Return to the House Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results?

Posted by meyermike_1micha 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 6:45

Take for instance my,

Jades...I have to hack them or make sure they get cold temps with lot's of sun in order to color up and flower.

Camellias, jasmines, and "osmanthus frangrans". They require cooler temps in order to produce flowers.

Clivias..In order for those to give me flowers, I have to subject them to weeks of lack of light,water and cool temps in my cellar...This is a must.

Does anyone know of any other plants besides these that need a period of extreme difference in growing conditions in order to produce the results we are looking for..Namely, produce offspring, color, and blossoms?

What process do you use in order to get desired results?

What are other plants that need to be pot bound, cut up, exposed to extremely cool temps, denied of water and light and so on..

I think that if ones does not know of this, they may wonder why their plants are never flowering or attaining the desired look many are wanting for..

Thank you..

Mike:-)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hey Mike..

Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving Cactus need a dry/cool period before they'll bud. Some people cover these guys at a certain time each day, but I find it too much..some authors claim if you cover 1 minute later than the usual time, they won't bloom..lol..I think that's a myth, but never tried forcing in the dark, so can't say..instead my guys stay outide until first frost and/or second frost.

Amarylis. They need a couple months of total darkness, and NO water to force blooms by Nov-Dec.

Azaleas. Mine stay out until first or second frost..or until buds make an appearance..sometimes as late as Nov.

Kalanchoe..They definately need cool/cold, and dry soil before blooming. Especially K. blossfeldana.

Avacado pit, rooting..while the seed is in water--seed should be placed in a dark or very low light area until pit cracks and roots form.

Aloe/Haworthia..both need a very cool/cold period to bloom. As low as 40F.

African Violets need lots of sun, year round. If they're getting enough sun and/or artificial light, fertilizer should be given.

Geraniums also need lots of sun/light..My Geraniums get little water in winter-- because they're in south windows AND under lights, they get fert all winter..low doses.

Mike..regarding Clivias..of course, we work with plants as we see fit, right? What works for one might not work for another.
My 'Clivias' are not kept in total darkness during winter months..They live in the coolest room, in an east, and 7 or so feet from south windows, and some artificial light at night. The light isn't meant for Clivias, but the room their in happens to be the coolest..my Hibiscus live in the same room; they need artificial light..my point is, Clivias do not need additional lightinig in winter, but because my guys live in the same room with other tropicals and semi-tropicals, they end up getting extra light..got that? lol

Poinsettas need certain care, too..I don't keep Poins, so hopefully someone who does has an answer..I think they need a certain amount of short days to force blooms, but again, perhaps someone who keeps them, actually grows them, has the answer..

I'm sure there are other plants that need extra care..Toni


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Mike, this is such a great idea for a thread! It will be really interesting to see how others "shock" their plants.

I don't have enough experience to have tried this yet, I'm fairly new to plants (3 years or so) and each year there seems to be another type that I love.

I definitely want to learn how to get most of my plants to bloom.

Wow Toni, such wonderful information! I'm learning so much already. I haven't had luck with getting CCs to bloom, the first one I had died and now I'm onto two more. Both were sale items and you can't go wrong with those! So, any tips to help it bloom are great! I've tried to not water, but when I don't the cactus will get limp and wrinkled. I take this as a sign dehydration and succumb to watering. It needs cold you say, should I leave it out now since temps are getting to be around upper 40s and 50 in the day? (This is pretty much a question for any plant that needs cold and dry to color or bloom)

I bought a Kalanchoe from the grocery store, another sale item, with dozens of white flowers. They lasted for about 1 month and then began to fade away. Over the past month the buds that were forming when I bought it have bloomed and now its becoming just foliage (beautiful leaves!) How long before I can expect more blooms? Should I begin trying to shock it again to bloom soon or wait?

I have a haworthia that my grandmother gave me. It was very healthy when I got it but now the fleshy leaves have begun to enclose on each other rather than being out as before, any clue as to why? I really want this plant to bloom this year since it was only this year that I found out they bloom! :D

My african violet is doing wonderfully! I have around 10 or more blooms/buds and about half have opened! All I do for my AV's are bright light and fert occasionally with food especially for Avs; the bursts of fertilizer is my way of shocking it. No food to food then a month or more without food, this makes the plant have a surge of growth. This is how I got it to have so many blooms right now. I also have mine in one of the "self watering" AV pots, which I know some don't like but my AV has flourished. :D

Can't wait to read other ideas! Keep them coming. :D

Ashley


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hi Ashley..you're too funny..you're so excited about forcing blooms..great feeling though, ya know?
I love sale plants..got some great deals that-a-way. Stores toss some lovely plants..as long as they're not 'buggy' or duplicates, home they come.

