Carnivorous plant dormancy

I have three carnivorous plants, two Venus fly traps and one pitcher plant.  Last year I only had the one Venus fly trap and I was worried about winter dormancy.  I read up on the internet and it talked all about keeping light, but cold (40 degrees) and where am I going to do that?  They suggested the fridge, but that doesn’t have light.  I live in Illinois so outside is not an option.

Instead I just left it in the window and watered it less.  It went into dormancy and out of dormancy all on its own.

I think that this worked for the following reasons:

1. It is West facing window, and a basement window so the sun we get in the winter is much less than in the summer.  The reduction in light and then increase of light triggers its sleep and wake cycle.

2. The window is fairly non-energy efficient. which is bad, but also means that the air is significantly cooler next to the glass.  By pushing the plants against the grass it keeps cool, still gets sun, but doesn’t freeze.

Terrariums: They also recommend keeping the plants in terrariums.  I have never done this.  The plants grow nicely without this.  I do water with the tray method by keeping the plants in a cup of water during the summer.  In the winter I water whenever the plants don’t feel wet.

Feeding: Some say to feed the plants only once a month.  I feed my with every open trap.  I have a small kid who loves to see it eat, or even feed itself.  We feed the pitcher plants a lot too.  This doesn’t seem to hurt them at all.  In winter I don’t have traps that eat, so I don’t feed it then.

Classroom: This year my kids’ classroom needed to show that all living things move.  Plants move slowly, turning toward the light.  Traps move quickly to capture prey, fast enough for kids to see it.  The kids always like it when the traps come into the classroom.

Castle bunk bed from Ikea Mydal

So I have the best Dad in the world.  He helped us turn a mydal bunk bed from Ikea into a castle bunk bed with stairs.

First we switched the ladder from the “front” to the end.

Ladder on the end

Ladder on the end

So we added in a bar on the foot of the bed, and then created an opening on the foot for the top bunk by attaching a bar (the old ladder side piece) and then sawing off the two end pieces.

We didn’t attach the rails for the top bunk.

No top rails

No top rails

These became additional bars at the head of the bed as something to rest against.



My son wanted to help, so he put foot prints going up.



This is a railing piece that keeps the kids from falling off of the stairs, and provides access to two book shelves made out of the stores for storage.  I painted them with vines.

Front of bunk bed

Front of bunk bed

We attached another pieces of plywood that acted as the top bunk railing.  We cut windows into it and a scalloped top.  Then I painted like stone.

The final touch is a set of curtains for the bottom bunk and matching hand made quilts.

Hibbard Elementary Chicago Craft Sale and Flea Market

Hibbard Elementary school will be hosting its first Flea Market/Craft sale on Dec. 14th, 10 AM to 4 PM, 2013.  Tables are still for sale, $25.00 per table and all your proceeds are yours.  Entrance is free for children, and $1.00 for each adult.

There will be concessions for sale, homemade items, flea market tables, and raffle gift baskets.

Email for more information.

Hibbard Elementary, a Chicago public school, hosted by the PTO, Parent Teacher Organization.


3244 W Ainslie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

So for all the Google search criteria:

Chicago Craft Fair

Chicago Craft Shows

Chicago Craft Sales

Chicago Holiday Craft Show

Chicago Holiday Craft Sale

Chicago Holiday Craft Fair