Glad that you liked the info :)
Ok, so you have them in domes, then you have been clever. I totally agree that the heat made problems for you in the beginning. And the soilproblem you deskribe, i have had that myselfe on the previous batch. It dried out way to quick and at that time my mom took care of them. She didn't bother water them every 1-2 days, just a coupple times a week max. Therefore they allmost stopped growing for about half a year, some where even purple when i got home. But they recovered when i got back and took care of them :)
You could visit a petstore and buy aquarium gravel, its cheap. It helps keep pests and fungus away froum your cacti, but it is no guarantee that it will keep them away. Anyway it helps support them. Just use a thin layer of gravel, but remember to keep an open spot, it makes it easier to see when you must water.
And about the dormant period. Seedlings should never go dormant. I water my seedlings the same way all year round. But cactis wants to go dormant when the temperature drops a bit so i place my seedlings where the temperature is allways arround 20-21 degrees celcius. Since i just use natural light and grow them in the windowsill, it takes about 1-2 years before they start to mature so i water them as seedlings all this time. Mine grows in pretty different tempo, some is three times bigger than some of the others. Don't know what causes this. They mature in different tempo so i have to treat them individually.
I started to treat my four first lophos as older cactis when they was about a year old. They was still pretty small and my soil had wery good drainage so i watered them still about two/three times a week. Now they are two years old and they can go pretty long time without water, coupple of weeks+
My four oldest lophos from seeds stands in the southwindowsill in the livingroom, so i dont think they will go dormant. The temp is allways about 20 degrees celcius. I water them about 1 time every 7-10 day. I'm watching them too see if they get any discoloration and soft spots near the bottom, a sign of rot. I allso check if i water them to seldomly, but it seems i have found the right amount.
I'm thinkings this: Im looking at each cacti, each batch and see how they grow. My cactis are still wery young. But if my cactis is still really "seedling looking", even thou they would be two years old, i would treat them more like a seedling than an adult.
I dont have that much experience with cactis during winter, but i have had a non active columnar cacti for many years. It stands in the north window so it dont get much sun during winter and the temp is about 15 degrees celcius in the windowsill. I know this one goes dormant so i just give it a little bit water max once during a month. It has grown nice and fat during the last 10+ years, it hasn't got that etiolated growth they can get if they don't go dormant and is growing when the growconditions is poor. I had my four peyotes under a spotlight last winter, watered them as i do at summer. No dormancy.
I have two really old lophophoras that also lives in the north window that i pretty much haven't watered at all the last two months. I will give them just a little sip of water a coupple times until spring arriwes. It seems like they have gone dormant and is resting peacefully :)
And about your two cactis, i would treat them more like adults during the winter. I dont know where you grow them, windowsill etc? But if in a cold windowsill i would bearly give them water. Just a little sip once a month or so. If you grow them on a table or something in roomtemperature i would give them a good spray about twice a month. If you grow them under hps etc i would give them water atleast once a week, maybe twice. If it was summer and they stood in a southwindow i would give the lopho a nice sip of water once a week or so. I dont have a clue on how to care for the other you have. Watering depends on the soil, the pot, the cacti, the temperature and the light conditions.
But remember, i'm pretty new at this as well. Just read a bunch theese last two/three years and tried to grow some myselfe, so i'm not the most experienced grower on this forum and i might do wrong some places :)
I had to take all my four pots out of the dome today. I saw some really small spots on the pots, looked like sandgrains that moved!!! Hundreds of them. I torched the pots with a lighter and washed them with dry gin (only thing i could find). I washed the dome and made big holes in it - they have been in there for half a year, now its time for them to get used to normal conditions :) High humditiy most deffenately intvites pests to live there!
Hehe, i can see/read/feel that i'm a bit hooked on growing theese things :D And a tips; dont move the cactis that much arround. Find a good place and keep them there until you have to move them or realised you had a better place for them. In the beginning i changed mines places many times, could see they didn't like it at all. And it's normal that some seedlings don't make it, i've lost about 5 R.I.P.
Edited by tersor, 01 November 2010 - 03:37 PM.