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Winterizing my cacti


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#1 Fresh Brewed

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:51 AM

It's the middle of Aug, and winter temps won't be here for several months, but was wondering about the best way to prepare my cacti for the winter. I have 2 San Pedros between 30-36 inches. I would like to be able to put them to sleep for the winter without causing any etiolation and I understand that that involves a mix of lowering temps, lowering light levels and a reduction in water.

Winter temps in my area will average in the 30-40s, but it would not be unusual to have a few cold snaps down into the teens. My thoughts were to keep them out in the sun (where I don't have much control over the amount of water they receive) until about a month before the first frost. At that point I was thinking of moving them to the screened porch on the back of the house where they will get very little direct sun, but I will be able to limit the water they are getting. Then around the point of the first frost my thought was to move them into the detatched garage that is not heated.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach to preparing them for the winter, and do you have any suggestions about insulating them while in the garage for the winter?

#2 cactuswren

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 10:51 AM

I live in zone 8.The first night forecast of 40 degrees, I move mine to a non-heated "sun room" and stop watering completely. When the temp drops below 35 I use a space heater to keep the room from freezing which will damage or kill most all Trichs. If any looked too dehydrated during the winter, I give a small amount of water; only once a month at most. Seems to work. If your garage is a non sun area, don't put them there as they will etiolate or die.

#3 HUMBLE STUDENT

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 11:24 AM

this will be my first winter with my tricho's also. I live in zone 9 or 10 (Florida)do you think I will have to bring my pedros in for the winter or should they be fine? it hardly ever gets to freezing where I am at, but it can get pretty chilly

#4 Myc

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 11:42 AM

I stop watering mine about a month before I intend to let them hibernate.
Then I move them to a dark closet and leave them alone for a few months.
Desert plants can go a very long time without water.
I've found that exposure to light during dormancy leads to etiolation and it happens very rapidly.
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#5 cactuswren

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:25 PM

I've found that exposure to light during dormancy leads to etiolation and it happens very rapidly.[/quote]

Interesting. I haven't had this problem. Plants in their natural habitat don't seem to have this problem either.

#6 Mermaidia

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:02 PM

We start bringing them in when the temps get below 50 at night. But set them out during the day. I bring them up next to the house if there is a chance of rain. You'll want the soil nice and dry before bringing them in for the winter. We don't water at all during the winter months.
I have found that warmers temps combined with lack of lots of sun caused ours to etiolate.
Last winter we left it in the family room, right next to the sliding glass door. I have found this is the coolest place in the house and all of the cacti did really well. The cacti received light from the sliding glass door and lamp light and none of them eliolated.

#7 Raziel

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 03:41 AM

So they should be stored dry and in a cool place but is how much light should they receive is more better if they are in a cool place and not watered or is this true what Myc says that they can be stored in a dark closet for a few months with no ill effects ?

#8 wendal

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:02 AM

The combination of lowered temperature and amount of light are what prompt them to go dormant.

Storing them somewhere where the temps will be between 45 - 55 F will be sufficient for overwintering.

I live in zone 5 and put my plants in the garage for the winter. I have also kept them in my basement without issue.

If the temps get too warm you will get etoliation. Light only becomes a big issue with these higher temps.....

#9 Mermaidia

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:26 AM

They can be stored in a dark closet, IF that closet stays cool.

#10 Raziel

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:27 AM

So it's mostly temps that cause etoliation then? I will have to find some where in my apartment/flat that gets quite cold then. Warm temps in the winter wont effect Lophs much as they grow slow and cant see how they could get etoliation. Is there any ill effect Lophs get in the winter if not in the correct enviroment ?

#11 Raziel

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:27 AM

They can be stored in a dark closet, IF that closet stays cool.


Thanks, Cool :cool:

#12 chimp

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:38 AM

I always quit watering mine about as month or so before I plan to " put them up" for the winter. I have an attic over my garage and I put them up there in complete darkness and get em down when it warms up. I also never water them while in dormancy. They are fine to go through a frost IME but not an extended freeze. If you live in a place Like Florida (humble student) I don't see why you should have to winterize them at all.

#13 wendal

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:41 AM

I've had lophs etoliate over winter when the temps were too warm and they were not getting enough light........

So, beware, lophs are not 'immune' to becoming etoliated. :)

#14 Fresh Brewed

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:59 AM

OK, here's my solution for keeping my San Pedros dry and in the sun for the next month or so while the temps lower towards winter. I used duct tape to bolster the edges of some clear plastic sheeting that I've had lying around, and also used the tape to attach the sheeting to PVC tubing. This was then mounted over the trellis that I erected to grow cucumbers on this summer. They get 7-8 hours of direct sun a day there, and have stayed bone dry during two storms over the last week.
This ghetto greenhouse probably wouldn't withstand a big time storm with high winds, but for now it seems to be doing OK.

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#15 Myc

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:25 AM

:eusa_clap
Funny, I thought I had "invented" this idea earlier this year.
Did the same thing in putting out my garden seedlings this year
So they would have a greater chance of success getting established.

Nice Pedros!

#16 Fresh Brewed

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

Thanks

#17 Oblivion

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:58 PM

I have found the best procedure that is guaranteed to prevent etiolation is consumption! :cacti:

#18 FranklinsTower

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 11:46 AM

I have found the best procedure that is guaranteed to prevent etiolation is consumption! :cacti:

 

How long can a cutting be stored before it is consumed.  I have two 12 inch long cuttings being shipped to me but may wait till summer before anyone consume them.  Is there a way to store them over the winter?



#19 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 12:47 PM

I usually age cut stems 3 months before drying out to extract, if anything it increases the potency. Sometimes I wait 10 months.

Once, out of curiosity, I set four small stems on a shelf and just waited. The last one died after 4 years :laugh:

In south america cut stems are routinely aged in the dark for several months to increase potency.

 

Any cuts or scratches should be calloused in a warm dry room with air circulation and they should not be impaling each other with their spines in storage. Then just keep them somewhere with no direct light and little indirect light, a cool room or closet is best.






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