Fat plants

Plants exposed to frost


Question: How can I protect myself from the frost that hit my succulent plants?


Hi my name is Vincenzo I would have some problems to expose you, unfortunately during the last snowfall in Rome some succulent plants have been ruined (they are rotted in some points) I would like to know if I can cut the gear part, and eventually sterilize the shears (in what way) , unfortunately I have 60 different plants between them and honestly I don't know the precise name (I am an amateur in this regard even though I take care of them with a lot of dedication.) I would like to know generally the type of ideal land to use, and fertilization, I thank you for the interest given, very cordial greetings.

Plants exposed to frost: Answer: succulent plants and frost


Dear Vincenzo,
unfortunately the winter of 2011-2012 was a real catastrophe, with temperatures of many degrees below zero, snowfalls throughout Italy, intense and prolonged frosts; this climate is certainly not indicated for succulent plants, although many can survive frost for a few days, but only in the case of completely dry soil. In fact in most of Italy most of the succulent plants are placed in a cold greenhouse for the winter, or at least they are covered with a roof, so that they do not receive the rain water.
Not all succulents respond equally to the cold, also because there are tens of thousands of species, coming from the most different parts of the globe.
Generally cacti are those that are best suited to frost, but there are several exceptions, as there are species of existing cacti.
Since you don't know which genres your succulents belong to, it's hard enough to know in advance how many of your plants will survive; generally the best thing to do is to remove all the damaged, dark or soft parts. For specimens of columnar or globular shape, if the part that is still healthy is the upper one, the apex or the cap that is above the plant, then you will have to remove this part and place it on a new vase, as if you were doing a cuttings; if instead the spots and the burns of the cold are found in more points, you will have to remove them all, often creating a series of cuttings, or pruning the branched plants.
All the healthy parts that are on the side of the roots, so all those plants to which you have removed the upper part or the ruined branches, will then be cultivated as always, although it would be advisable to avoid so many hours of direct sunlight, at least until they have started producing new fabrics.
The healthy parts that you will have removed from the plants will be left to dry for a couple of days, in a dry and bright place, and then buried, and watered starting about a week after you put them in a vase.
To do all these operations use a well sharpened knife, which makes clear cuts, and after each cut disinfect it with alcohol; just keep a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol next to you, pass it on the knife and then wipe it with paper house (a new sheet for each pass).
The land to be used for cacti is generally very permeable, consisting of a little universal soil, mixed with sand, or lapillus, or pumice stone, in equal parts; the important thing is that when you water, the water flows away without remaining in the earth for long.
As for the other succulents, the type of soil depends a lot on the species, even if in general a good soil, lightened with a third of pumice stone or sand should be fine.
Succulent plants do not like fertilizations rich in nitrogen, so look for a good fertilizer for succulent plants on the market, which contains little nitrogen, and a good amount of potassium, together with some microelements; very low doses are given, every 20-25 days, from May to September.