When to water after dormancy?

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Pia
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When to water after dormancy?

Post by Pia » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:06 pm

This year I tried a new method for the winter rest in Finland (as I wrote earlier, I have tried a short winter rest at a glazed terrace a couple of times with not so good results a few years ago). Since I learned that cacti do not need light during winter rest, I placed two of my cacti, Echinopsis subdenudata variegata and Echinopsis mamillosa var. kermesina, in the basement at the end of October (because this was the first time, I did not have the courage to put more of my cacti there). They were in total darkness at the temperature about +9-+13 Celsius (humidity about 47%) and, naturally, totally dry. I took them out of this space three days ago. First I still kept them in darkness at +17 Celsius for two days, and then I took them inside the house yesterday, but they are not receiving any direct sunlight yet. When should I start watering them? I mean, for how long should I keep them at the room temperature (about +22 C) before I can give them a small amount of water? Can I put them on a windowsill (where they receive some sunlight) after one week?
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by rodsmith » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:36 pm

I think I would give them 2 or 3 light sprayings over a week or so and wait to see signs of growth. Once they have started growth you can start watering. Good luck. Most of my plants have been in dark storage since late November and as we are due to move into our new house in April I'm looking forward to seeing my plants again and seeing what sort of condition they're in.
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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Pia
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by Pia » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:01 pm

Thanks, Rod. Don't they need any water on roots in order to get a signal that it is time to start growing? Are the light and warmth enough? Shall I spray only the plants or the soil as well?
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by anders » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:30 pm

I would not water them yet unless you can give them much more light, they will almost certainly start to grow and become etioliated. Why do you want to wake them up now?
I do keep some cacti at room temperature now, but they are seedlings and small cuttings that grow under artificial light.
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by rodsmith » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:41 am

Pia wrote:Thanks, Rod. Don't they need any water on roots in order to get a signal that it is time to start growing? Are the light and warmth enough? Shall I spray only the plants or the soil as well?
Over the past few years my plants have been kept in a greenhouse with heating keeping them just above freezing (minimum of 3 deg C). My greenhouse was located in a position that received no sun at all from mid October to mid February. Starting on a sunny day in late February I used to mist the plants from above about three times over the space of two or three weeks. Some of the spray may have reached the soil, but not much as it was only a light spray. My first main watering over the past three years has been between 15th and 29th March. You can generally wait until growth starts before giving the first proper watering. This will depend on your location and the weather conditions. The plants will show you when they want some water but it won't harm your plants if you wait until April.
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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Pia
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by Pia » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:41 am

Thank you for your thorough answers! I don't want them to start growing yet, but I was afraid that the roots might be suffering because they have been totally dry for 5 months now (and since they are now at the room temperature and also having daylight). However, the plants look fine (exactly the same as in autumn), and these are pretty large plants. So, I'm probably worrying in vain.... :oops:
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by FaeLLe » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:14 pm

rodsmith wrote:I think I would give them 2 or 3 light sprayings over a week or so and wait to see signs of growth. Once they have started growth you can start watering. Good luck. Most of my plants have been in dark storage since late November and as we are due to move into our new house in April I'm looking forward to seeing my plants again and seeing what sort of condition they're in.
Hi Rod,

Does your advice hold still only for cacti? What about succulents like Echeveria, Crassula, Howarthia etc.
Can they survive without sunlight if you keep them at 4 degrees Celcius or so over the winter?

Thanks.
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by rodsmith » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:44 am

FaeLLe wrote:Does your advice hold still only for cacti? What about succulents like Echeveria, Crassula, Howarthia etc.
Can they survive without sunlight if you keep them at 4 degrees Celcius or so over the winter?

Thanks.
The short answer is, I don't know. My plants are in store because we sold our house and have moved into temporary accommodation. I haven't done this before and I won't know what has happened until I get the plants out of storage in April. I don't have many non-cactus succulents (apart from Lithops & Conos which are with us in our flat) but I see no reason why they should be any different in principle. Some succulent plants need an occasional watering over winter but the majority should be ok. I can't wait to find out!
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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Pia
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by Pia » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:52 pm

As I wrote earlier, last autumn I placed two of my cacti, Echinopsis subdenudata variegata and Echinopsis mamillosa var. kermesina, in the basement (total darkness at about +9-+13 Celsius) at the end of October and took them out only about 2 weeks ago. And look: E. subdenudata is already growing at least two of these!!! Is this going to be a flower or an offshoot? This experiment really seems to be successful!
Subdenudata6x.jpg
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Re: When to water after dormancy?

Post by rodsmith » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:12 pm

Looks as though it could be an offshoot. I'm pleased to see that your experiment has worked so far.
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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