Carnivorous plant dormancy.

Carnivorous plant dormancy information. In general most plants have a winter or summer dormancy.
This is where the plant stops growing, or growth slows down.
Either the plant will produce a dormant bud, or tuber.
This is a bit like a tulip that produces growth and flower then dies back into a bulb for the rest of the year.
Other plants just loose their leaves and keep their stems.
This is a bit like bushes and trees.
With carnivorous plants, some can even stop growing above ground if the weather is too cold/hot,
and resume new growth from the roots when the conditions are acceptable to the plant.
I will give a brief description about the main types and dormant characteristics.

Drosera: (Sundews) The dormancy can vary quite a lot as this group of plants originate from all over the globe.
Hardy droseraís e.g. rotundifolia, anglica, filiformis etc.
These plants are best grown outside as they do produce small buds to over winter.
The summer growth dies back and turns brown/ black in either autumn or winter.
To over winter the plant produces a tight winter resting bud at ground level.
This is sometimes hard to see as they can be anything in size from a small pea to the size of a pin head.
This allows the plant to become dormant during the frosty winters.
As spring approaches the bud starts to sprout, depending on the species,
this is normally around March-April time.
The growth then starts for the whole summer,
and in some species can continue to grow new leaves until the first frosts of winter.

Tropical Drosera. (Sundews) e.g. binata, capensis, alicia etc.
These plants are from a warmer temperature range.
In the wild they do grow all year round and must be kept frost free.
They donít really have a winter dormancy but if the weather does cool down they have a tendency for the leaves to turn black and die back.
Once the temperature warms up again, new growth normally starts from the base of the old stem, or even from the stem itself.

Sarracenia. (Trumpet pitchers) This range of plants do require a winter dormancy.
As the weather cools down, growth stops.
The traps they have grown throughout the season will start to die back at the top.
They look like old dried up tree leaves.
As the winter progresses, the traps die back from the top of the pitcher, downwards.
The dead growth at the top can be trimmed of the plant.
Some people trim the whole pitcher of the plant.
I have found that the plant uses the Ďfly soupí in the base of the pitcher all winter. So its normal to just trim off the dead growth at regular intervals. As spring approaches, new growth can be seen growing from the rhizome of the plant. If the plant is mature and of flowering size. They normally produce a tall flower stem before the proper summer growth starts. This is so the plant has a chance of the flower being pollinated by insects before the mature traps are produces.
If the traps were produced at the same time, the plant would catch and eat the insects before they had chance to pollinate the plant.

Dionaea. (Venus Fly Trap) These plants are tougher than they look.
They can take a light frost and even frozen roots for a couple of weeks with no problems.
They do have a winter dormancy.
As winter approaches the plants old leaves and traps tend to turn black and start to die off.
The centre of the plant produces smaller traps than in summer,
these traps donít work and even the older ones that have not died back get slower and then they stop working.
This is due to there being not many insects to eat in winter, so why produce large working traps.
Through out winter the plant may seem to disappear.
This is where most people class them as dead and throw them away.
The plant is actually dormant as it produces a winter resting bud.
Either with small tight growth or in some winters a small rosette of leaves.
As spring approaches the plant will start to produce new growth and the traps begin to work.
In some varieties the summer growth can stand upright from the base rosettes in an attempt to catch more food.
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