    Mine tend to go into a cold greenhouse overwinter, but I have left them outside some years and they were alright.
    In your case I would bring the Venus fly trap and Sundews inside and keep them in a cool room on a bright windowsill out of full sun, they can be allowed to dry out to damp rather than wet.
    Most pitcher plants will be fine in a sheltered outside spot.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
      Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
    • groundbeetle

      groundbeetle Gardener

      Joined:
      Jun 23, 2021
      Messages:
      207
      Gender:
      Female
      Ratings:
      +305
      Thanks for the information. I am not sure, as they get a lot of light outside, and winters here are very mild, and I don't have any bright windowsills, they wouldn't get much light let alone sun. Maybe I will try bringing some of them indoors and letting some stay outside. I have read elsewhere too that they shouldn't be completely wet in winter as they can be in summer.
       
    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

      Joined:
      Jan 31, 2012
      Messages:
      4,551
      Gender:
      Male
      Occupation:
      Mad Scientist
      Location:
      Paignton Devon
      Ratings:
      +15,948
      Mine don't get watered over winter and in the cold greenhouse they slowly dry out.
      As you say you are in a mild area I'd leave them outside in a sheltered spot.
       
    • groundbeetle

      groundbeetle Gardener

      Joined:
      Jun 23, 2021
      Messages:
      207
      Gender:
      Female
      Ratings:
      +305
      My Drosera capensis and Drosera capensis alba seem to have survived the winter outside really well. Especially the alba has caught a lot of tiny midges already. I think the other ones have survived. The Venus fly trap was ok, but I accidentally spilt some ordinary compost on it a few weeks ago, tried to remove that but fingers crossed it will be ok.

      I will need to think of more permanent pots for them, re-potting them. And attending to their needs for non-tap water. I just gave them a drink of non-tap water. Spiders seem to like to make their webs on the Sarracenna.
       

      Attached Files:

      • Like Like x 1
        Last edited: Mar 24, 2022
      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

        Joined:
        Jan 31, 2012
        Messages:
        4,551
        Gender:
        Male
        Occupation:
        Mad Scientist
        Location:
        Paignton Devon
        Ratings:
        +15,948
        I noticed that my sundews have come through the mild winter in good condition, normally don't see them until mid May as they disappear under the moss even in the cold greenhouse. This year they didn't even go in the cold greenhouse.
        As for potting on etc you could use plastic pots with no drainage holes, or pots with holes and stand them on a gravel tray or similar and keep that topped up with water.
        I use cheapo washing up bowls to stand the pots in and pack round with peat or chopped moss collected from a similar bowl, it soon starts to grow and often needs trimming back.
        Yes spiders among the sarracenias and even webs across the tops of the pitchers are often seen. The plants must get the spider droppings.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        Loading...

        Share This Page

        1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
          By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
          Dismiss Notice