Now isn't a good time to force Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiviing Cactus.
It's best to start forcing in autumn. Afterall, their common names explains floweing time..Christmas Cactus..meaning they should bloom around Christmas, etc..
Do you have an Easter Cactus? If so, you might try forcing/keeping soil dry, now.
Forcing CC is very simple, as long as you can summer plants outdoors. My CC/EC/TC are the first plants to go outdoors, weather permitting. They're also the last to come back in.
Although they say, when CC are budding, they shouldn't be moved. But those of us who live in cold climates cannot leave plants outside in winter, so when budding, when brought indoors I set the buds closest to light..
Or CC is grown indoors year round shouldn't be rotated once buds form..I definately agree.

About watering. If your CC is left outside until cool/cold periods, it needs very little, if any water..'wet soil and cold will cause root rot.'

My Kalanchoes bloom in winter..I don't know if they're true winter bloomers, or that's when mine deside to flower. Do you know which Kal you have?
I wouldnt force a Kal after flowering, but sometimes they'll rebloom when we least expect it. Water when soil feels dry, and keep in the sunniest window.

I'm not sure I understand what your Haworthia is doing? What is enclosing and how? lol
Do you know its age? I have different Haworthias. The oldest is, let's see, I think 28 yrs old..My dh got it at a nursery for 1.00 back in 1982..lol..going-out-of-business sale. It first bloomed, 2 or 3 yrs ago. I don't know if age has anything to do with it but mine took years before flowering..
But, since it was given to you from your grandma, make sure it's healthy, then worry about flowers. Gift plants from loved ones have a lot more meaning.

Do you know the type of AV's you have? Any variegated? Variegated leaves are my favorite, but I also have med and dark green w/red undersides.

Ha, many people love self-watering pots..I can't tolerate them..but for more reasons than soil staying too wet. I used to work at a nursery, where we'd get some self-watering pots..some small,, but most were 20" and up..Ceramic, to boot. I had to lift, wrap, then carry to customers cars/trucks. I never want to see another self-watering pot again..lol..They were so heavy..especially when watered..God!!! I'm 5'5 and weigh 116lbs. Some of the self-watering pots weighed half my weight or more..so you can see why I dislike them..lol..
But, some people love these pots..if they work for you, that's all that matters.
If you summer plants outside, and have to carry a heavy ceramic, self-watering containers, be sure to wear a back brace/support. Toni


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

The best way to get your plants to thrive is to learn how they grow in their native habitat and to mimic those conditions as much as possible.
Plants are bought from a store sometimes in the best condition and sometimes not. People bring them into a different environment and expect the same or better result.
That is not possible without learning how it should be cared for and it's needs and requirements. It won't always flower just because flowering plant food is provided.

Cold is a relative term. It can be cold for some at 60 or 40 for example. Learning the native needs and requirements will define the cold temp for a specific plant and when it needs the temps to bloom so I wouldn't call it shock therapy at all. For some it is not wise to force blooming the wrong time of year.
I would never let a jade get below 40. It can turn to mush.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Goblue, I agree with you, 150%
That's one reason I like reading plant books that discuss more than care..it's ironic you mentioned parroting plants native habitat.
Earlier today I decided to do some research.
Many of our plants are native to Africa..but each region differs. So, I thought I'd research each city/island's climate.
Find out how often it rains, amount of rain..Cold, sun, etc.
Then, research where 'X' plant is from.
This project will take time, but worth it. Plus, I like learning.

Adding flowering fertilizer doesn't mean a plant will automatically bloom. Plants need a lot more than powder or liquid.. But if our plants are cared for properly, adding fertilizer helps..

