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How cold is too cold indoors?


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#1 Coopdog

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:34 AM

Had to put all my cacti in a different area than they have ever been in before. They are in a unheated bathroom at the back of the house. Right now it is 33 degrees in there and the projected outside temps is 15-18 tonight. I have read that they are hardy to 25 or so as long as there is no frost. Not sure how true that is and would like to hear others temp extremes that they have survived. Right now there is Pachanoi, Bridgessii and Peruvianus in there along with a candelabra and a Fantasy castle cactus. Should I bring my spiny friends into the room where it is heated but where they would be in a terrible place to walk past them while the weather is extreme like this?

 

It is usually 50 and rainy all winter here, but of course since they can't be where they were comfortable, it has to get freakin cold. Any help is appreciated folks. I love my cacti and have had them around for quite a while, most of them anyhow, and if they were to die off I would be devastated, but as I said bringing them in here would be terribly inconvenient and I don't even wanna hear what the wife has to say about it.

 

Peace...


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#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:58 AM

I have had Pachanoi in the ground outside in desert cold, that hits high 20's for several nights every year. It was under a tree and the air was moving most of the time, not still. They survive. My cacti at home are next to the house, under the eaves in winter. They will have a freeze of below 32 at least 6-10 nights a year. They survive fine.

 

If the soil is not wet, they will be OK for a day or two at cold but not freezing. Moving air is better than standing cold. I would personally set up a small fan type space heater to kick on every so often. Set it for keeping the room a bit warmer than below freezing, idealy at 35- 45 F as a minimum. 

 

My cactus are well acclimated to winter cold, so the skin is thicker so to speak. If yours are not used to real cold, just keep them warmer than freezing and in moving air not still, and they will be fine.

 

Here comes that polar vortex drift........

Don't worry, its all a hoax.


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#3 Heirloom

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:22 PM

Coop can you open the bathroom door late till morning? I wish you well. I know the sadness of losing cactus.



#4 pharmer

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:17 PM

It's my understanding that dormancy is triggered by temps of less than 50'ish degrees F.   Dormancy is good, it prevents etoliation and otherwise puny growth.

 

It's prudent to not allow any water into the pots for a month before you bring them indoors. I don't know the exact mechanism but mine do just fine in temps down to 25 F if they've been dried out for a month. But I don't take those chances. Mine go under a shed  roof Oct 1st and stay there until they come indoors when the threat of 25 or lower is real. I just humped my indoors today.

 

IF your soil is dry and the cactii have had a month without being drenched or heavily watered they should be ok in that really chilly bathroom. But don't add any more water this winter

 

Shit, man, I'd be worried about the water in the pipes or the pooper freezing before the cactus.


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#5 Myc

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

I kept mine (all of the specimens you mentioned) in an enclosed porch. They did fine for years.

 

One time, I was out of state and on my way home. The cacti were snowed upon and had to weather an early winter storm before I could get them inside. 

Weird, ...it killed every one of them. I think being wet from snow and freezing at night was the fatal combo. Otherwise, they did fine indoors in an unheated room - all glass windows - no insulation to speak of - this room gets cold. (It's where cold-loving fungi like to fruit in the winter). 

 

Hope this helps.



#6 pharmer

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 06:47 PM

It stands to reason if the skin is frozen they're screwed. They'd having nothing to photosynthesize with and would likely just weep out much of their held water.

 

Maybe, maybe, maybe the roots could survive and push out some new growth.

 

I had a similar but less disastrous freeze and lost a couple inches of a few tips but the columns survived and just pushed the dead flesh out of the way and pupped.

 

Also, it seems cold is one thing but ice is quite another. Seems ice kills pdq where sufficient cold takes much longer


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#7 ChimX

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 07:21 PM

Hey Coop, I'm not sure if this will be of any use to you, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

Please bear in mind that some of these set ups can be dangerous. I'm posting one that looks relatively safe. Please use caution.

[Direct Link]



A precautionary video on a similar set up idea below:

[Direct Link]



I'm rooting for you Coop. Give us an update when the cold blows by. Good luck!
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#8 Skywatcher

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:51 PM

It stands to reason if the skin is frozen they're screwed. They'd having nothing to photosynthesize with and would likely just weep out much of their held water.

Also, it seems cold is one thing but ice is quite another. Seems ice kills pdq where sufficient cold takes much longer

I will give total agreement to this. Without fail, anytime I have had a cactus get wet and freeze, The ice has killed anyplace it formed. Dry cold is far less ruinous.

This will not be an issue in your unheated indoor room Coop.

 

Unless you are expecting prolonged temperatures of below 30, a few days would be fine. Some heat can pretty easily be rigged with electric solutions. I do not recomend any kind of flame indoors, un supervised.






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