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Most cacti need a cool or even cold wintering. It provides the plants with a dormant period, 2-3 months are enough in terms of time. And the meaning of the dormant period for a cactus is special. With a dormant period, the cactus stops growing and from that time on, summer growth matures in it. In addition, it is during the dormant period that the buds of future flowers are laid.
The minimum temperature for different species varies somewhat, mainly cacti are kept in winter at a temperature of 5-12 ° C. To transfer cacti to a dormant period, from autumn they begin to gradually reduce watering. The temperature is also gradually decreasing. If you reduce watering and the temperature remains high, then the plant will continue to evaporate moisture, but not receive liquid in return, so the reduction in watering and the decrease in temperature must occur simultaneously. A decrease in illumination in winter will be natural for a plant if watering and temperature are simultaneously reduced.
To provide the cacti with a cool overwintering, you can arrange a fence made of a sheet of glass (plexiglass) at the edge of the window sill, so that the heat from the batteries does not touch them. We just need a thermometer. It is imperative to control the temperature during the winter. Even if the frames are insulated and sealed, if it gets colder outside to -30 ° C and below, then the temperature on the windowsill may also drop too low. If the windowsill is + 6 ° C, and for your cacti the winter minimum is + 5 ° C, then it is better not to risk it, but to take action. With the onset of severe frosts, you can additionally insulate the frames by placing a woolen blanket along the windowsill or placing pots with cacti on a sheet of foam plastic or thick foam rubber, but you cannot remove the protective glass from the windowsill until the heating is turned off.
To control the temperature, you need a thermometer, and to control watering, it is better to start a calendar, since watering is rare in cold weather, it is easy to completely forget what date you watered the plant. You need to hang a calendar somewhere in a conspicuous place and mark the watering days on it.
How to understand that a cactus is at rest? It's very simple - if a cactus is asleep, it has no signs of growth, no new areoles and spines, no tilt towards the light. It seems to freeze and does not change either size or shape. If in doubt and do not believe your eyes, it is better to take a picture of the cacti at the time of resting. And then compare.
If suddenly there is a thaw on the street and the apartment has warmed up, then the cacti can begin to wake up from hibernation. One or two days of temperature changes will not affect the dormant period, but longer warming forces us to temporarily resume watering or end the dormant period. If the temperature has increased slightly, for example, it stays around 17-18 ° C, and you know that this is only for a few days, then look at the state of the cacti: if they do not shrink, do not dry out, wait another day or two; if wilting (or skin shrinkage) is noticeable, water the cacti once with a pipette to restore fluid loss. But do not stimulate growth on purpose, especially if winter has just begun. By the way, it is very convenient to use empty bottles from under drops from a cold, other pharmacy bottles or a 10-20 ml syringe for drip irrigation.
If it becomes clear that the warming is delayed for more than a week or two, you will have to bring the cacti out of hibernation: turn on additional lighting with fluorescent lamps and resume watering, otherwise they will simply stretch out and become ugly.
Watering cacti in winter
How to care for a cactus in winter was very well told by Maria (Colleague), a forum participant and specialist in cactus cultivation:
Now, when the cacti are sleeping, the issue of watering is very important. As for the technique: you can take a cocktail tube, dip it into the water, close the upper hole with your finger. We lower the open end of the tube into the cactus pot - away from the root collar. Let go of the finger, the water is poured into the pot. So you can selectively, gently water your cacti during the winter. And a little educational program on watering some types of cacti:
Cacti that do not need to be watered during a cold winter
- Opuntia articulata Opuntia articulata (Tephrocactus articulatus Tephrocactus articulatus) (dormant period in severe cold 0 degrees and without any watering!)
- Mammillaria Mammillaria, Dolichothele Dolichothele
- Parody Parodia
- Lobivia Lobivia, Pseudolobivia Pseudolobivia, Mediolobivia Mediolobivia
- Rebutia Rebutia, Sulcorebutia Sulcorebutia
- Aylostera Aylostera
- Echinopsis Echinopsis
- Copiapoi Copiapoa
- Astrophytums Astrophytum
- Ferocactus Ferocactus
- Coryphantha Coryphants
- Matucana Matucana, Submatucana Submatucana
- Chileans: Neochilenia Neochilenia, Neoporteria Neoporteria, Pyrrhocactus Pyrrhocactus, Horridocactus Horridocactus, Eriosyce Eriosyce)
- Cephalocerius Cephalocereus (absolutely dry and cool (+15) wintering)
- Turbinicarpus Turbinicarpus (do not water, cold wintering)
- Echinocactus Echinocactus (about +8 - +10, if higher, about +15, you can pour a little into the pallet once a month)
- Aztekium Aztekium
- Lofofora Lophophora
- Neoporteria Neoporteria
- Brasilopuntia Brasiliopuntia
- Acanthocalycium Acanthocalycium
- Coleocephalocereus Coleocephalocereus
- Discocactus Discocactus
- Harrisia Harrisia
- Notocactus Notocactus
- Cleistocactus Cleistocactus
- Gymnocalycium Gymnocalycium
- Echinofossulocactus Echinofossulocactu
- Telocactus Thelocactus
- Myrtillocactus Myrtillocactus
- Hatiora Hatiora
- Hilocereus hylocereus
- Lepismium Lepismium
- Pilosocereus Pilosocereus
- Quabentia Quiabentia
- Ripsalis Ripsalis
- Schlumberger Schlumbergera
|Cacti that need light soil moisture in winter *|
* watering once a month - literally a teaspoon of water away from the root collar - most cacti do not like and do not tolerate the moisture of the root collar, especially in winter, so when watering from above, make sure that water penetrates into the substrate near the walls of the pot. The table is supplemented and corrected by Natali
For more details on the conditions of keeping cacti, see the article by Irina Bagdasarova Cacti. Brief requirements for soil, temperature, lighting.