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why is our climate so danged strange?

Posted by ljrmiller z7 NV (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 18, 07 at 19:43

Okay. I am completely stumped. The four cacti I have in little (about large coffee-cup size) pots that I leave outside all winter shoved up against the house (if I remember and don't leave them sitting on the edge of the One is an Echinocereus, one an Escobaria, one a Pediocactus and one an Opuntia. The Opuntia is a species not supposedly hardy here--just something I was too lazy to drag in. So the Pediocactus and the Echinocereus are blooming beautifully, and these four little guys just look as happy as can be.

Then, out front, in the driest area of my garden, near the Penstemon palmeri (to give you an idea of how dry), I have another Opuntia, this one supposedly completely non-hardy, from Lowe's; and an assortment of Echinocereus and a Pediocactus. The Opuntia (the one with just the little reddish bristles) is growing happily, the Pediocactus is hanging in there, and everything else is struggling. All of the ones out front except for the Opuntia are supposed to be hardy.

I thought that stuff in pots, especially dinky little clay pots, was supposed to be horribly susceptible to cold, and stuff in the ground did better. So why, oh why, do my plants insist on making me crazy like this?????

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: why is our climate so danged strange?

  • Posted by beca 8b-NV (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 07 at 22:06

Who knows Lisa??? I suppose it's because these plants can make us crazy at times that they do....good luck.

RE: why is our climate so danged strange?

Cactii are tricky here ...

Most of us shut down the blinds when it gets this time of year so window space is scarce .. outside it is so hot many cactii just can't take the heat .. they shrink in front of your eyes even if you water four times a week ? ( some do not like our sun at all ) Many cactii are cold sensative in our area. Only a few in nurseries really capable of doing well in our colder winters.

Place any cactus in the ground and water it .. and you better watch drainage very carefully and /or heavy soils. Cactus roots need to breath. Pots .. especially small clay pots dry out lightning fast in summer. I sometimes seal clay pots with poly urethane.

My hunch ( in other words my guess ) your cactii in the front may be to dry ... or the soil to tight or just plain too much sun. Check out the ground and see what is going on ... Cactii need water and air.

Pots are the best ways to keep cactii here if you can find the right place outdoors or create a sheltered green house like environment.

Good Day ...

RE: why is our climate so danged strange?

I keep my tender cacti inside from late October through May in a sunroom. They spend the entire summer under shade cloth outside. They all seem to do okay, but most of my plants are Notocactus so they are easier to grow.

And one year we went on vacation and I think the plants got scorched in the sunroom during a May hot spell. Some of them are still recovering.

In the ground I have a lot of different Opuntias that are all planted far from the house. DH is not a big fan. They grow and bloom like crazy though. I water them once a week with a hose so you know they are not getting much water.

My biggest concern about our weather is trying to grow a good tomato :-)

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