One of the most asked questions about how you can best take care of your cacti and succulents in the winter. Do they want to rest or not? Cold or warm hibernation? In this post we will show you how you can best take care of your plants during this period.
For both types of hibernation it is important that your plants go into rest. Is your cactus or succulent plant still growing? Then you have a chance that the new growth is less full and stretched. By reducing the amount of water and the frequency of watering in October, the growth of your plant will also stop. Nutrition is also not necessary during this period. The plant does not grow and during the rest period still lives on the absorbed food from the previous months. Your cactus and succulent also need the rest period to start growing again in the spring when the sun is more intense. The rest period also promotes the flowering of your cactus or succulent plant.
Do you have the cacti and succulents in your house on, for example, your windowsill, cupboard, table or other place where they look good? Your cactus or succulent plant still wants a small amount of water once a month. It needs this because at this temperature moisture still evaporates from the plant. Is your plant close to a heater? Then you may have to give it more water, even in the winter period. The heater of your central heating can quickly evaporate a lot of moisture from the soil and your cactus or succulent plant in a short time. An advantage of the warm wintering is that the humidity is very low. This means that harmful fungi have little chance during the intermediate period. This is something that you will have to deal with during a cold winter. During this warm wintering period, you may notice small wrinkles on the plant or that it becomes noticeably smaller. This is a natural process of the plant because it has to make do with less water. You don’t have to worry about this. The skin of your cactus and succulent is flexible and will stretch again when you start watering more in the spring.
Do you have a really cold place to hibernate your plants? A greenhouse or cold shed you can reduce the amount and frequency of watering to zero in these months. In the following months, from October to March, the plants do not need water at all. When there are sunny periods again in March, you can start watering again. With a cold winter you will feel that the wrinkles on your plant are much more and larger than with a warm winter. Cactus species with a taproot may also be largely withdrawn into the soil. This is also a natural process and you don’t have to worry about it. During a cold winter, make sure that the humidity does not get too high.
What is better, cold or warm wintering
A cold winter is more in line with what our cacti or succulents experience in nature. But the rest of the conditions with us are very different from those in nature. They are also all cultivated plants under completely different conditions than in nature. Some cactus species need a cold winter to start flowering. These flower less easily with a warm hibernation. Other varieties will flower again quickly if they overwinter warm. Flowering may come a little later, but they often have several flowering rounds during the spring and summer.
For this reason, in our experience, it does not matter much which wintering you choose. It is especially important which type of hibernation is possible and which is the easiest.
Now it is only a choice which type you choose for the rest period and your cacti and succulents can withstand the winter well.