Q/A #130 - Can I Grow Darlingtonia Indoors?

July 22, 2023

Q/A #130 - Can I Grow Darlingtonia Indoors?

I was looking at the Darlingtonia to grow in Southern California, but I'm concerned with lack of cold dormancy. Temperatures sometimes get to 45°F (7°C) at night but not for very many weeks. I live on the Newport coast so humidity is pretty decent and it’s sunny but hardly ever hotter than 85°F (30°C). Lastly, if I have to keep them indoors, the ambient light is almost never direct. Will that be ok?
(Submitted in July 2020.)


So, let me get figure out your reasoning for indoor growing. You want to grow an outdoor perennial inside your home with only ambient light because it doesn't get cold enough outside during the winter for the plant to go dormant? Are you suggesting that it's colder in your home in winter? I'm just not following the logic about your concern for winter dormancy.

I've visited the Los Angeles area during the winter. It gets cold enough for many types of outdoor perennials to go dormant. While a frost doesn't occur as frequently there as it does in Northern California, frost still occurs, so the region gets cold enough. So, don't over think this. Dormancy is triggered by both a decrease in temperature AND daylight hours.

Darlingtonia is an outdoor perennial native to the mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon. They are accustomed to frost and snow in their native habitats, so it makes better sense to grow them outdoors in Southern California than indoors. More importantly, providing only ambient sunlight with no direct sunlight is a sure way to kill the plant. Lack of sufficient sunlight is the number one reason why growers fail. They simply underestimate how much sunlight carnivorous plants need.

If you're new to growing carnivorous plants, I strongly suggest try growing Sarracenia and Venus flytraps first. These plants are cheaper and much more forgiving than a Darlingtonia. You will also learn about sunlight and water requirements, as well as their seasonal growth habits. 

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