Hi Guys 🙂
I have just spent a busy 5 days bringing in all of the Cacti and Succulents from the greenhouse and outdoors back into the house again for their overwintering 🙂
Its that time of year when most of our Cacti and Succulent plants stop growing and hibernate for the Winter ( wish I could do the same and overwinter too, I don’t like the cold and long dark days of Winter haha! ) and although we are blessed with a milder climate in Ireland than most you can certainly feeling it getting much colder.
Depending on where you live in the world then you need to start overwintering your cacti & most of the non winter growing Succulents that you have in your collection now.
If you are like me and living in the northern hemisphere of the world, then it is now our Autumn / Fall, however if you are one of the lucky ones living in the southern hemisphere like Australia then you are enjoying your Spring now, and you are most likely being blessed with an abundance of buds and blooms on your plants, then you can skip reading this overwintering blog until about 6 months time and go outside and enjoy those blooms and heat instead haha! 🙂
I have included a video on how to overwinter you cacti and succulents on my You Tube Channel Desert Plants of Avalon as well as detailed advice on how to overwinter your plants at the end of this Blog.
I am lucky to have a large unheated conservatory and a big spare room with large windows and plenty of space to overwinter my plants, I also have an office with a big window to overwinter any of the Cacti and Succulents that are not cold hardy, despite this the house is now filled to the brim with plants and the windows are full haha! oh how I wish I lived in a warm sunny climate all year round so I could grow all of my plants outside haha!
I had fun and games moving all the plants from inside the greenhouse and garden back into the house to overwinter and it was exhausting stuff haha! I am happy to say that they are all put into their new Winter quarters until next April 2017.
I was lucky to find some spools that an office by where I live had thrown out into a skip, they worked a treat as acting as tables and look really cool too and what a brilliant way to recycle 🙂
I have included lots of photos of my Cacti and Succulents back inside the house again and you can see these at the very bottom of this Blog 🙂
Here is a video I have made for my You Tube channel Desert Plants of Avalon of moving all of my plants from inside the greenhouse and garden back inside the house again to overwinter and you can watch this fun video below.
I have included a few photos at the very bottom of this Blog on moving the the cacti and succulents back inside the house to Overwinter 🙂
How to Overwinter your Cacti and Succulent plants.
When it comes to overwintering your prickly and succulent friends, then the biggest factor is to keep them cool and dry with absolutely no water whatsoever, this is extremely important as this will discourage them to continue growing during the minimal daylight hours that is attributed to Winter, which will prevent stretched out etiolated growth as well as fungal diseases and rots.
The cool temperatures will encourage them to rest for the Winter, and then in the Spring they are more likely to produce flowers if they have had a dry and cool Winter rest period.
When it comes to keeping them dry, a few exceptions to this is with the likes of the Autumn and Winter flowering cacti such as the Epiphytic cacti, e.g Rhipsalis and Schlumbergera ( Christmas / Thanksgiving cactus ) and some of the Winter growing south African succulents such as the Crassulas, Aloe’s and the Mesembs, e.g Lithops and Conophytums as well as a few other south African winter growing succulents, so double check your plants individual needs and don’t assume that they all require no water over winter, although little harm will come to them if you don’t water even the Winter growing varieties, if you are unsure what type of cactus or succulent that you have, then when it comes to the watering ‘if in doubt do nowt’, far better a shriveled cactus and succulent than a dead one, these plants soon plump up again when given their watering in the Spring 🙂
If you want to identify what types of cacti and succulents you have check out CactiGuide.com and SucculentGuide.com they have a good selection of photos of many commonly available cacti and succulent plants that will help you to identify your plant./s
Some of the Epiphytes such as the commonly seen Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus Schlumbergera and Rhipsalis are Winter flowering plants and do not like the soil medium to be kept totally dry for long periods.
All the Desert cacti and most of the succulents appreciate a dry and cool room to overwinter in that ideally receives some sunshine during the day, but if the only position you have to overwinter them is a bright but sunless north facing window then they will not come to any harm as long as they can be placed back into a sunnier position again from Spring onwards when they come back into their active growth again.
Overwinter the desert cacti and other succulents at an ideal temperature no lower than 5-7c (41-45f) but many growers have great success with overwintering their plants lower than this at 4c/39f but because I have no experience of overwintering them lower than 4c/39f for long periods of time I can’t recommend this from my own experience.
Melocacti, Uebelmannia, Discocacti, Hylocereus, a few Euphorbias such as Euphorbia lactea and some other succulents are not as cold hardy as the desert types and I would recommend overwintering them at no lower temperature than 12-15c. (53-60f) to be on the safe side.
Epiphytic cacti do not have a complete winter rest like the desert types do, and ideally temperatures should not drop lower than 7-8c ( 45 -48 Fahrenheit ) during the Winter, although these cacti can survive temperatures that are much lower than this for short periods especially during the nightime, but for longer periods their stems are prone to spotting and scarring if they are kept at too low of a temperature.
Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube channel Desert Plants of Avalon that goes into more detailed advice on how to overwinter your Cacti and Succulent plants and you can watch this video below:
How to overwinter Cacti and Succulent seedlings
Cacti and succulent seedlings will need to be overwintered very differently during their first winter, and do not rest over the winter months like mature cacti and succulents do, its best to overwinter all types of cacti and succulent seedlings at room temperature and lightly watered, I keep my seedlings in my office next to a bright window that receives some morning sun.
The different requirements with over wintering young cactus and succulent seedlings all depends on whether you are growing them in a propagator with heat and grow lights or whether you are growing them in the baggies or without the baggies. Seedlings need to be kept warmer and also slightly moist over the Winter to stop the delicate root hairs from drying out, and it can be tricky trying to keep them moist without encouraging them to grow etiolated over the Winter if growing without special grow lamps.
Check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel Desert Plants of Avalon where I explain in a lot more detail about How to overwinter your Cacti and succulent seedlings during their first year and you can watch this video below :
I hope that you found this Blog helpful. Here is a selection of photos below of my plants now they have been moved back into the house to overwinter 🙂
Thanks so much for reading guys and sending you all lots of love and Happy Winter growing from Ireland and stay warm y’all 🙂