Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frozen Flytraps

Connecticut got its first slushy snowfall of the season yesterday, and I took this photo of the Venus' Flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) in pots outside of the UConn biology greenhouses. They'll be fine, and can in fact take quite a bit more cold than this. Flytraps aren't tropical plants at all, and in their native land (the coastal Carolinas), they are dormant in winter and receive a fair amount of frost, and the occasional snow. New England winters might be too much for them, though, especially fully exposed to the elements in pots out of the ground, so I'll soon move them to a refrigerated room (temps just above freezing) for a couple more months of cold dormancy.

Planted in the ground, Dionaea can sometimes survive winters in southern New England, even without mulch or other extra protection. I've seen plants make it through several years in local bog gardens, though they seem to suffer a bit in colder than average years, and don't come back in spring 100% of the time. With a mulch of pine needles, they seem to be pretty reliable.