tree frog in overwintering pot-what to do?

chrismich213March 11, 2007

while repotting my lemon verbena into a self watering container, I found a live 2" green tree frog that I missed when I brought it in last fall. In MI we still have freezing temperatures and snow outside. I don't know what that frog has been eating for the past 4 1/2 months in the 65 degree foyer. Do you think he will be okey for another 2 months? Maybe I could bury him in the soil next to the house foundation outside if that would help. Thanks for any info.. Last fall I did remove his brother from the same pot.

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Hehehe. I have had the same thing happen to me, luckily it has always been warm enough to just release them outside.
I think (and I could be wrong) that they hibernate like a snake does in the winter, I do know they will stay in a houseplant all winter long until spring, cause I have found them then as well (I found a BIG frog one time, sucker was almost as big as my fist) I don't know about burying him outside because I don't know how far they tunnel down in the winter in order to stay alive. Maybe you can call a pet shop that carried frogs and ask their advice? I know some people keep them as pets, but you may not want to keep your little visitor until it is warm enough to release him.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 6:38PM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

Do you have a local nature sanctuary??

They will have the proper set-up to house him until spring comes on.

Our frogs are out and about...fraternizing and!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 9:11PM
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gardengrove_ac(z6 MD)

DON'T take your froggie outside! It will kill him. Just like plants, if a frog isn't acclimated to cold it doesn't matter how hardy it is, it freezes into mush and dies. When frogs hibernate they release a huge amount of sugar-based antifreeze into their cells to keep ice crystals from forming. But this only occurs in responce to natural tempature fluctuations. I've been keeping a stow-away Grey's treefrog fat and happy in my college's greenhouse all winter and he's been active and even sings when I water the plants. In your case, I'd just wait a few more weeks...If he's still alive after 4 1/2 weeks he's probably finding something to eat...If you're the type who likes frogs, or you have any inquisitive children or grandchildren, treefrogs are sweet (just not touchable) pets and with advances in compact florecent lights you can create a beautiful planted terrarium to keep him in until spring. Green treefrogs are smaller than the grey's but you can feed them pretty much any insect which hasn't been pesticided, like pet shop crickets or meal-worms. Regardless, I'd either let him go about his business or make him a nice home, but don't kick him out in the cold.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 7:42PM
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Nate, can you tell me why treefrogs are not touchable????
We have about 20 on our walls in the summer and my little guy likes to hold them and let them jump on him, he is very careful with them or I would never allow it. I make sure he takes a bath and washes real good after having them on him, but is there something I don't know? I played with them when I was a kid all the time.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 7:51PM
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gardengrove_ac(z6 MD)

Well, let than touchable...They're not like puppies or rabbits and don't have a nice thick layer of skin to protect them from anything nasty that might be in the environment. Their skin is highly permiable and covered in mucus, so the salt from our sweaty hands can throw the little guy's osmotic balances off...also, many treefrogs are extremely tiny and easily excited kids can get a little too rough too easy on frogs, I've seen a lot of good amphibians die because a child thought it was "helping" it by taking it home, handling it constantly and letting it dry out. I'm sure in your situation though Micke, an occasional encounter with some wild frogs is unlikely to hurt them or your son, expecially since it sounds like your doing the right thing with supervision and hand washing.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 7:37AM
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Thanks for all your advice. I did call a nature preserve and she said it was a grey tree frog & still hibernating--?? since it was moving around in the foyer. Anyway she said to wait until I could put my house plant outside and that would be safe for the frog--but if that was a problem, to put some soil into a small cardboard box and put it into the refrigerator. So I got a box, & soil--and now can't find the frog. I'm hoping that it went back into the soil of the large pot. I'll look for it 2x a day and hope for the best. thanks all.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 5:39PM
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Kind of a late post i know, but i was browsing Google, because i have 2 pet Grey tree frogs, and i was looking for a way to hibernate the small one through winter, because pet shops don't sell food small enough for him, and i cant catch any during winter because, eh, bug don't like snow. But i do know that Grey tree frogs freeze almost solid (80%) and just chill through winter under foliage and logs and such until spring comes along when they thaw out and hop away. I'm just concerned that my little 1 inch frog wont have enough to eat this winter, because I've run out of house spiders to feed him, plus i have 6 salamanders that eat the same sized food as him, and in the same tank. If the salamanders hibernate similarly, i might put the tank out in my garage where it will be cold, but not REALLY cold, and see how they are when spring rolls around. Hope your frog made it through =]

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 4:39PM
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I also have a frog in my house plant. Did not discover until 2 weeks ago. It has become our alarm clock, every morning it sings at 7:30am, scared me at first, I had no idea what it was until my husband heard it and said, we have a tree frog in our house! I guess he is eating the plant and spiders for food???? I will wait til Spring when I take the plants back out side, Until then, when the sun shines down on him in his house plant, we'll put up with his singing, as this happens quite often in the middle of the afternoon with the warm afternoon sun coming down on him....:)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 2:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't expect it to survive the winter inside. Not without a proper food source. They don't eat plants.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 8:28PM
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I've come across a couple of these little guys in our heated kennel. I don't really expect them to make it until spring, but they might. I almost hosed one down the drain, but I saw him in time, and let him climb out of the gutter and go about his business.

I think they got caught inside the kennel when fall arrived, and they've been hiding out in various areas that have a tendency to remain wet. I haven't actually seen them in a couple of weeks, so either the cats sneaked in and got them, or they're holed up in a corner somewhere. We keep the temperature cool, but comfortable for the dogs, and I haven't heard any singing... I don't know.

