Originally Posted by JennS
I am in the middle of the state so there is virtually no breeze.........
The summer temp ranges from
80 F to 100 f and sometimes hotter with the heat index.
Ouch. I don't know about other people's neos but all mine really love LOTS of air circulation. On still Summer days, they sulk somewhat, especially if it gets above 85 F and I don't keep them moist on clear sunny days. They love windy days. Some days, it's been so windy that I've had a few dry moss mounds fly out of the plastic pot and I end up running around the backyard chasing after them like tumbleweeds. Neos can take the heat, as long as they are well hydrated. Do they LOVE the heat? I'm not sure. I think, the hotter it is.... the shadier, more humid and more water you'll need. In their native habitat, it can get really hot in the Summer but it's also pretty shady. So here's what I do.
In the winter, they are inside. Every MN winter day above 0 degrees F is a blessed day. I keep them in a room that is 40 to 55 F at night and 50 - 65 during the day. They are at 2 big windows getting unhindered southeast exposure. In the Winter, I remove the window screens (I checked with a light meter and the screens filter out around 1000 - 1500 FC's of light.) I don't add supplemental lighting any more. They get whatever amount of light at the window that particular day has to offer. The room in general, is fairly bright, with several windows and a patio door. Once daylight hours decrease and temps go lower, they start to slow down in growth and eventually stop growing. Once there is no more active growth, I let the moss mounds dry out completely and then give them just enough water to prevent shriveling. I give NO fertilizer in the winter. Just carbon filtered tap water (my city water is very clean). Humidity in the winter can get down to 30%. When new growth emerges in the Spring, I start watering more and fertilizing again. When there is no danger of frost I put them outside on my balcony under some burlap. I can not afford a greenhouse so they have to settle for my ghetto setup.
balcony grow area | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
They get watered when the moss mound is almost completely dry. I fertilize with Biogold every 3 to 4 weeks in the Summer. Every 2 weeks, I water with HB-101 mixed in the water. Once a month, I flush with RO. On days when it's close to 90 F, I keep them wet. I have several that never bloomed in the greenhouse where I bought them, but they've bloomed each year in my conditions.
So probably, increasing air flow and finding a way to get overall lower Winter temps is your best bet. Without a winter rest, they usually do not show a burst in growth in the Spring. They just putz along slowly all year round. This is my 3rd season with them and I think some neo varieties just grow better than others no matter what you do to them.