Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Edithcolea Grandis (part 2)

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Name: alyssa
Pennsylvania (Zone 7b)
alyssavache
Jan 28, 2017 9:13 PM CST
originally posted in the "ask a question" forum:

Hello all!

I've been growing succulents for almost 2 years now, and i feel as though i'm really starting to get the hang of it. So, to really test my abilities, I bought myself a Persian Carpet Flower.

I know they don't tolerate temperatures below 40F, or even 50F, so I have mine on a heat mat (one made for reptiles--no thermostat, i've heard they regulate based on room temp to stay around 80). Mine was shipped from Florida to southeastern Pennsylvania...in mid january...over a weekend. I immediately repotted into a gritty mix (3-2-1-1 perlite, fir bark, granite chips, and c&s soil respectively) and placed it, on the mat, under a grow light.

My question now is, how often should I water it in these conditions? It's stems are a little limp but I hear they're prone to rot, yet prefer lots of water when it's warm. Do they require a dormant period or can I keep the same conditions year round?

Sorry for the book, but this was my ultimate goal-find and I really don't want to kill it! Any and all pointers are welcome. Thanks in advance!

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 28, 2017 9:34 PM CST

Moderator

Just an observation based on the setup... the heat mat right below a clay pot will increase evaporation through the walls of the pot. Clay pots are already prone to this effect (as opposed to plastic pots, which only evaporate through the top), but the warming effect will transfer water out of the soil faster. You can definitely use this to your advantage.

Try to figure out when the soil is going dry, and wait until that point to water well (until water comes out the bottom). I'm thinking with the heat and the lights you'll get relatively fast evaporation, so the watering interval could be every week or two.

The plant should not require a dormant period. I have grown other members of the family (not that species) and they tend to be more active at certain times of year (like summer), but that doesn't necessarily mean they actually go to sleep when they are not in active growth. Warm, bright, comfortable conditions (like what you have described) should keep the plant awake and content through the winter.

Be extra careful watering a plant like this after it has traveled through the mail and maybe experienced some winter cold or mechanical damage along the way. That's when it will be most vulnerable. Assume it is not going to be a heavy drinker until maybe late spring, and keep it on the dry side when it's not in active growth.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 28, 2017 9:35 PM (+)]
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Name: alyssa
Pennsylvania (Zone 7b)
alyssavache
Jan 28, 2017 10:18 PM CST
Thank you so much for your reply!

Like I said, it's a little limp. This usually happens to my stapeliads when they need a good drink, but I'm afraid to water it as they're so prone to rot and, like you said, the travel exposed it to temps in the 40's, maybe even dipped into the high 30's. No signs of rot on any stems yet, nor any on the roots when I got it (was shipped bare root), yet I am still hesitant. Should I wait a full 2 weeks since repotting to water for the first time?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 28, 2017 10:19 PM CST
I just gave you my spin on this plant in your other post in "Ask a Question"
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 28, 2017 10:22 PM CST
Did you water it when you first got it? If not, do so and then keep it warm. I stated in the other post that my GH dips to 55 at night this time of year, but it was 95 in there today (Even though it was 35 outside, the sun was shining). I think the key to success is warmth and bright light.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: alyssa
Pennsylvania (Zone 7b)
alyssavache
Jan 28, 2017 11:10 PM CST
So I should water it right away? I was nervous about the shipping temps being low 40's to high 30's F. I am yet to water it after a little over a week.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jan 29, 2017 11:01 AM CST

Moderator

You can water now if you like. I don't normally wait much longer than a week to water after repotting. It's usually a matter of diminishing returns at that point, unless there's some actual injury to take into account.

If you feel the need for caution, you can always water somewhere short of saturation (like half or 2/3 of the way) this first time. It's very hard to know why the plant is a little limp at this point (cold exposure? shipping damage? repotting damage? thirsty? or some combination of the above) but just sitting in a warm, bright place with moderate humidity in the root zone ought to be revitalizing.

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