It's interesting to find out others see them... trying to hibernate in a plant pot, or maybe confused about the warm temperatures of a house, etc... they're cute. I hope they all make it.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 3:31PM
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woollady(z8 CA)

just about every year at least one or more frogs hitch a ride into the house.every year they are in a different plant.every so often they will start croaking and i love hearing grandkids get very excited when they hear them too.these frogs always make it till spring and they just go out with the plants.just a bit of nature in the house.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:34PM
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SCPearson(5 NE CT)

Hello all,
I have managed to bring in tree frogs three years in a row, even though this past fall I thought I was ever so careful. They made some interesting calls to each other through the fall but have not seen or heard from them lately. The past few years they somehow survived so I hope the new crew will have the same fate.
The tree frogs took over 4 of my birdhouses outside during late summer! They brazenly "hang out" the doorway and watch everything going on by the pool and out in the yard. Kind of funny creatures and I'm glad to have them around.
Susan (Northeast Connecticut)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 2:13PM
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I personally LOVE these guys.

We use to have tons of them singing every spring until developement put an end to that..:-(((

If I was to carry one of them in and could not release it till spring, I would use a fish tank and try and replicate it's living conditions as much as I could.
I did once when my father brought home a Coqui frog from the tropics and that little creature sang every night for me for over 5 years!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 3:27PM
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I have had one wintering in my jasmine plant for the past few years in my basement, and sadly, this morning, I discovered he had died. Very disappointing. I wonder if it was because I had some colored moss in my hibiscus plant he was hiding under. He moved from the Jasmine this year into the hibiscus. I fed him wax worms and misted him with water daily. I knew he was in there when I brought him in back in November. Don't quite know what happened but it is really sad.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:13PM
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This winter has been a first for me. I brought my plants in from the deck in October and discovered little "Freddie" in December as I was moving the plants to shampoo the carpets. I called a local pet store and they told me that they eat crickets so I've been purchasing little crickets about once a week and "Freddie" has been a happy camper. If I forget to put the crickets in for a couple of days, he goes on the hunt and we've found him in some very unusual places (like on the back of my stove). I pick him up and just put him back in the plants. I put the crickets in a very small plastic bowl, place the bowl in the plant pot and "Freddie" jumps right in and has dinner. I check on him first thing every morning and if he's not in his usual place we put out a BOLO (be on the lookout) for him. One day the dog was staring at a certain spot in our hall and, lo-and-behold, there was "Freddie". We're sure going to miss him when the plants go back outside in another month or so. Hopefully, we'll have another guest next winter.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:05PM
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MojaveLove(5 - IL)

I love frogs. I live in a swampy area and the crazy things are already out (we're still hitting 30s and 40s) and are soooo loud! I love driving past all the ponds and bogs and hearing thousands of tiny little frog voices :)

I would love to bring one indoors in winter and hear it sing :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:51PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I love the spring peeper frogs, too. It's been soo cold this year they haven't been out, but we're finally expected to be pushing on 70* by the weekend & they'll finally be singing their welcome to spring and I'll have the BR window open wide to hear the chorus.

I keep my bonsai plants up on growing benches all summer, and when winter bears down, I move them into the garage. I am at least 400 yards from a small creek that winds through the property to the west. Imagine my surprise when I started into a repot on a conifer of some sort, early in the spring, only to discover a salamander still sleeping soundly in the soil!!! He must have flown up into the pot - I have no idea how he got there, as my benches are set on 4x6 wooden posts it would have had to climb to make its way to its winter quarters. Think it knew it was going to overwinter in a relatively snug garage when it chose it's spot? ;-)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Hi guys, can anyone help me? i live in australia & i have a beauiful green tree frog which has decided to hibernate in one of my toilets! (i have two)he is sitting up in the bowl out of the water but dosent want to go out ( i have them in the toilet in the summer months but they usually go out themselves to feed, don't know how they get in & out) well it's winter here but i live in Queensland and we don"t have cold winters, but i am a bit worried about the frog as he is not eating so is it ok to leave him there & let nature take it's course? he looks very comfortable there & i havent the heart to put him outside

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:54PM
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I'm glad to see there are other folks out there that care for their tree frogs. I live in Wisconsin and we have them all summer. They are very active on warm evenings and slow down when the weather cools off at nite. I've found that they really like when I leave a light on by my living room window which also faces a covered deck. It's fun to watch them eat the bugs that are attracted to the light. Some have grown quite fat from eating the large moths - you wouldn't believe such a small frog could digest some of the moths I've seen them eat!
As far as overwintering, I've never really given it a thought til now but I must be doing something right cuz they come back every year. I didn't know they hibernated in the mulch, but that will definately give me more of a reason to put on an extra thick layer when I tuck in my plants for the fall.
For those that have tree frogs in the house, good for you for keeping them safe and happy. We did have some friends that kept a couple in a glass aquarium and fed them bugs during summer and crickets and mealworms during winter and they lived a few years. I don't know that I'd want them wandering around my house just because I've seen the messes they leave behind outside :-)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Why just this week!

These Agave 'Kissho-kan' are outside now and by Monday those three plants will be reduced to one with packages containing them being sent domestic and abroad, positive downsizing in these days of so much negative kinds. I'm told it's a Boreal Chorus Frog.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:12PM
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All I find in the fall are lousy slugs in my plant pots. This summer to my great surprise there was a grass snake on my front step and it was probably there because concrete gets warm. When I saw it first I thought it must be a very large worm as I stepped outside it moved very quickly and I realized it was a snake. If the snake is living in the garden it must be feeding on something. There are no frogs in the garden yet. I would like to see them living a froggy life in my garden. How do you attract frogs to a garden?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:15PM
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Research water features and see if there is a way to work one or two into your over all yard design comfortably. somehow this almost never fails to bring all manner of wildlife including frogs and toads which need water to breed. If you build it...they will come! :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:40PM
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