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fritz

Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by fritz » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:38 pm

danke bob, iann.

fritz

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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by Julie » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:47 pm

Great pics, Bob!

I wonder the advantage of having barbed spines.. surely a grazer getting caught on it would pull away and there would be a greater risk of spine loss or even damage?

I'm surprised cattle eat cacti... maybe that's the reason for the barbs? One of those in your tongue and you'd think twice about chewing on that type of cactus again.
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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by Phil_SK » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:52 pm

Broken off bits might be spread far and wide which would be an advantage.
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by Guest » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:56 pm

Julie,

This is one attacked by cattle and a hoof print at the side, they seem to recover ok and the offsets that are discarded seem to root ok.

I suspect the barbs on some opuntias are so that they stick to animals and the pads get moved around then root somewhare else, I am sure somebady has a better explanation though.
[attachment 1764 eaten.jpg]
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Jim Thomerson

Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by Jim Thomerson » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:26 pm

We have had an ice storm here in Austin, TX with ice for three days, about 1 inch thick. It is now melting and we shall see what survives. The Echinocereus should not be bothered.

During the drouth of the '50's in Texas we burned pear for the cattle. We had a pearburner with a tank which held a gallon of kerosene. We would pump it up to 80 psi with a hand pump. Build a little fire and put the burner head in the fire to heat it up. There was a pipe to the burner head and a coil of pipe, then a nozzle which would squirt vaporized kerosene through the coils, once they were hot enough. Sounded like a jet engine and put out a 3 ft long tongue of blue flame. Burned the spines and glochids off opuntias so the cattle could eat the pads without injury.

We had four ornamental patches of spineless opuntias, perhaps 10 feet in diamter and similar height. Over several years, the deer ate them down to the ground and killed them.
fritz

Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by fritz » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:44 am

ja jim,

like the lake travis. weathercapriolen deep winter i.e. in california (malibu), colorado and midwest kansas, nebraska etc.tornado in germany. mandelbaeume(almondtree?), kirschbaeume in bloom as in la palma.

merci fritz


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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by MikeT » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:29 pm

As Iann said, we have a maritime rather than continental climate. There are cacti that survive -30C in the wild, but usually under snow cover for weeks/months. They don't get the repeated freeze/thaw cycles Iann mentioned. Even so, there are a few cacti that can survive outdoors. I've been experimenting with a few over recent years. Planting out in the garden is usually unsuccessful for me because of slug damage. Cacti with slug holes are rather prone to rotting in wet cold weather. The only cactus I've found that the slugs leave is Selenicereus spinulosus, though it does get some snail damage on new growth. The older growth isn't attacked. This plant has survived several winters outdoors, but is planted next to a south facing wall, with wisteria/clematis on the wall overhead, so fairly dry at the roots even in winter. I've given up on growing cacti planted in the ground because of the slug problem. I use pots/containers on a flat garage roof. The garage is detached from the house, and isn't heated. Several Opuntias have survived the last few winters, as has Echinocereus scheeri. None have the look of a plant that is enjoying life, but they grow (slowly). The E. scheeri flowered this year. It's only a single stemmed rooted cutting. Growth is very much slower than for plants in the greenhouse. I have a number of Echinocereus, Escobaria & Agave seedlings that are now big enough to plant out this year to leave in the open, so hope to extend my range of hardy cacti. Casualties are expected.

Agave filifera & A. utahensis seem a bit happier than the cacti; Delosperma cooperi & D. nubigenum are quite rampant;Umbilicus oppositifolius (=Chiastophyllum oppositifolium) and Crassula sarcocaulis are sold in garden centres as outdoor plants and are fine planted in soil (unless you have vine weevil, in which case they'll soon find the Chiastophyllum).

I'll attach a few pics, including a couple of containers with February 2005 & today as comparisons. Note the lack of growth. The snow in 2005 is 6 days after the snow-less photo
[attachment 1785 clayplanter.jpg]

Agave striata, Opuntias, Delospermas, Sedums in 2005
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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by MikeT » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:38 pm

Same container today. No replanting, Delospermas have been pruned
[attachment 1787 planter.JPG]
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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by MikeT » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:40 pm

Another container Feb 2005
[attachment 1788 trough.jpg]
Agave utahensis on left, A. filifera on right. Assorted Opuntias. Look carefully and there are more than you first notice. Crassula sarcocaulis back left
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Re: winterhardy/frosthardy exotics - experience

Post by MikeT » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:41 pm

Same one today. No changes in planting other than removing dead bits
[attachment 1789 trough_Jan2007.jpg]

Little difference in size in 2 years.
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