Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's June and the Cactus is in bloom

One does not usually associate New Hampshire as a place to find Cactus, but in 2004 I ordered some high altitude cacti from a mail order outfit called Intermountain Cactus located in Kaysville, Utah.

I'm happy to report that 9 years later, I'm greeted with cacti blooms in June and July. This is possible because these cacti are grown in a COLD climate. It gets cold. But as cold as New Hampshire gets it  is much wetter than Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. The secret is DRAINAGE. I built a sandbox for my plants. They survive the winter, look squashed and dead but By June they pop into action and exhibit these beautiful flowers. I was given some guidance on cacti from Chuck Anderson of Mason Hollow Nursery in Mason NH. The Nursery has hardy cacti available for sale (mention that you learned this from this blog). 

Cacti are great plants, they do not need to be watered. They can defend themselves. Some of the Cacti I ordered had thorns that easily penetrated my leather work gloves. The predominant cacti variety in my collection is the Opuntia, but I do have some barrel cactus that have I have wintered successfully.

The first bloom of 2013. This is one of the older plants. This is one of the Opuntias. I usually get some pink bloom from other varieties.

As an experiment I took a pad from a houseplant and planted it. To my great delight it wintered over. The interesting thing was that I think this will bloom, unlike it's houseplant parent.

A shot across the sandbox, The secret is DRAINAGE, full sun.
Give it try