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.

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