outdoor cacti

wiley1983(6b)June 12, 2013

I collect cacti and succulants and am looking for cacti that will survive our nova scotian winters, can someone help me out? I will also trade indoor cacti and many other types of plants, i also have many, many seeds

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This one in the photo is known as Opuntia humifusa. It is the only true cacti that I have ever seen sold for the outdoor garden here. It grows natively along the shoreline from about Cape Cod, Ma. to Florida. It blooms here in June. (Been told mine have a bit more orange than most for whatever reason). Bet it would grow for you in a sunny, well-drained site. Leaves will naturally pucker up in the Winter, then re-inflate in the Spring. They seem to cope quite well in a humid, rainy climate ( which locally can mean up to 80 inches of liquid precip./year). Easy to propagate from a cut pad. You should be able to acquire them from a Canadian source. Wear gloves when handling the pads, they are prickly (with 'glochids' and occasionally longer thorns). Eventually will from a sort of ground cover. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:13AM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

Your cactus is beautiful, njoasis! Aren't those the ones commonly known as Prickly Pear? Or are they something a little different?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Yes, they are prickly pears. Lots and lots of different species of Opuntia. This is the only species I know of that will put up with both snowstorms and the incessant, tropical rains of this year. Seem to be less commonly sold compared to only a few years ago. Probably because people have learned that, yes, they do spread, and yes, they do have those prickly little thorns.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Opuntia humifusa is the most tolerant of the Nova Scotia hardy cacti to wet winter conditions.

You'll also want to try Opuntia polycantha (native to Alberta) and Opuntia fragilis (BC to Ontario).

Cylindropuntia imbricata may also be tolerant enough of wet winters to survive...it does in my Ontario garden without protection.

There are loads of other zone 5 hardy cacti to try but only if you build a rain/snow shelter (open on the sides) 2-3' above the cacti garden in winter to keep the moisture off.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:56PM
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