With thorns ...

Posted February 06, 2018

Talking about the adaptation of cacti to our geographical location could be a subject of eternal debate and the only really indisputable thing is that many species when you force them to live in habitats so different from their own behave in a way that you can not predict their reactions, a plant that has been in our garden for 10 years and that seems totally acclimatized for a year without knowing much because it dies in the first frost.

Thinking about this would also enter the debate as to whether the Cacti grown for hundreds of generations away from their natural habitats continue to maintain their cellular characteristics or what is the same.it does not reach a point where they almost equal the species and all the cactus born in gardening and nurseries are grown from it shape? What good is it to put calcareous earth on an ariocarpus that has made hundreds of generations that came out of its habitation or simply never knew it. I am sure that there are discrepancies about this

I leave there the reflection ...

It is grown in inert mobs based on chemical feed and what happens when cacti know the land for the first time time? This change is absolutely necessary and beneficial, but the plant demands an acclimatization effort to the new environment.

We must understand and accept that we are forcing crops of plants that in the end should not be there. Unless you read this from Peru, Argentina etc (in that case ... what envy you give me)

I write from Madrid and the climate here is complicated and extreme, very dry summers and very cold winters although every place has some problems and advantages.

As always I can speak from my point of view explaining how my land is, temperature etc. but I will not tire of repeating that everything is just as valid if it works for us , which to some goes great to others does not serve them.

Adaptation of this plant.

The temperature tables that can withstand the different species are very useful but not definitive, it is not only a question of degrees, humidity plays a primordial role, -5º with 80% humidity becomes lethal even for plants that presumably withstand much less temperature.

Another factor that is never talked about and which for me is very important is the fact that in pot plants suffer more cold than planted in the soil, the earth protects the roots very differently but be careful of the soil moisture because it is more difficult to handle.

So if you decide to embark on this adventure of acclimatising your cactus to the ground of the garden, logical patterns as to species, temperature, location and of course ... although it seems funny the last ones that decide are them.

I have also been able to verify that planted in land become more resistant to diseases and plagues, and not only that but in case of It is also advisable to fertilize more regularly than we would in a pot.

Always talking about the area where I live the species that work best are echinocereus, echinopsis, some lobivias, trichocereus, ferocactus and clesitocactus (with reservations .) that as more or less safe species but then turns out that there are things that surprise us. I have in my garden for at least 10 years a mamillaria and a parody that live content passing cold under the snow. The first winters of my "experiment" covered with a thin plastic more to avoid the excess of water to protect the cold and not if it was really necessary but ... I felt more calm doing it.

My garden is directed to the north total and in winter I can get to have problems of light but that does not prevent that in summer I burn everything if I do not put a shadowing.

Trichocerus and echinopsis need more the sun and although they usually bloom at night if they do not receive the light hours they need do not flower well. Some opuntia may also become acclimated but it is convenient to check which varieties are adapted in our area. The sclerocactus are very resistant to cold but not to humidity, precisely for that reason I lost this winter several ferocactus, I trusted and ... It is not the same a garden to the south with many hours of light and heat that a garden to the north cooled and wet.

I can give you a list of species and tips but there is an important part that only you can discover and that only with experience and error can be determined. Sometimes I forget that you are many who do this and live in privileged latitudes for the cultivation of cacti and others read me from places of climates far more extreme than Spain, so the ideal is that each adapt their own experience to the environment in which they grow

Having direct contact with the planet I believe to be something magical for any living thing.