You're also correct about cold..I consider 60F cold..for my, not my plants..lol. 80F is perfect..again for me.
When I say a plant needs cold, I'm referring to 40-55F degrees temperatures.
Unfortunately, most people can't adapt, and don't keep their homes at 40-50F in winter.. Heck, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed at that temp..lol..
I don't suggest it, but Jades will thrive at 50F as long as soil is dry.. No water/rainfall.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hey Toni! Haha I am a bit too excited but it is a good feeling :)

I know that my small CC is in fact a CC and the big one I have has not been IDed yet but its leaves are the same as the small CC, so I'm guessing its the same type. I will keep doing what I'm doing and then come next Christmas I'll hopefully have blooms! :D

I'm not sure what type of Kal I have. Haha, I was going to buy a tiny 2" red Kal from the store because it was just so darn cute but then decided not to. Last night I had a dream that I had bought the Kal and saw it glowing red in my plant room (because the blooms opened). LOL guess I should have bought it if I'm dreaming about it! :D haha This is the first Kalanchoe I've ever owned so I'll post an ID thread to get some help. I don't want to take over Mikes thread haha

As for the Haworthia...I will need to replant this because my grandmother only planted it in sand. This will be hard to explain so I'll just describe from the photo...
Photobucket
As you can see the top of the plant and all around it the leaves point outward from the plant. Now the plant looks as though its closing in, the leaves (only at the top half) are so close that it forms a point at the top of the plant as opposed to it being open. Did I make sense? haha I watered it a little and now some have opened a little, so maybe it was in need of water?

I don't know the name of my AV but it is the blooms are variegated! They are a mix of pink with white strips, or are they white with pink strips! haha! :D
The bloom colors are a bit different this time around. Some of them are deep pink (fushia?) with small white strips, some almost all deep pink and then I have one bloom that is mostly white with a couple strips of pink. This is the best my AV has looked yet!

I'm with you on the cold temps gobluedim, thats why I'm afraid to put plants out. One persons cold (60 degrees) might not be my cold (40 or below )at all. haha
Ashley


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Great thread! Thanks, all!

This kind of Haworthia will close in on itself when it is too dry. Drier yet, and it becomes a balled fist, trying to retain humidity. Yeah, replant it, but keep it in really well-drained soil. Add all that sand to the cactus soil you replant it in.

I have never seen a Jade in flower.... Details on the hacking and/or cool treatment, please? I may not have the heart to, just for my own pleasure, but would like to know.

I have a really great Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis) that the husband named "Bob" because it reminds him of Bob Marley... Spreads vegetatively from surface bulblets. It had not flowered for over 15 yrs until I (neglectfully) stopped potting up in larger pots when it got too dense. It was then in a dish about 2 ft in diameter. Once it was limited on growing space, it panicked and flowered. All over. Little flowers, but one from each of probably 75 ramets in the pot. Wow. We now take the time to enjoy 'pregnant Bob' before I upsize his pot again.

With Amaryllis, I put the potted plant outside in late spring, and let it live there in medium shade til around mid-Sep, when I pull it in, stop watering, let the leaves die down naturally sending all that good stuff into the bulb. I stick the pot under the kitchen sink. Around mid-Dec, I pull it back out, water it well, and stand back. I usually get two, sometimes three flowering stalks.

Xmas cactus need a rest time after they flower, and it's best not to push them too hard til early Apr. Then the plant has to recoup. Hopefulauthor is right. Wait til late summer or early fall before you start trying to force flowers.

I had never seen a Dieffenbachia in flower, but my husband's mother had them flowering every winter. When we all talked it through, the immense Dief was growing pushed close-in to a picture window in a 1950s ranch. The window-side leaves would literally freeze to the window. About a month later. the plant would start flowering.... Coincidence? I think not! Relevant to the "SHOCK therapy" topic? Yep, I think so!


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Linda, No need to cut back the Jade to force flowering. I've done it numerous times without cutting it back. The treatment is just cooler temps and hold off on water in the fall for a few weeks then resume normal watering.
Check the faq's over on the cacti and succulents forum---link at the top of this forum.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

I must say a lot has happened here since I posted..Did anyone notice the time I started this thread..?

It was at the crack of dawn..I just woke up to this thought and decided to put it out there. In fact, I write poems and music in my sleep, and in the am, write down the words...Sheesh I think I do more thinking in my sleep than when I am up!

For two years I have not been able to get my "grapefruit tree" to flower the way it was when I bought it. This year, I let it get bone dry, and let it sit in a room that was in the 50's for two months, and now you should see the thing busting out in buds! Just as soon as they open, I will post the pics. I guess I made it to easy for that plant to just stay green and not bud here and there by giving the same royal treatment I give all my other tropicals..Lot's of warmth and waterings!

