The hardiest cactus

col

The hardiest cactus

Post by col » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:24 pm

Hi all,

If you were to recommend one cactus that you could rely on to survive outside in a cold snap like the one we've just had - provided it was kept dry under my rain canopy and in well-drained soil - what would that be?

Col


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Melissa
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Melissa » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:10 pm

Well after this Winter we should have a much better idea of what will survive :?

I've got quite a few planted out but this is the coldest Winter they have had to cope with :(

Keep a eye out for the results of ChrisG's hardy trials in the Spring :D

Melissa


Don

Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Don » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:51 pm

I'll be interested to see suggestions for hardier Cactii. I've been told Trichocereus chilensis and Pasacana are pretty good down to -10 in a free drained soil. :?: :?:


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Melissa
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Melissa » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:02 pm

Don we have the T. pasacana and T. terscheckii along with Oreocereus celsianus out on the bank, waiting to see if they have survived the -6.1 we have just had, plus what ever else the winter puts our way.

They all came through last winter with no problems.

Melissa


Don

Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Don » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:14 pm

Thanks Melissa I suppose they are rabbit proof, unlike E. rosea :lol: I'll take a small cutting when next I visit.


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Melissa
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Melissa » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:52 pm

Don wrote:Thanks Melissa I suppose they are rabbit proof, unlike E. rosea :lol: I'll take a small cutting when next I visit.
They are all a bit to big for the rabbits to tackle, I hope :evil:

Melissa


Frank
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Frank » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:52 pm

I have a large Trichocereus Candicans (if the lady who grew it from seed 20 years ago was right, they all look the same to me :oops: ) I can ad to the list. Unprotected from rain and cold being tested this year in the dry bed.
I've been to a nursery in Germany where they had loads of cacti that could take the cold down to -20C but wet was more of an issue.
I also seem to remember a couple of sites posted here that specifically looked at these, which I can't remember at the moment :roll: , sure someone will know.


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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by pete G » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:08 pm

I've got an opuntia that came through the 1987 freeze untouched, but I'm assuming your looking for more column types rather than the scrambling opuntias, of which I think quite a few are very hardy and wet tolerant.
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by turtile » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:28 am

Opuntia fragilis would likely do very well. Opuntia humifusa is native to where I live. We average around 44 inches / 112 cm of rain per year. Both can take down to -30C at least. There are so many hardy cacti, its impossible to list here.

Another cactus I have is Opuntia ellisiana. Its no where near as hardy as the two above but the pads stay hard and its spineless.
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:27 am

Hi Turtile, I have a tray of Opuntia humifusa from the seed you sent me. They are frozen solid but look fine icon_thumright I'll see if I can get a pic :wink:
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by DavidF » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:19 am

Hi Col,

You could try http://www.cactusshop.co.uk/

I've bought a few from him, all good plants, albeit a little on the small side (although they are very cheap). I bought 2 of everything I ordered and they are all in the greenhouse at the moment.

I'm going to try them outdoors this Spring and see how they do.......
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Frank » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:54 am

That's the spirit David, all your spikeys outside fried and already planning for the next offerings to go out :lol:

I've virtually left everything out so not much to replace from the greenhouse anymore. I'll take a peep this weekend and check how much new space I have gained over the last cold weeks :)


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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by DavidF » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:28 pm

That's the spirit David, all your spikeys outside fried and already planning for the next offerings to go out
:lol:

Well in my feeble defence, most of the stuff I planted out last year never really stood a chance, there were only a couple that were borderline at best. Plus I didn't put a rain cover over them, so yes, I am a cold blooded murderer :lol:

The next lot of victims to go outside in Spring are GUARANTEED BONE HARDY TO -20c :ahhh!: (hmmmm...... we shall soon see about that!!).
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:39 pm

Fletch, is your spikey bed a south facing slope? If so plant your spikies in front of large rocks which will warm up in the sun, giving that extra temp boost in sunny weather. My garden is flat but I have large rocks and Aloe aristarta planted up against them. It is like planting against a south facing wall :wink:
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Re: The hardiest cactus

Post by DavidF » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:47 pm

Hi Dave, it is on a South East facing slope, so apart from about 6 weeks in the depths of Winter it gets sun all year. It was an old rockery from the previous owners who had planted lots of "dwarf" :roll: conifers in it about 17 years ago, so this is what it looked like when I moved in:
Gdn 2.JPG
And this is it after clearing the "dwarf" conifers away:
Arid bed 1.JPG
As you can see, it has a few rocks already, which I re-arranged. I kept that conifer at the back as, although ugly, it provides privacy and more importantly, overhead protection. My large A. americana variegata gets sunk at it's base every Spring and does really well. I didn't get any photos of the finished article as it was always too wet :) . The one thing I didn't do was add lots of gravel etc.. to the soil, so I will do that next year when I re-vamp it. It is very well drained though and the conifers takes a lot of moisture out of the soil so it IS the ideal microclimate for it, I just need to find stuff that will bloody grow up here :lol:

Sorry Col, I've totally hijacked your thread :oops: Dave, if you want me to move this to a seperate thread on how to kill spikies I don't mind.......
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