Cacti and succulent garden

dgroberts
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Cacti and succulent garden

Post by dgroberts » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:02 pm

I'm a new member today and a complete beginner when it comes to growing cacti and succulents, but would like to create a cactus and succulent area in my garden. I've been doing a bit of reading, searching the net etc.. and would prefer to only grow plants which are uk winter hardy ( I'm in south yorkshire ) without any protection. I particularly like echeveria, delosperma, opuntia, agave but any others would be considered. Could you help with suggested species and varieties that are suitable and where I could get them from. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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redsquirrel
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by redsquirrel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:43 pm

hi dg, the only thing i could honestly recommend would be a few yuccas after this last winter. you say 'no protection'
you might get lucky with a few plants but i cant think of anything i could say would definately survive right now
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kata
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by kata » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:49 pm

Welcome DG,

Nothing wrong with Succulents. I have tried Schwarzkopf' but did'nt handle them well.

http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week218.shtml

Agaves, RedS can say something about those, his wife loves the Agaves.

I like Lewisias, also a succulent. They seem hardy, I have one outdoors all winter, in temps of -10 some nights.

You will get lots of advice here.

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MikeC
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by MikeC » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:07 pm

Succulents need to be bone dry to take the sort of temperatures you are going to see in South Yorkshire.

Unless you can grow them under some sort of rain cover (like an awning or a patio glass/canopy http://www.thecanopyshop.co.uk/patio_roofs), the combined wet and freezing temperatures is going to turn them into a soggy rotting mess.

If you can keep them bone dry and reduce radiation freezes with a glass/polycarbonate cover, you'll have a decent range of things to grow.


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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by flounder » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:28 pm

you could make a start with different sedums, sempervivums and yuccas. Get used to their needs and progress on to opuntias or agaves.
Its fascinating learning about the needs of certain plants, you will enjoy yourself and you will go barking mad :lol:
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dgroberts
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by dgroberts » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:27 pm

Thanks for the info. Which sedums would you recommend?


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:17 pm

There are cacti that will survive in South Yorkshire!

I have two tiny cacti that have been out for over two years now. Both have shown no damage except from slugs. One is in a tine pot and one is in the ground.
In the picture below the small opuntia imbricata is under the snow.

I will take some up to date pictures to show you what they look like after two crappe winters
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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:21 pm

Here they are taken this afternoon with a bit of snow on them!

They don't look that special yet as they are very small but they are very hardy. I would say as hardy as a Trachycarpus and look very different in the garden. They have both been frozen through for up to two weeks at a time.

There are many more that are worth trying but if I was you I would go for few yuccas and house leeks to give a good background display and then hunt out the hardy cacti.
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Conifers
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Conifers » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:34 pm

Yep, that one's hardy, it says zone 5 here, so it should be able to cope with something like -35°C (maybe -40°) as long as it is dry. In Britain, winter wet rot is going to be the problem.

Oh, watch out for the barbed spines, they're nasty!


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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Nick » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:47 am

Connifers your not kidding never, they are a devil to get out once in, and don't think with your thorn proof gardening gloves your be safe, not on your Nellie, they go through them like a hot knife through soft butter, you've been warned :lol: :lol:


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Dave Brown
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:25 am

Hi dgr, and welcome icon_salut

I am not entirely in agreement that all cacti will only survive cold if dry, but as is nealy always the case the most spectacular looking ones are normally the least tolerant.

There are species of Cacti all over the North American continent, with some taKing -75C. Obviously in those conditions there will be no liquid water and humidity freezes out of the air. However there are species that do cold/wet. Member turtile is in Delaware on the east coast and the winters can fluctuate with lashing rain in +10C depressions off the Atlantic, and -17C freezes off the continent. He sent me Opuntia humifusa fruits which grow naturally on well drained scrubland. The seedlings have been outside unprotected.

There was a guy in Denmark, not renowned for it's dry winters, Martin Tversted. He had hundreds of different Cacti and succulents growing outside. He seemed to raise his plants from seed, from a specific areas with similar climate. Just buying a speicies may not give you the hardiness in certain conditions. He had a fantastic website with all the hardiness ratings. However the website seems to have been taken over by a standard nursery selling everyday plants, with no hint of cacti. Big shame :(

Anyone know what happened to Martin :?: Did he set up something else :?:

Edit: Just did a search on his name and came up with a website that he contributed to. It has pictures supplied by him, but I am not sure if they were taken at his nursery. The link to Northern Nursery no longer routes anywhere.
http://www.opuntiads.com/html/opuntia-debreczyi.html but still looks a useful site.
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kata
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by kata » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:30 am

Some Seedum Google Images,

Every Image should link to their site.

http://tinyurl.com/6a66gtf
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by redsquirrel » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:40 am

agree with Dave, we had a couple of decent sized opuntia under cover,one is fine yet the other has lost the offsets off of the main plant.obvious cell structure damage due to to freezing.
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Dave Brown
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 am

redsquirrel wrote:agree with Dave, we had a couple of decent sized opuntia under cover,one is fine yet the other has lost the offsets off of the main plant.obvious cell structure damage due to to freezing.
What Martin said was although botanically the same species the fact that the populations has been separated for some time, they have adapted to tolerate local conditions. The plants and seed he sold had a location at the end of the name. Although not botanically official, was very useful in determining if the plant was suitable for your conditions :wink:
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dgroberts
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Re: Cacti and succulent garden

Post by dgroberts » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:22 pm

Thanks again for all the info. There seems to be some differences of opinion as to whether cacti/succulents will survive the cold/wet of the UK, yet there are pictures of them doing so in yorkshire. So, I'm sure you experts could provide a few examples of echeveria, opuntia, delosperma,agaves that will survive the cold/wet conditions of south yorkshire. Please help. Thanks again.


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