Toni, great points you mention. In fact, so much you said, that one knows you care for your plants! No wonder they look so good, all year long! Bravo.

Gobledjm, fantastic ideas and way of looking at things..You certainly put a twist on things that makes one think..
FYI..I always provided the conditions you described that are needed to make Jades flower..It never work for mine over a 5 year period..But as a very experienced succulent grower over at the forum suggested to me, in particular Norma, hacking my jade DID make it flower. The pics to prove it are there. Could of been a blessing in disguise for sharing so many cuttings who knows, but Norma was right in that instance for mine anyway..:-)

Ashley I too have a variegated violet. Same as yours!!! It is so pretty, even without the flowers! What a nice plant you posted!

Know something funny. Until the day I DROP IT, it never flowered for me prior..lol

Good night everyone..Can't wait to see what else others do to make their plants perform their best! Or should I say what many do to provide the right conditions, or techniques they use to get the colors and flowers they buy their plants for..


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Mike, I wasn't implying the dry/cool treatment always promotes flowering nor was I saying cutting back doesn't help or promote flowering. Almost any plant will respond with new growth when cut back. Its sort of in their dna so to speak to do that to survive. All plants are different especially when not grown in their native environment and even then are still different. It just very well could be yours just needed that little extra encouragement or nudge.
Jades grow in the wild here in southern Ca and I'm quite sure no one is cutting them back and have seen them flower quite a bit. My mother grew dozens of them and never cut them back and they all flowered even without the dry period. The last 2 years I haven't even bothered with the dry period as the flowers are just not that remarkable to me.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Morning everyone!

Thanks Linda, I'll be sure to repot in the gritty mix and water a little more than I normally do, but not too much! ;)

Toni that is a great idea! I should start that as well, I have lots of jades and plants that come from Africa so the heat of texas might well replicate their natural environment. haha! :D

Gobluedjm is right, the FAQ section is a great place to get info!

Awesome Mike! Haha nothing like a potential death scare to kick a plant into gear! ;D I've dropped many a plant, myself.

Heres some photos of my AV thats blooming right now! Freshly taken this morning. Gorgeous flowers and color!
Photobucket
Photobucket

Here you can see all the buds still to open.
Photobucket

Can't wait to see others ideas!

Ashley


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Ashley,

I differ in advice above abt repotting that Haworthia. I too would repot, but I'd discard all the sand. It will not help by being added into your mix & will just cet caught & clog up the roots. I grow a number of Haworthia -- sand does not help them. Good fast draining mix amended w/ perlite or pumice will be fine. Another must, a pot w/ a drainage hole, otherwise it will rot for sure.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Pirategirl, I know that sand is bad and was not planning on putting the sand in the soil. I'm becoming familiar with soils thanks to Al and many other kind people who have helped me on this forum. Thanks for the help though.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Sure, no problem, glad you understood the spirit in which I meant it.

Further to Haworthia care, they & Sansevierias (Sans. for short) are two families of succulents, where I recycle mix from other indoor plants of mine. As long as it's not sand, or peat & is fast draining, these plants really don't seem to care what mix they're in.

FYI: Haworthias can sometimes lose their roots (the roots die back under the soil where we can't see it & suddenly the plant's not doing so well). One can take it out, cut off the dried off roots & re-root it, dry, in perlite or pumice to get the roots re-started.

I'm just sharing this as a warning should it happen, it's not necessarily anything you did wrong. It can happen to folks who aren't newbies, it's just one of those things. Has happened to me & folks I know who are more experienced in Haws. than I.

Good luck w/ them.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Mike, this is really a very interesting thread! I've enjoyed reading all the suggestions,tips and tricks that every one offered. Learn something new all the time! Great thread!

The only one I've forced is my Poinsettia...the 14 hours of darkness for 8-10 weeks...it works great especially if you can find a nice shady tree to put it under to keep it nice and dark...just have to remember to bring it inside on the few very cold nights.

Ashley, lovely AV blooms...congrats!


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Thanks Puglvr! I'm keeping my poinsettia this year so I'll need to read up on how to care and "shock" them haha

Pirategirl thanks for the help! I'll check the roots out when I replant.


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Ashley..Do you know how long your grandma had the Haworthia? And did she always keep in sand?
I use/used sand for years...when I could find good quality, course sand..Bought it at HD in the Building Material Dept..their sand is now quite generic..no longer course..In its place I now use Perlite.

