Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Summer/Winter dormancy discrepansies

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Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
Feb 24, 2015 7:00 AM CST
I think the summer/winter dormancy question for succulents is interesting. I think it is relative to your latitude/longitude on the planet, not your season as we know it.

Do you have sunny dry winters, or cold wet ones? Hot dry summers? Or sticky wet ones? My winter dormants in FL could behave very differently from someone else's plants in Seattle. I think plants are triggered into dormancy based on several factors: water availability, sunlight amount, and temperature. Dormancy is survival mode. For example, I have a pachypodium I bought on the east cost of FL in November, further south from me. It has not entered dormancy yet. But all my other pachys have been sleeping since Thanksgiving. Just a difference in lat/longitude. Warmer, longer days.

I noticed on the sticky that Sansevierias are mentioned as winter dormant....mine explode in new shoots here during the winter like clockwork AFTER a rain, no matter the temperature or sunlight.

Maybe instead of a list of plants in each category, we should talk about how to take care of a succulent in dormancy.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 25, 2015 11:09 AM CST
Yes, there are many relative factors affecting dormancies, that is why I have made my own thread about it. My location being in a more thermal belt, so we get a different kind of extremes here, compared to other locations. I have to take photos year to year, season to season just to remember and understand why my plants are behaving differently.

As for the Sans, they are more of a tropical succulent so light and temps affects its growth. The temperature aspect is critical..if it gets a cold rain and exposed to temps below 50F and lower, you are for sure going to kill that plant. But let it get a warm rain or even standing in a flooded area and grown in a consistent 70F and higher temps with lots of light, it grows like weeds.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 25, 2015 11:41 AM CST
Once a plant is in a location where it couldn't possibly grow outside if left to its' own devices, a lot of the info about what/when it "should" do go out the window and you're in uncharted territory unless someone else has an anecdote from the same conditions in which you have that plant.

It's also not always clear if anecdotes/advice are about outdoor plants in the ground, or potted entities that are inside a house, or greenhouse for winter. Three vastly different environments but not yet specific enough to discuss in general. There can be some confusion about hemispheres if specific months are mentioned.

Plants that experience relatively steady conditions may not experience a dormancy at all.

One has to wonder about day length for tropical entities brought to higher latitudes, where there are wild fluctuations.

For some temperate plants, dormancy is necessary, not just a response. They will either die or fail to bloom in a climate that doesn't have enough hours of cold for winter. I know many examples after moving from OH to AL, both moist climates, but does that apply to any C/S? IDK. Maybe some Alpine plants? Some Sedum/Hylotelephiums?

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 25, 2015 12:23 PM CST
There are varying adaptabilities with succulents..some are better grown in tropical, desert or alpine conditions. Same as you grow orchids, some more suited for warm conditions, some intermediate, some for cold.

Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 26, 2015 5:26 AM CST
I agree

I had a Sans in Virginia for a very long time (~3 years) who neither grew, nor died. We had a love-hate relationship. I asked myself, why have I been dragging this loser of a plant around for so long? And why have I dragged it down to FL? Well, once it hit the warm outdoors and got some REAL UV rays, this plant sent out a gazillion little shoots and is now in the ground, and has tripled in diameter in less than a year. There's a 3 year dormancy for ya, talk about confounding the rules!

Here's a link I found that explains some drought adaptations...I think understanding these helps us cultivate our succulents better.

https://faculty.unlv.edu/landau/adaptations.htm

"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 26, 2015 11:16 AM CST
That's a very informative link Kate! Thanks for sharing it. Smiling

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