Thursday, January 22, 2009

Warm and Safe


All my frost tender potted cacti are resting on my patio, just waiting for the danger of frost to pass. In my little micro climate, temperatures have to fallen to below 39° F. to date, and if we are lucky, we'll get to March without any lower temperatures. Many of these cacti do not like temperatures below 40° F. The most vulnerable are placed closest to the house.



I do not water many of these from late November until mid-February, depending on the genus and species. Watering in the winter months can cause root rot. During our mild winters, cacti will shrink by one-third or more while dormant, others turn a purplish hue, and still others look their best during the winter months.


After all danger of frost has passed, usually in late February, I will move all these pots from under their patio protection out into the open where they will have a northeastern exposure. They will begin soaking up the sunlight and start flower production. I will give all the potted cacti a liquid cactus fertilizer mixed with water when I resume their watering schedule. The fertilizer will be given monthly during their growing and flowering phase.

16 comments:

Ashraf shreif said...

very good, many of the dead to my plants from shade and rain

Claude said...

What a great collection... I knew there were a lot of them, but it's different seeing a whole mass at once!

Gin said...

What a wonderful collection of cacti you have! I'm glad you're able to keep them safe from the weather.

beckie said...

What a lot of work to maove all those cacti. But well worth the effort to save such goreous plants. My window cactus gets little or no water during the winter months. In early Feb. I start watering again, and am most years rewarded with blooms in late March.

sisah said...

You have definitly quite a collection of succulents and by looks of it plenty of space where they can stay during the "winter" period. After converting Fahrenheit into Celsius ( with the little help of WWW) I am quite surprised to see that even in your latitude the temperature falls to 4 °C.
Liebe Grüße
Sisa

GardenJoy4Me said...

Aiyana .. you have such an amazing collection. I think that is what kills a lot of potted plants .. especially cacti .. over watering.
The sedum like plants I have are in porus clay containers .. so I think it saves their little lives a lot from my watering .. although I do leave it for some time.
Very nice pictures of your "kids" : )

Julie said...

Oh wow...what wonderful looking specimens!!! I am in love!

areeiro said...

Wow! Looks like a great collection! I have some cacti but I have to winter them warm inside, since I do not have a winter garden and outside it is to cold, even close to the house walls. However, if I put them outside in mid March, when frost danger is remotely small, they will still flower. I do not water at all over winter and they cope fine. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Beth said...

I knew you had quite a collection but seeing it all together is "WOW". They have such exotic blooms, don't they?

Jon said...

Wow...what a fascinating and diverse collection of cacti! I regret I have had no luck trying to grow them in our humid Mississippi climate although I have tried. I should long ago have learned that it does no good to try to hussle Mother Nature and that some plants are just not meant to be grown outside their native habitats. Live and learn, huh?

Jon at Mississippi Garden

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Thank you for showing us your wonderful cacti collection and especially for explaining how you care for it. I just started collecting myself her in Sun Lakes and will follow your lead!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a lovely grouping of cacti! Hope they stay as snug as a bug in a rug til warmer weather and they can show their stuff!

Lancashire rose said...

I'm glad for the advice on not watering over the winter. I'm afraid I have watered some of mine. I hope they survive.

Lythrum said...

I love all of your various pots. Hmm...no, I don't need another addiction, really. :) Well, maybe if I just got one or two...

Julie said...

Your house is like a public succulent garden! It is just stunning!

kml said...

Wow - you certainly have many of them. I have a cactus in my window here in New England, and some mornings when I get up, the frost is so thick on that window on the inside - the needles are in it. That cactus has lived there and thrived for many years. Perhaps the warmth of the house keeps him warm, and the sunny afternoons make short order of the frost.