“I’ll Huff and Puff and Blow your Plants Down!!!”

37c

For all my US friends… that translate into 99F… it’s been warm up here in zone6B.  For the last week, we’ve been dealing with very warm (mid to high 90’s) and humid (dewpoints in the mid 70’s) weather!  Not that that’s a problem… I love it! (with air conditioning for sleeping of course).  However, with that kind of heat and humidity, you are bound to get storms… and that we did.  Funny, after the cold front went through, its still decently warm. 🙂 I think we hit 27C (81F)… but much lower humidity. Regardless, it is the passing of the cold front that is topic of this post!

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Yesterday evening around 6:30 ish, the sky looked like this. An hour later, the heaven’s unleashed.  From 7:30 till 1:00 am, we were pounded by severe storms!  Sustained winds at points around 50kph (30mph) but gust up to 110kph (65mph) maybe even higher. I recorded 10.6 cms (4.2 inches) of rain and the thunder and lightning show was very impressive (and loud)!  about 200,000 customers in southern Ontario were without power (not us, we were lucky) and there were many trees down and debris all over the place… lots of folks had unanticipated yard work this morning.

Ok, so you ask… “why are you telling us about this.. what does this have to do with Sarracenia or Carnivorous plants?”

Pictures say more than words!

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One of the joys of outdoor culture is that you are at the mercy of mother nature!  As you can see… she had no mercy!  The plants weren’t too happy with the wind (and rain).

At this point, I’m looking for some advice.  I don’t want to chop off all the leaves that have been blown over because I’m sure that will have a negative effect on the plant.  So my thoughts are to remove them over time.  Many of the oreos, flava and leucos are putting up phylodia. So maybe, as the phylodia are produced I can take off a few leaves here and there.  As for the others, I think I’m going to remove the “downed” leaves as new ones come up… I’m open for suggestions here!

Oh on a happy note… I have a magnolia grandiflora tree out front. For those of you in warmer climates, especially the southeast US, you know this tree well.  Large evergreen leaves and super fragrant, giant flowers.  Truly the magnolia of the “ol’ south” in my estimation! As I like pushing the climate boundaries, I put one of these in 5 years ago or so… and its been doing great!  Nice to see the green leaves in the dead of winter against the snow!  Anyway, it finished blooming last week… nine blooms this year! The flower below is about 25cm (10 inches) across!

maggr

CJM

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7 Responses to “I’ll Huff and Puff and Blow your Plants Down!!!”

  1. Justin says:

    You could get a bunch of those greenhouse hoops, the ones that have three stakes and a horizontal circle. They use them to prop up Points and Hydrangea. At least then they would stay upright until you pruned off the broken pitchers. They’re really cheap too. Hope they aren’t set back too much!!!

  2. Lois M Ochs says:

    I personally would leave the pitchers alone, until they turn brown
    as they turn brown trim them back in whatever spare time you have

  3. Jay says:

    If the petioles aren’t broken, I have used inexpensive wooden plant stakes and twist ties to prop up pitchers that have fallen over. At least one or two per plant, depending on the situation (eg only a few mature pitchers on the plant to begin with).

  4. Dee says:

    Oh no. That must have made you just sick.
    The hoops sound like a good idea.

  5. Steve Booth says:

    Canes and wire. any that arent broken through if supported will be fine and carry on photosynthesising and turning flies into food so keep everything you can to put as many reserves into the erhizomes as possible ready for next year!!!

  6. Carl Mazur says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions… I looked at the plants this morning… many have “perked up” quite a bit. As for the others that just lying there… well, I’m going to just let them sit. It happens in nature… so it can happen to my plants too 🙂 I figure its more of a benefit to the plants to leave them on even if they don’t “look nice”.
    CJM

  7. Julian says:

    What a shame. This has happened to me many times and I agree – we like to grow outside to kinda recreate the natural phenomena the plants experience. My tip would be in line with the others – leave the leaves to do their thing whether you prop them up or not. It can be worth setting up a system to try and prevent this happening next season, but the reality is winds like you got will smash the pitchers over at the point they are supported. And, if the winds strike when the pitchers are rising spikes and soft, its bent leaves all over the place!!

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