One of the drawbacks of growing Sarracenia outdoors this far north is that it takes a while before things get started! This year has been particularly slow. I’m not going to look it up, but I’m pretty sure I uncovered the bogs a couple of weeks earlier last year… but its been a very cool spring up here. So here it is Easter weekend (for those who celebrate) and I finally uncovered my plants.
Some quick stats for those folks who worry about growing Sarracenia outdoors year round in a cold climate. Like most places in the northern hemisphere, our coldest months January and February. January saw 7 nights above freezing, with night temperatures ranging from -19C (-2F) to +10C (50F)… ya I know… some freakishly mild nights. 21 of the days in January recorded highs above freezing… daytime highs ranged from -11C (12F) to as high as 17C (63F) which I think was a record high for that day! February saw 25 nights below freezing, with the coldest again -19C (-2F) and the warmest 1C (33F). 13 of the days recorded temperatures above freezing, the highest being 6C (42F) and the coldest day time high being -7C (19F). All in all, I cannot complain, its been a pretty decent winter here in our part of zone 6b. However, I’m done! March has been shaping up to be below normal as far as temperatures go but days are pretty consistently above freezing albeit not by much.
Below is a “typical” S. psittacina. It tends to stay evergreen even here.
Oh ya, I dumped about 3000 venus flytrap seeds in the bogs today too. I’ve had great success with seeding the bogs with flytrap seed and the seedling surviving the following winter. In fact, one of my previous posts mentioned that I’ve had venus flytraps shed their seed and plants germinate that same summer and make it to spring! Amazing!
Here are the flytraps… still looking pretty fresh!
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. So I removed the pine needles. I know we are still going to have some frosty nights ahead, however, with the warm sun and warming days, the needles heat up underneath and cool down. Not only will the plants start growing sooner than they should, the warm then cold in the dampness of the covered bogs is a breeding ground for fungus and mold! So its important to get the plants exposed to the air and let the surface of the bogs dry out a bit.
Above is a photo of another plant that stays evergreen (literally). S x luteola.
This is also the time of year that the battle begins. What battle?… you know… the squirrels! Once the pine needles are lifted, its time for the squirrels to start rooting around for the nuts the buried last fall!
Let the season begin!