You always have the most beautiful plants! I hope you dont mind one more question, but I wanted to reach out and ask how you handle growing cacti in the winter time. Do you force dormancy by withholding water to avoid etoilated growths?Im looking to purchase some rebutias, sulcorebutias and gymnocalycium's and wanted to get your expert opinion on dormancy and winter growth.Many thanks!S
I have no problem with you asking questions. I am not sure how good the answers will be. I stop watering the cacti in the Autumn as you outline. I have Conophytums etc which grow in the Winter which are a challenge and need as much light as I can give.
Hmmm so withholding water forces them into dormancy, right? Do cacti need bright light during winter or is it irrelevant (non winter growers)? I read online that some growers keep their cacti in cool dark/dim rooms during the winter since plants were 'dormant'. Oh yes the winter growers, they seem very challenging, do you supplement with light fixtures and stuff ? The reason Im asking so many questions is I want to avoid killing plants that are far beyond my abilities. I understand for all growers it happens, but just want to avoid it if at all possible.
I have read about growers taking plants indoors or covering them up all winter. I have a greenhouse so they are happy there. In any case I have too many plants to move and no room in the house. The plants which are not growing do not need high light levels. I would think they should be kept cool. I try to avoid plants which need a lot of heat in Winter but I have a propagation mat which I use when it is very cold to give the few plants which need it a little extra heat.I have no artificial lights so need to put the plants which grow in Winter in the brightest part of the greenhouse. I sometimes take plants into my office so that they are encouraged to flower and also so that I do not miss the flowers.
Thank you so much for the additional info! I assumed you grew in a greenhouse because keeping that many plants happy inside a house would be quite a feat ! I've spent about 2 weeks reading online about these plants trying to figure out if I can provide an environment they can grow within.I am considering buying some rebutias, sulcorebutias, lobivias, and gymnoalyciums - do you think any of these are incredibly difficult for a fairly new grower? Also are there any groups of plants you would advise me to stay away from?Thanks again :)
Rebutias are traditionally a beginners plant but I think all those you list should be fine. Can I suggest you have a look at Cactus Hill Adventures. Bob does not have a greenhouse for his plants. He is very knowledgeable and helpful. Please ask if you have any more questions. I would like to see a photo your plants.
Thank you again! I just reached out to Bob and maybe he can share some information on his growing culture and technique. He has devised a very interesting way to keep his plants alive during the winter. Unfortunately where I live now our winters are much worse, 37 inches of snow on average, and 4 months where its well, well below freezing :/, there is no way to keep them outdoors unless I built a greenhouse and unfortunately that's not an option for a few more years. As soon as I get my plants together and settled I will share them with you :)
I can only remember two Winters when there was so much snow here. I have heard about people who use lights which would seem a good solution for you.