When to bring succulents/cacti indoors and what's your setup?

bsmith717(6)October 15, 2013

I live in st.louis mo for reference. I have jades, opuntias, aloes, euphorbias, etc and keep them outside on my deck and in our three seasons room (enclosed room off of our kitchen with windows all around but no heating/cooling) during the summer.

I'm thinking I can put everything in my basement and use some shop lights but don't want to shock the plants.

Any suggestions?

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If you do supplemental lighting, the shop light needs to be inches from the plants. Cool and dry is the best regimen for the winter. Those that keep growing (some Aloes and Euphorbias are winter growers, for instance) would ideally get most light and some water. Leafy things will likely have to deal with some shock. Opuntias should be taken to near the freezing point unless they are the tropical ones (O. quitoensis an example), and even they can take low temps.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I move my plants indoors when the temps start dropping below 40F at night - but I still haul out certain plants on sunny day in November and December. Otherwise, I line my sunniest window-sills with pots, giving the prime real estate to my prized plants - Jades, Citrus, Christmas Cactus, Pachira.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:09PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I do the same as Josh. I put some of the smaller plants in trays to make them easier to move in and out.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:18AM
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I'm in the middle of Ks and I bring my succulents in when temps get down to lower 40's which it is doing now. It has got down to 39ð a few times with no damage. I keep them dryer than usual at this time.
They spend the winter in my finished basement where I have my lighted shelves for Schlums. Small plants go under a light on the bottom shelves and usually go for a couple weeks between watering and my larger plants like Crown of Thorns set on the floor beside the stands so not directly under the lights. They loose a few leaves but most continue to bloom through most of the winter.
Lights are on timers set for 10 hours on which is what my Schlums like for setting buds.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Hi Rob, where did you get those trays? I like 'em!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:35AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I Know it is time to talk about these things but I don't want to. IT makes my back hurt. I am making another 5' rolling coffer height table this year for rolling plants in and out. I leave my stapeliads inside a east facing window and I have a south facing covered stone patio that creates a nice micro climate for all but the coldest days. It does mean moving a bunch of big pots down there. I use frost cloth , leaves stuffed plastic pots that I take on and off of some PIG cactus. The opuntias are hardy mostly for here. I try , mostly un successfully to stay away from tender plants.I am leaving some of my cactus out that are marginal this year and experimenting. I know, bad Idea. I need a smaller collection. Some I tear up by the roots and replant next spring.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:39AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

I do as many of you a=have written. Mine are still out on the driveway and our temps are going to be dipping into the low 40's/upper 30's. Back in September, I treated everybody with systemic insecticide, imidacloprid because I have had problems in the past with grubs eating the roots and stems of my Echeveria. I will be bringing all in this week to the greenhouse and will get the heater out there, too. The more temperature sensitive plants, like Dorstenia and Euphorbia have been in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks; the temps tend to stay higher inside the greenhouse than the actual surrounding outdoor temps. I'm going to leave my jades out longer and keep them dry to see how this affects flowering; they will be sharing space with my Cymbidiums outside.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

No problems with using shop lights. Mine use the new T-8 bulbs rather than the old T-12. The new T-8's are brighter and longer lasting. I use a cheap wall mirror 4 ft. long mounted behind the plants then the shop light (s) mount above them. And I use hangers to mount a mirror in the front. Every inch from the plants loses lumens or light units but with the mirrors it concentrates it to where it's needed. I leave mine on for 16 hrs. Using a lamp timer.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:39AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Sorry I can't help with the baskets. I've had these for years, and I have no idea where I got them. They do make life easier.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 5:26AM
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I have some nice T5 fixtures I used on my planted aquariums that could be useful. Heck I even have a metal halide, couldn't put that one too close to the plants, it puts some heat off!

Sounds like the general consensus is that most cacti/succulents shouldn't be out in temps below 40. But I assume NOTHING should be left out

wantonamara, I hear ya! In all honesty I think my biggest concern with bringing my plants indoors to the basement is remembering to water them. I know they don't need much in a ~65 degree basement but still.

