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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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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Repotting a succulent plant: what to do afterwards and how long to wait before wetting the soil

Anyone who has been cultivating succulent plants for a long time – whether they are cacti or other succulents such as Crassula, Euphorbia, etc. – knows well what should be done after transplanting, and he certainly knows that these plants should not be watered immediately at the end of this operation. However, there is repotting and repotting: there is the “invasive” one and the one that involves simply moving a plant from one pot to another. There is repotting which involves total cleaning of the roots and that which involves only a superficial cleaning of the old soil. In short, there are many situations and one can proceed in various ways. However, there are some fixed points and they must be respected if we want to avoid the risk that following this operation the plant will go into stress or, in the worst case, die following a rot that started right from the roots.

This is why this article, certainly useful to the novice, can prove equally useful to the long-term grower. In fact, here we will see the various types of possible repotting, the precautions to use and, above all, what to do (not only from the point of view of watering) once the repotting of a succulent is finished. (…)

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Expanded clay and peat: are they really two materials to avoid when growing succulents?

Hated, mistreated, seen with contempt, often carefully avoided. Expanded clay and peat are two highly contested and criticized elements among growers of succulent plants and cacti in particular. Net of the chatter from the Internet, are these really two materials that should be forgotten with the cultivation of this type of plant? The question remains open and every grower has his reasons, but there is a fact: on the Net, as far as expanded clay and peat are concerned, everything is said. Above all, it is said that they retain humidity excessively and for this reason they should be banned from the cultivation of cacti and succulents in general. It is said that they favor the onset of rot, that they do not let the roots breathe and much more. Why then do many serious nurserymen (and expert growers with them) still make extensive use of those elements? Simply because, as in many factors of cultivation, the point is not so much the material itself, but the type of use that is made of it.

In this article, let’s try to understand if expanded clay and peat are really such “dangerous” materials for cacti and succulents, if and how they can be used and what their real pros and cons are. (…)

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Towards summer: useful tips for taking care of cacti and succulents and avoiding nasty surprises

After an almost non-existent, anomalous and ugly spring (at least here in Italy), the temperatures have risen considerably and we are heading towards summer. In some respects, the most delicate period for cacti and succulents, i.e. the transition between the end of winter and the vegetative restart, is now behind us and the next few months will be rather “quiet” for those who cultivate these plants. In fact,  the main commitments will concern watering and fertilization, since repotting should by now be completed and treatments against pests and parasites can be given when necessary and not systematically. Even in the period of full vegetation of cacti and succulents, however, there are pitfalls and there are some elements and factors of cultivation to be taken into due consideration.

We see them in detail in the following article (…).

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