skip to Main Content

This page is a collection of information that might help succulent and cactus growers understand which plants should be dormant and when.
The intention is to keep tweaking this page as more is learned, you can help us refine the quality of the information, input is welcomed.

Introduction

Dormancy is one of the most difficult concepts to learn for newcomers to growing succulents and cactus.

WINTER DORMANT (Major growth is in summer)

This group is usually referred to as “summer growers.” They are dormant from November through February (June through September in the southern hemisphere). Many of these will also enter a rest period for a few weeks during the hottest part of the summer (called estivation) before putting on a final burst of growth in September and October (March and April in the southern hemisphere). Genera fitting better in this category include:

Adenia
Adenium
Alluaudia
Aloinopsis rubrolineata
Brachystelma
Bursera
Calibanus
Ceropegia
Cissus

Cyphostemma
Didieria
Dioon
Dorstenia
Echeveria
Encephalartos
Euphorbia
Ficus
Fockea

Huernia
Ibervillea
Ipomoea
Jatropha
Lithops
Monadenium
Moringa
Operculicarya
Pachypodium

Pedilanthus
Plumeria
Pseudolithos
Pterodiscus
Raphionacme
Sempervivum
Sinningia
Stangeria
Stapelianthus

Synadenium
Tillandsia
Titanopsis
Trichocaulon
Trichodiadema
Uncarina
Xerosicyos

SUMMER DORMANT (Major growth is in winter)

Usually referred to as “winter growers” these genera are mostly dormant during the warmer months of May through August (November through February in the southern hemisphere). Their primary growth actually occurs during the autumn and spring while slowing considerably during winter. Genera fitting better in this category include:

Adromischus
Aeonium
Agave
Aichryson
Aloe
Anacampseros
Astroloba
Avonia
Bowiea
Bulbine

Ceraria
Conophytum
Cotyldeon
Crassula
Dactylopsis
Dioscorea
Dudleya
Fouquieria
Gasteria
Gibbaeum

Graptopetalum
Graptoveria
Greenovia
Haemanthus
Haworthia
Kalanchoe
Monanthes
Neohenricia
Othonna
Pachycormus

Pachyphytum
Pachyveria
Pelargonium
Peperomia
Pilea
Portulacaria
Sansevieria
Sarcocaulon
Sedeveria
Sedum

Senecio
Sphalmanthus (Phyllobolus)
Stomatium
Sulcorebutia rauschii
Talinum
Tylecodon

Genera such as Agave, Aloe and Haemanthus (to name a few) include some species that are summer dormant and some that are winter dormant, and with genera such as Agave and Aloe, some species do not appear to go dormant at all.
Sun intensity increases in summer.  When moving plants form shadier to sunnier places, be sure to acclimate them by covering them with a piece of shade cloth or window screen.  The covering may be removed after a few weeks.
Back To Top