Your AV's are doing great..Very pretty bi-color flowers. Got to love those little guys.
My goal is to get a 'Large' AV to grow big..Someone on the AV forum posted a true beauty..32" wide!! It's the prettiest, variegated AV I'd ever seen. But, grown professionally..lol

Again I agree with Goblu..A Jade doesn't need whacking to flower..Sun and a cool period should do it.
I worked at a plant store..sometimes stop at the main green house, 30 miles north..they grew large Jades, forced into flower..They kept these guys in a cooler room, under glass/plastic panes..They were foliar fertilized in summer. In late summer, fertilizer was stopped and water drastically decreased. By autumn, flowers covered each Jade. Some had so many flowers you couldn't see the top foliage. But they never pruned..
Unless a plant is growing spindly, there's no need to prune. But do what you feel will work best.
Experiment. If you have two Jades, prune one, let the other grow naturally..Toni


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Jades flower on new growth, and one of the best ways to encourage new growth is to prune.
I'm going to experiment with a few Jades (next September through October) to see what happens.
I think pruning can make for a more even bloom. You can count on an update ;)


Josh


 o
Cold therapy....

Here's a lesson in cold therapy...I'm still not sure if she'll pull through.
The new growth on the branch to the top-right is doomed.

Photobucket

Josh


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hey Josh! Thats new growth since the last picture I saw of it, which was earlier this month. So there is still life and I think it'll come back! :D


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Keeping fingers crossed Josh...hate to see you lose it, but I'm sure not more so than you. Good luck!


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Thank you, both!
Slowly the new growth is unfolding, and even coloring slightly. I'm hoping that the Jade doesn't shed any more nodes, so that I can retain some semblance of a trunk. You can see the deep wrinkles in the trunk - the wrinkles run to the base of the roots. It's disconcerting. At least the root-base will resprout if all else fails.
Thanks again for your votes of confidence. I'll post an update very soon.

Josh


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

**Just a small update!

My Haworthia, mentioned above, has begun to open again! Yay! I think the warm sun, cool breeze and watering did the job. :)


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

I kept my mountain type cacti in a mini fridge at 40 degrees for 6 months. No water, no light. I recently took them out and slowly introduced them to light and water. They have been out for about 2 weeks and they are starting to show signs of budding. This was the first time I attempted to stratify my plants and seems to have payed off. I cant wait to add these to my flowers album!

Steve


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

If that is not called a "shock treatment", then what is..

What you had to do to get yor plant to flower is exactly what I was referring to..

Great job..Please post a picture when it flowers..

Thank you!

Josh, I am sure it will do well for you! You have the magic touch for sure man..:-)

Ash, CONGRATS!!!:-)

Hi Pug!!

Mike


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hey Mike, thanks!

Plant Junkie, that is a SHOCK treatment! Haha! I can't wait to see pictures of the outcome! :)

Josh, I agree with Mike, you've got that magic touch!

Ashley


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Howdy, ladies and gents!
Well, here's an update on one of the Jades that was frozen December 5th.
As you can see, the top limb ("doomed" I called it in a previous post) has nearly been shed.
I'm hoping that this will signal a turning point, although I know we're not out of the woods yet.
I've resisted the urge to fiddle and worry the dying limb, as I want the callus to form completely.

Freeze-pruned by Mother Nature - and, as they say, Mother knows best....

Dropping the limb


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Awesome Josh, I think its gunna pull trhough. : )


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Great Josh!
You know she's gonna be just fine... she's just taking her sweet time to get even... ;)

It's looking good!

The tiny leaves are cute!

JoJo


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Thanks!
The plant will probably forgive me before I forgive myself...! Live and learn!

Josh


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to update my Haworthia.

I've had it outside since the the beginning of March, left it our during a few small showers we had and look at her now! :)

Not only has she colored up but shes opened back up and I can see the little leaves trying to poke out!

Photobucket
Photobucket

I wish I had taken a photo of it while it was close to compare but you can see a difference even with the photo I posted before.

Ashley


 o
RE: 'SHOCK' therapy. What plants need this to get desired results

Ashley, look at all the beautiful plants!! I never knew..lol Thank you for posting!

Josh, I am sure they have and will come back very strong!..:-)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the House Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here