Spring is here, what to do with cacti and succulents? All out or is it better to wait?

Spring, the so-called beautiful season, has now begun: what to do with cacti and succulents? Should you take plants kept indoors outside during the winter? Remove covers or layers of non-woven fabric? Resume watering? Fertilize plants?

Spring is the season of recovery for all plants, and succulents are no exception. Many species are already in full bloom, such as Stenocactus, Strombocactus, many Turbinicarpus and several Mammillaria. Be careful, however, there is a difference between flowering and vegetative growth: a plant can flower even if it has not fully resumed vegetating. Simply, this is its flowering period and the plant respects it even if it is still coming out of the winter “dormancy” state. As regards temperatures, obviously there is a big difference based on the area in which it is grown, so in some regions of the South the night-time minimums can already be above 10 degrees, while in the North we still have relatively low values, around 2 or 3 degrees. This factor is fundamental to understanding whether we can move our plants outside or not. Equally important is the time to resume watering. Can we start watering cacti and succulents these days or is it better to wait a little longer? Finally: with the start of the summer, is it necessary to carry out some treatments with plant protection products or can this practice be avoided?

Let’s see everything in detail in the following article, so as to move correctly and avoid problems or rot damaging the plants. (…)

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Where to keep succulents in winter? Outside, on a landing or in the house? A practical handbook


A practical handbook and an in-depth analysis on a much debated topic among those who grow succulent and/or cactus plants. Here’s what you’ll find by reading this article, designed specifically to help those who, with the first drops in temperatures, are starting to wonder where to place their succulents when the real cold arrives. Unless you have a greenhouse, perhaps equipped with a burner regulated by a thermostat, the question is in fact more than pertinent: during the winter it is better to keep the succulent plants outside (sheltered from the rain), or in a cool environment such as a landing, an internal staircase or even a garage? Or should we bring all the plants indoors? It is good to clarify immediately that the answer to these questions cannot be tranchant or “absolute”: obviously the correct winter location depends on many factors, starting from the area in which the plants are grown (North or South Italy? North or South Europe? Sea or high mountains?) to arrive at the type of plant (Cactaceae, succulent native to Africa or Madagascar? Sempervivum, Crassula, Euphorbia?). In short, the range of cases is very broad and as always there are no absolute rules. Luckily there are many fixed points and many precautions that should be respected to ensure that our succulents pass the winter securely and take advantage of the vegetative stasis to be able to flower again the following year.

The following article answers these questions, and you will also find an indication of the correct measures to be taken to ensure that cacti and succulents overwinter in the best possible way, have abundant blooms and, above all, you’ll find a practical handbook with an indication of the best location for cacti and succulents organized in alphabetical order, so as to facilitate the identification of the plant, understand in which minimum temperature range it can stay and where it can be placed (for example outside, on a landing, or directly inside the house). (…)

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From above, from below, only the soil: how cacti and succulents get wet and how long we can do it

Let’s go against the trend, since the period is more suitable for talking about suspending watering than about how, how much, when a cactus or succulent plant is watered. The topic, however, is of primary importance and although already covered in a specific article published in the “early days” of this site, it deserves further study. And it deserves it, perhaps even more so, now that we are approaching the moment when (at least in Northern Italy and in Europe) it is appropriate to suspend irrigation. Knowing when to say stop wetting cacti and succulent plants in general is essential to avoid rot during the winter. Knowing in which ways it is possible to water our plants (from above, like rain, or from below, or wetting only the soil, etc.), knowing how many times to water them during the growing season, how to adjust with the various genres, how to relate watering to the substrates used and much more is equally fundamental.

This is therefore the reason for this article, which also answers the many questions on this topic – how are succulent watered, how often are they watered, in which way? etc. – placed at any time of the year by novice growers (and not only novice). Not to mention that, if we want to go into detail, there are cacti and succulents that really appreciate some winter watering. Didn’t you know? More and more this article will be for you.

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Severely dehydrated Astrophytum asterias: here’s a rescue attempt with… hydroculture!

Hydroculture and succulent plants sound, in some ways, like a conceptual oxymoron. Plants that have naturally evolved to cope with drought, rainfall concentrated in short periods of the year; plants that grow in extremely dry soils, in short, how can they get along with hydroculture? In other words, how can they be grown with a technique that requires the roots to be in constant contact with water? The answer is simple: they can’t. However … however in certain cases and following precise precautions, the constant contact of the roots of a succulent plant with water can be used to save that plant. Even if that plant is a succulent. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do these days to save two Astrophytum asterias of my sowing in conditions of extreme dehydration, on the verge of dying of thirst (which would be very strange for a cacti!). But let’s go step by step and see exactly what happened to these two plants and how (and why) I’m trying to save them through a kind of “temporary hydroculture”.

I explain everything with lots of photos in the following article, which I consider – in fact – the description of an experiment that is perhaps risky and certainly unorthodox but at the same time not devoid of logic. (…)

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The cacti, the spring that doesn’t come and the rain that doesn’t stop: should we be worried?

A spring that is struggling to establish itself, temperatures that fluctuate continuously with sunny and very hot days and gloomy days with the thermometer plummeting. Above all, heavy rain almost every day for at least a week, at least here in the North Italy. Many of us have already moved their cacti and succulents outside, or have removed the winter protections (non-woven fabric or transparent sheets). Many are worried, some run for cover by bringing the plants indoors, others are undecided about what to do… Is it really the case to worry about the combination of low temperatures and persistent rain?

In this article, here are some reflections and the answer to the question that many of you are asking me these days, as always based on what I have learned in years of cultivation (…).

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