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plant dormancy options

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plant dormancy options

Postby nel3 » Nov 03, 2012 2:54 pm

i have a VFT and a Brugmansia/angel trumpet tree. i didnt put the tree for dormancy last year and it didnt flower at all. i though avoiding dormacy would be ok but i see its not that simple. i plan to put the tree in my parent garage for winter and the VFT in the fridge. what lighting, watering conditions do i need to put them away so they come back strong after dormancy? my fridge is running at 7c degrees. ive yet to put the VFT into dormancy but i plan to do that in the next 2-3 days. it'll be a similar thing for the tree though i'll take cuttings before putting the parent plant into dormancy.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby Lulu » Nov 04, 2012 8:21 am

Hi, Nel3.
Not sure what a VFT is,,Venus Fly Trap? Can't help with your question if that's what it is.

As for the brug, has it bloomed before you overwintered in the house? How old is it, and has it "Y'd" yet? Did you plant it outside for the summer, in a pot or in the ground? How cold is your parent's garage. Did you fertilize it at all? What type of brug is it, a warm or cold group one? Cuttings prior to forcing dormancy are a good idea, but, only cuttings above the "Y" will bloom next year.

Can you maybe post a picture of it, and more information, and I should be able to provide more info for you on it's care and storage and help to get it blooming next season.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby nel3 » Nov 04, 2012 4:59 pm

That's correct for vft, it's a Venus fly trap.

The brug is around 3-4years old and early five ft tall. ATM I'm at my parents while the brug is home. The brug is the pink variety and flowered the first year I got it as a gift. It was left outside and had been hibernating winter past. Since moving out it hasn't been put outside.

The tree yd before I got it and its done so already three times since I had it. My place is 24c consistently and it grew fast. The cutting i made was a y section on the top has already offshooted again. I haven't fertilized it for a year though the first year I did fertilize it each month or so. I'll bet cutting 2 more section to cut the branch spread

It's pot bound Ina 1 ft pot, I want to put it another pot but unsure of size. Do you mean warmth as in colors? I'll get pics of it when I get back. I live in aloft unit and have underground parking with storage locker. The locker temp is yet to check. My parents garage is 15 c and cold room 11c.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby Lulu » Nov 04, 2012 8:35 pm

nel3 wrote:That's correct for vft, it's a Venus fly trap.

The brug is around 3-4years old and early five ft tall. ATM I'm at my parents while the brug is home. The brug is the pink variety and flowered the first year I got it as a gift. It was left outside and had been hibernating winter past. Since moving out it hasn't been put outside.

The tree yd before I got it and its done so already three times since I had it. My place is 24c consistently and it grew fast. The cutting i made was a y section on the top has already offshooted again. I haven't fertilized it for a year though the first year I did fertilize it each month or so. I'll bet cutting 2 more section to cut the branch spread

It's pot bound Ina 1 ft pot, I want to put it another pot but unsure of size. Do you mean warmth as in colors? I'll get pics of it when I get back. I live in aloft unit and have underground parking with storage locker. The locker temp is yet to check. My parents garage is 15 c and cold room 11c.


As I said, Jonathan,,can't help with the VFT, but, google VFT dormancy; there are several options there.
As for the brug, it doesn't need fertilizer for dormancy, but I would suggest that the lack of fertilizer, and it being a 5ft, potbound brug, is the reason it hasn't bloomed since you got it. They generally bloom, when potbound, but, three or 4 years is just too long to be kept potbound and unfed (fertilizer). Also, brugs are known bug magnets when kept in the house; have you had issues with bugs?

To put it into dormancy, strip all the leaves, spray it with a good insecticide; they still sell a rose spray that works for several different insects. If you are happy with the size & shape, you can leave it @ 5 ft, otherwise, prune it, keeping in mind you'll only get flowers above the "Y". The brug should be moved someplace cool, dark and dry, preferably a cold storage room in a basement, or a cool, dark closet. Your storage locker may have too much light; if it's your only option, make sure you check the temp first, and maybe construct a tent, out of a blanket to keep the light out. Optimum temperature should be 55 f or 12.7 c. The plant should get about a cup of water per month, from now till March; make sure there is a saucer under the pot, to catch any excess, but also keep ambient temperature for the roots. If it is too warm, or there is a light source, you will get some weak new growth; break it off, as it appears. The plant is working to keep itself alive, new shoots will weaken the plant during hibernation.

