|Aestivation (Summer dormancy) is a yearly cycle
caused by chemical changes within plant cells. It is stimulated
by unfavourable environmental condition with height
temperatures, dryness and longer days in late spring and summer,
plant metabolism comes to a virtual standstill. Summer dormancy
is often found in tropical plant growing in arid areas. Plants
store up water, nutritive elements and carbohydrates, which they
can use to sustain themselves during dormancy.
With sparse rainfall Mother Nature has provided the plant with a
built-in protection plan - dormancy. The plant will stop to grow
as moisture reserves dry up, but it is far from dead.
During dormancy, stop watering and fertilizing. Let the
leaves die back naturally and place the plant in a cool, shaded
place while it goes through its dormancy period. Plants
generally "sleep" for several month and start growing again only
in Autumn when the temperature became cool an days shorten.
During prolonged summer cool and humid spells these plants are
tricked into breaking dormancy and begin to swell too early. Yes
hotter weather will arrest the swelling but the plants won’t
return to summer normal size and makes them susceptible to
damage from late prolonged drought and heat.
In general greater root mass means better access to water and
nutrients, so plants are more tolerant of drought and can
recover more rapidly from dormancy.
Conversely some indoor tropical plants are in constant growth
and do not experience dormancy, so they require fertilizers and
water all the time.
Plants who require pruning, should be eventually pruned in
mid-summer at the end of their dormancy.
Seed aestivation (summer dormancy): Non-germination of
seeds due to two dormancy factors. Seeds need to under go both a
chemical and physical change. Many seeds germinate only after an
extended period of dormancy. To break the summer dormancy and
encourage germination of seeds when fall comes, and the rains
begin, seeds must be exposed to cool temperatures.