Growing, why?

One thing I've learned after several years of overwintering plants indoors is that there is a balance that you need to strike between growing and not. The "not" is semi-dormancy and this is what I want for most of the plants, but some of them I actually want to push out new growth.



Some grow when I do not want them to, and I can't really figure out why. These "Nopales" cactus for instance, of which I have several. They insist on creating new pads every winter, even though they may have very little light and water.


***

The pads that grow in winter are weaker, thinner, and smaller than the ones that grow when they should...


...or at least they start out that way. It's surprising how well they can do...

This one pushed out three new pads at once!

...even when they're getting not a photon of sunlight, and the fluorescent light they do receive is indirect.

This guy is growing 10" (25cm) above the lights:


Why?

The plants that I really want to grow faster...



...are moving oh, so slowly. 

The others, well...


...they just keep going.

I don't understand, but that's one of the things that makes indoor "gardening" during the winter so much fun!

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (February 5, 2016 at 12:04 PM)  

The more I study plants, the less I seem to know why they do what they do. As you said, it's one of the joys of gardening!

Maywyn Studio  – (February 5, 2016 at 6:59 PM)  

I wonder if willow branch tea would help plants grow faster. Have you tried it. The Nopales seem to share a good to grow gene with willow trees

Renee  – (February 5, 2016 at 8:52 PM)  

Those opuntias grow even when they don't have light, soil or water in my experience, so they seem very determined to live. How fun that you can see them do that indoors.

Hoover Boo  – (February 5, 2016 at 9:37 PM)  

I can't keep anything alive indoors except indestructable Sanseveria, so you are doing great. Perhaps it is the relative warmth that the Opuntia likes--what temperature is your plant room?

The photos are lovely.

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