In March, you can bring the plant out of dormancy, slowly. Once new growth starts, start with repotting it, one size up, and start with a weak fertilizer, (miracle grow or anything you have) given weekly, increasing the strength, as the growth of new leaves and branches start. When all danger of frost is past, you can put it out, again, slowly, not in direct sunlight at first. Once it's hardened off, you can move it to full sun, keep it well watered and fertilize at least weekly. If you take good care of it, both in dormancy, and afterwards, it should reward you with plenty of blooms within two or three months. Good luck, Jonathan!
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby nel3 » Nov 04, 2012 10:42 pm

dont worry about the VFT question atm i'll figure it out.

there are some bugs around though the VFT is within 2 ft of the brug. the temp in the storage locker is 20-23c and the lights only go on when someone walks in ie motion sensor, oter than that its all dark. the garage my parents have has a automatic door opener with motion sensor light. the light in the garage does work but its not on much, same thing for the cold room.

the tree is 3ft wide and 5 ft tall. i'll gladly get a bigger pot for it but i dont have space to put it in the earth. id like a big pot to put it in without having an overly huge pot thank you for the instructions to hibernate the tree i'll folow it closely as i can given my options to store the tree in winter. i'll have to see with my parents whether they'll let me keep it in the cold room after applying some insecticide as there is also food stored in the cold room. is it possible to spary it then hibernate it once the insecticde settles? if thats possible then the coldroom may be a likely option. i think the garage did get a tiny bit cooler at night but i didnt verify the temp.

the yellow saucer catches any extra water. i'll make a cutting of the taller 2 branches, the smaller cut already.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby Lulu » Nov 05, 2012 10:22 am

Jonathan, the plant looks pretty healthy.

nel3 wrote:
i'll gladly get a bigger pot for it
Just go one size larger for the pot; anything bigger will cause the plant to just work on the roots.

i'll have to see with my parents whether they'll let me keep it in the cold room after applying some insecticide as there is also food stored in the cold room. is it possible to spary it then hibernate it once the insecticde settles?
Sure, and the coldroom sounds like the best option for you

i'll make a cutting of the taller 2 branches, the smaller cut already.
I'd cut the smaller branch right off, to keep the plant like a standard, but, that's just me; I prefer standards. Cutting the 2 taller branches is a good idea as well. The cluster of leaves on the middle branch looks like it may have some bug issues; maybe it's just the lighting on the picture? Hopefully any spray will take care of any bugs.

Good luck with hibernating it!


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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby nel3 » Nov 05, 2012 12:56 pm

thank you very much for that comment. it does lose its lower leaves due to being pot bound but that doesnt worry me too much. ive trimmed down the tree to 4ft last night for transportation and hibernation purposes. the first cutting was potted last night as it had 7 strong inch long roots and the remaining 2 cuttings are soaking in water now. the plant is now 4ft tall (above soil line). i'll be pulling the remaining leaves when it goes into dormancy within a week.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby Lulu » Nov 05, 2012 1:53 pm

Looks good, Jonathan!

Just two more things,,you've got too much water in the container, and run the risk of rotting the cutting; an inch or two is good, and change it often.

When the cuttings have little white nubbies (Lenticiles), you could actually plant them at that time. The safer route is to wait till it has several roots; plant in very light soil, mixed with vermiculite or perlite, or buy one of the light, soil-less potting mixes. (when using soil-less, fertilizer is a must). The cutting you've already planted appears to be in a heavy, black earth mix; it looks too dense. The heavier the soil, the harder time the cutting has to survive; those are brittle "water roots", and need something light & airy to be able to breathe and get stronger to work their way thru the soil, otherwise, it's a constant struggle for the plant. Also, the heavy black soil mixes seem to pack into a hard mud after a while.

The white spots on the trunk, are the lenticiles which are, in fact, "pre-roots".
Attachments
Air Layering Wk2.JPG
Another method of propagating is Air Layering. This plant is the size of the small end of a baseball bat, and is at week two of "air layering", with sphagnum moss. The cutting was actually a 5 foot stock.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby nel3 » Nov 05, 2012 2:07 pm

thank you, ive lowered the water level on the cutting just now.

the soil i used is a even 3 part mix of spagnum moss, black earth and perlite. ive tried planting with pure black soil and hated it. as you've said its so dense. i could go add some more perlite to the soil mix if needed, i have alot of perlite and much more of spagnum moss. the tree is most likely planted in 100% pure black soil. the friends that gave me the tree prefer to use only black soil.

i have a cubic foot of pressed spagnum moss which is overkill for a 4 inch pot for VFT but no smaller formats are availble. id love to add compost but only large format bags are commercially available.
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Re: plant dormancy options

Postby Lulu » Nov 05, 2012 2:34 pm

If the new plant is doing ok, leave well enough alone, till you pot up, much later.

When you pot up the old plant, ensure you shake (gently), as much of the heavy soil/mud off, and add a lot of perlite to whatever new soil mix you buy.

I've never added sphagnum moss to the soil, have only used it strictly for air layering, so, not sure how or if it will break down in the soil, but it sure will give the plant the airiness it needs to form new roots.

I buy a lot of the black earth, but only for adding to garden beds, outside; never, ever use it for container grown plants, it's just too heavy & dense.

When the blacktop garden centers are open in the spring, they sell a mushroom compost which I have not tried, but sounds good. Also, Canadian Tire garden centre had two different bags of soil-less mixes, with compost and/or phosphorus added, for under $5.00. Bought one of each to try, and used it on "near dead" rescue plants, (on clearance rack) and it seems to have helped them a lot.

The local hydroponics store sells smaller bags of both perlite, vermiculite and pro-mix, which is a soil-less mix, but, I don't know the prices, since I buy the giant economy sizes.
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