Howard, first it sounds awesome you take the care you do for your plants. Second, what will you be doing for the Jades you have like the ones you sent me? The one I kept at home is doing well since I kept it outdoors a bit this season. The other one I brought to work is doing fine but since it is not getting as much light, some of the leaves look a bit homely.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Heres what I have rigged up to hopefully get me through the winter. Plus what I just have set out in the sunniest portion of my home, the kitchen.

The windowsill above the sink.

Kitchen leading to the three seasons room.

Bringing whats left into the basement.

My 3x24w t5ho (only 2 bulbs in it) and my 2x18w t5no fashioned the best way I could think.

t5ho/t5no running along with a 150w viper metal halide.

Pretty bright!

Both t5's, over head shoplight and MH running.

no off. (ho/overhead and MH on)

no and ho off. (overhead and MH on)

no, ho and overhead off. (just the MH on)

I have all the lights plugged into a strip with a timer on ot set to turn on at 9am and turn off at 9pm.

Any suggestions? Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 3:46AM
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Well no fires as of yet at least. Im sure the lighting is more than adequate wattage wise just not sure on the length. 12 hours more/less?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Let me know how it goes and then I'll look at rigging mine up like that; I would be worried about fired with the bungee cord because those lights get hot for me.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 8:15PM
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With lighting like that you need more plants :P

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Camellia-I was just joking about fires. On the same circuit I had the three lights pictured above plus two more t5no strips, two 2x65w PC fixtures, a few tank heaters, 7 Eheim canister filters and and I'm sure a couple power heads. I really need to figure out what the draw all that stuff pulled was.

But, you can never be too safe!

Name- Do I? I'm not really sure what terrestrial plants require to curb etiolation. I used to have that 150w halide over a 17g tank growing some light hungry plants but these were aquatic planted fish tanks and I know the lighting dynamics are quite different. Last year I had a fern and some other house plants in the same location with only two two bulb shop lights and though everything survived, they paid the price.

I'm also trying to provide a more even application instead of just from above. Don't wasn't any of my plants to become misshapen trying to get some light.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 11:30PM
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I have a south facing green room. When I see its going to be in the 30's at night they all go in here.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Thats awesome red! What part of the country do you live in and is there a certian temp that you actually bring them inside to keep them from freezing?

So I checked everything out last night (about 4 days since setting this up/bringing them in/watering everything) and am happy with the results so far. All plants look good and their soil still contains a good amount of moisture. Perhaps too much...

I will have to keep an eye on this.

Maybe a small fan for circulation would be a good idea?

This post was edited by bsmith717 on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 10:54

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:51AM
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I've only got a handful of smaller plants in my apartment, due to space restrictions. The rest live at work, where the windows and the light are plentiful! Somehow, I managed to blissfully ignore my indoor space restraints this summer and picked up a few more plants. They're small, but still.

I do get a good amount of light in my east-facing window once all the leaves are off the trees outside, so I wanted to come up with a way to put the plants IN the window. I landed on glass shelves from Ikea. Right now I've got two, but I've put them up with space for two more above them if it becomes necessary. The shelf is about 4 inches deep. I can still open and close the windows and the blinds, as well as close the curtains around them.

On the left are my orchids, on the right are two adenium seedlings, a string of pearls, and a pink blush aloe, and in the middle is a hoya and my much-doted on Ceropegia woodii. There's a thanksgiving cactus and a rope hoya in the west windows. Until I get brave enough to put hooks in my ceilings, this is all I can hold!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Nice set ups and thanks for sharing everyone!

Everything is doing great thus far. All plants are showing new growth and very few have showed any etiolation at all.

Perhaps the lighting is too bright!

Now on the first two pics (E.leuconeurea) below the full set up shot, I was careless and left that plant outside in direct sun a few months back. What it looked like afterwards was burned/sun scalded leaves. Now after being in the basement for a month roughly, all of the burned areas are now bright red!

Still not sure what the two odd leaves are coming from...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:08AM
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