Unispina advice

Toronto, Canada


The website and these forums are super-informative, and I was hoping that someone might be able to provide me with some accurate-ish information on a recently-troubled Unispina that I have.

I acquired it almost a year ago, and this is it's first winter (although it's indoors, near a large, south-facing window - we live in Toronto, Canada.) Reducing watering was recommended, especially during the winter months around here, where outdoor temperatures average -5F and indoor temperatures are kept between 65 and 70F.

It thrives for most of the year, and grew at least one, if not two new leaves for each one it lost. Over the last month, they all yellowed, dried out, and fell off - one at a time. The top of the stem still has a green-ish hue to it, but there's no sign of new growth. What can/should we do? Is this a dormant period? Have we caused it any duress?

We have a few other similar species, and a large cactus and succulent collection, and all are doing well.

Photos are attached, if they'll help your advice, assuming you have some.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.


Thumbnail by dglantz Thumbnail by dglantz
Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Gee, sideways growing plants, he he. . They are not getting enough sun I would expect. I'd not water them at all. Have you got some colder rooms that you can put them in? Say 40-55F? The lower temps will make them go dormant and not try to grow in the weak sunlight. Gene

Toronto, Canada

Hi Gasrocks,

Yeah, sideways plants... hahaha

This one's getting about 10hrs of full-sun daily; the same as the rest of them, and all others are thriving. Should I put it in my basement until springtime, when the sun will average 12-14hrs a day, and sit higher in the sky?

Thanks for your reply.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

I treat all of my cactus and succulents one of 3 ways to get through the winter here. Yes, a few in windows, or under lights which runs up my elec. bill a bit or in cold rooms here they go dormant. Temperature is the key. 40-55F. They do not try to grow, need little water and light is not an issue. I know that putting them in front of a window is tempting but between the lower angle of the sun, shorter days and cloudy weather, the right amount of light is just not often there. Gene

Toronto, Canada

Hi gasrocks,

I never took the urispina out of the window, but I did deny it water since before we last spoke. Two days ago, it started nine new leaves, and seems to be thriving.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)


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