Well here it is, St. Patty’s Day! So in keeping with the spirit, I decided to uncover my antho-free (all green) bog first.
You’ll notice from the photos that this isn’t a full cleanup yet. The idea at this early point in the season is get air flow to the plants and let them breath freely and let the moisture dry out. After three months of being buried in heavy snow, the pine needles get quite compressed. The pine needles closest to the plants form a wet soggy layer that is just waiting go moldy as the daytime temperatures get warmer. So my first step, is to take the top dry needles off and remove most of the wet damp stuff. This exposes the plants to the sun and allows free air movement in and around the plants. Granted its going to rain tonight, but being open like this, they again will dry out quickly. There are still some cool temperatures in the forecast, so I may recover the bogs with some of the non-compressed top layer pine needles if needed.
Another reason to get these needles off now, while we’re not quite in full swing of spring, is that as the temperatures start to warm, the pine needles will keep the heat trapped in the bogs when the temperatures cool down at night. This will not only promote mold as discussed above, but will also encourage the plants to break dormancy prematurely. The plants are still fully dormant, and will certainly be OK if we get a good freeze or two. However, more importantly, the plants will benefit from the exposure to the sun!
Depending on temperatures, I’ll likely be giving my bogs the “full clean” by the end of month.
My anthocyanin free pitcher plant bog. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Although hard to see in the photo, the bogs are pretty much exposed. The pine needles have been moved to form a ring around the bogs, just in case I need to cover them again.
S. purpurea x S. rubra on the left and Sarracenia purpurea venosa f. burkii on the right.
Finally a Venus flytrap. I know it doesn’t look like much… especially to those who grow them in a greenhouse or indoors, but rest assured it’s alive and well and will certainly flower this season.