Fat plants

Chilling cold

Chilling cold



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Generalitа


They are generally called cacti or succulents, in reality it would be more correct to call them succulent; these are all those plants adapted to life in arid or sub-arid climates, having transformed stems, leaves, and / or roots into real water stores. Among the succulents a genus that has many species is that of cacti, globose plants, with leaves transformed into thorns, all originating in Central and South America; many other plants are succulent, however, and come mostly from Africa. The places of origin of the succulent plants are not necessarily hot all year long; indeed many succulents are adapted to live in dry places but with minimum temperatures that reach -10 / -12 ° C; in deserts the winter can be very rigid, with very wide temperature ranges from day to night; some arid areas are then placed at a certain altitude, and this causes fairly low average temperatures.

Water




Succulent plants have adapted to life in prohibitive conditions for other plants, thanks to the transformation of some organs into water deposits; this does not mean that they can always live without water, but only that they can withstand even very long periods of drought; these plants do not develop in sandy deserts, but in sub-desert, or arid areas, where precipitation is condensed in a short period of time, to be located mostly in the summer. Therefore it is erroneously believed that for succulent plants it is not necessary to provide watering, during the hottest months of the year indeed it is necessary to supply water, so that the plants can restore their water reserves. In most of the places where the succulents grow, however, the coldest months of the year are completely free of precipitation, forcing the plants to a prolonged vegetative rest.
The vegetative cycle of the succulents therefore generally begins with a warm and rainy season, followed by a cold and completely free of rain, followed by a fairly warm period, during which the plant uses its water reserves to develop and produce flowers , fruits and seeds.
So if we want to have healthy and floriferous succulent plants we will have to try as much as possible to recreate in our house a climate similar to what plants can find in their places of origin; therefore most of the succulents need to be placed in a cold and completely dry place in winter, while during the remaining months they need watering, which can wet the ground in depth, but leaving it to dry completely for a few days between a watering and the other.

Types of greenhouses




For most of the succulents in winter it is sufficient to protect them from water, so they can be placed in a cold greenhouse, or in a place sheltered from the elements, heated by the sun, but without the need for a heating system supplied by man. If we have few plants and small we can also only place them on an outdoor shelf, placed in a sunny place and sheltered from the house, and cover everything with plastic film or non-woven fabric; during the coming months we will monitor to ensure that no cochineal or other insects develop, but in principle our plants should have no problems and we can leave them undisturbed until spring. If instead we have larger plants and we have the right place, we can instead prepare a real greenhouse, to leave safely without heating; sunlight in any case will heat the greenhouse, keeping the temperature above zero.
If the plants are large but the place for a greenhouse there is no ideal is to bring them home, but choosing a little heated room, a stairwell, a basement; if possible, however, an area without heating but bright.

Cold sucker: Various exceptions




We can say that most cactaceae can be grown during the winter in a cold greenhouse; however, many succulents come from tropical areas, arid but always warm; some even originate from areas almost free of precipitation, but which nevertheless present good environmental humidity. All these succulents should be grown in a temperate greenhouse, or even in an apartment, where they can enjoy minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C.
Therefore plants such as euphorbie or rhipsalis fear the cold enough, and should be placed in a place with a temperate winter climate; often this kind of plants can need watering even during the winter, we notice it from parts of the stem withered or from the falling foliage; in any case, even for these plants we reduce watering during the winter months, intervening every 15-25 days, and avoiding soaking the substrate.
There are also succulents originating from the Mediterranean and Europe, such as some species of sedum or sempervivum; these plants can find a place in the garden, in pots or in full earth, exposed to the bad weather; they do not fear frost and generally do not need watering, but are satisfied with rainfall.