Cactus and Succulents forum→WInter rest , root loss, and root care

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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 25, 2018 10:55 AM CST
Mind suggesting several winter rest method for South american cactus species? Ive lost a year old small parodia(didnt repot it on time it seems, due its root drying out.
How do i prevent this, how do i stop root loss even for difficult species like melocacti?`
What is the bare maximum heat and bare minimum light for winter rest?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 26, 2018 11:11 AM CST
I'm a little confused. You want to force your cactus into a winter dormancy? Why?

Why did you feel you needed to repot the Parodia?

I grow my cactus in a south facing greenhouse. They don't get a forced winter rest as the greenhouse stays very warm all winter - winter temps range between 55 at night and can reach close to 100 in the daytime. I cut my watering in the winter to about once a month for the mature plants but succulents, seedlings and smaller, younger plants gets water more often, depending upon how fast they dry. The cactus and succulents that actually need winter dry don't get watered at all.

My Melocactus always stay drier (one is over 40 years old) and get watered on the same schedule as the large pots.

My point is, no forced dormancy. They always get full sun and heat. No watering schedule, but water 'as needed' depending upon species, pot size and maturity.
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 26, 2018 11:20 AM CST
I am referring to next winter , 2018/2019. I ve bought a bunch of parodias, a gymnocalyicum, echinopsis, and want to make sure they make it through the winter safely(and preferably bloomy).
I cannot provide full sun in winter, due the fact i dont have a greenhouse, extra lighting and limited window space. Summers are not a problem for me. I have balconies, and plenty of sun. I am referring to smaller , dutch nursery plants(whose soil quality issues have been dealt with. My seedlings are going to grow out of their pots too, and need to be ready for them too(a lot are SA as well).
I am asking what to do, for peace of mind.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 26, 2018 11:37 AM CST
Cactus need full sun. They live in areas of full sun. If you can't provide adequate light all year 'round, you have a problem. The winter rest period is full of sun and warm temperatures but with less moisture.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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[Last edited by DaisyI - Apr 26, 2018 11:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 26, 2018 11:41 AM CST
Im am aware where cacti live. But dont go telling me people dont do winter rest. My real issue is dealing with heat and humidity, rather than light exposure.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Apr 26, 2018 2:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Apr 26, 2018 4:15 PM CST
Why do you think it is a good idea to try and grow Melocacti when you live in an area with cold, wet, and low light winters and you do not have a heated green house? Most of the Melocactus species are from arid regions in the tropics, with maybe a few that occur in the Andes.
So the one thing they do not see is cold, wet, and low light Winters.

Now, I was not going to respond to this because I do not have to worry much about winter conditions for most of my plants because we do not really get winter like most other people, so my experience with this is pretty much zero.

However, it would seem that one thing you should consider is what you are going to grow if you are going to have to winter your plants indoors without access to some kind of insulated green house or a heated space with grow lights. I am sure there are plenty of succulents who can deal with that, but it seems you are looking at plants that might not be especially suited for the scenario you are describing. So it seems to me you are just setting yourself up for failure.
It is what it is!
[Last edited by mcvansoest - Apr 26, 2018 5:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 26, 2018 5:39 PM CST

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If you have to do a winter rest period, you can get away with lower light (@simcactus used his basement with all the plants by a window, if I remember right) as long as the temperature is cool and the water is in moderation. The coolness and the relative dryness lower the need for strong light when the plant is in a state of dormancy. The plants won't be thrilled about the situation, but they won't be impossibly stretched either. They forget it all in the spring when they go outside. Smiling

This is all second hand understanding... we have no cold here. (Maybe Gary is still around and can give advice.) But I spent some time learning about how succulents respond to stress (heat, cold, drought, sun) so I have a basic textbook understanding of how forced dormancy is used for overwintering. You might not water to completion, but you might not permit bone dryness for any extended period either. Of course that is going to depend a lot of the particular plant. The best overall strategy seems to be finding the right balance in terms of temperature (not too warm, not too cold) and moisture (not too wet, not too dry), and then managing the transitions into and out of the "basement state" carefully.

Back to the big picture. Through the process of trial and error, I have learned to adapt and change my preferences of plants. For example I have learned certain plants are impossible here because they don't like full sun. So I (they) got burnt a few times and then moved on to other things. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 26, 2018 5:47 PM (+)]
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