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Cacti and Succulents: a crop of red

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xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 7, 2013
5:03 PM

Post #9378585

This Mammillaria spinossisima 'Red Headed Irishman' just seemed to pop out while I was taking winter garden photos today. What a beauty. Xuling

Thumbnail by xuling   Thumbnail by xuling
Click an image for an enlarged view.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 7, 2013
6:50 PM

Post #9378665

Nice! I'll have to take a look at mine tomorrow and see whassup.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 8, 2013
10:13 AM

Post #9379125

Nice. Here's a white-spined version doing its winter thing.

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
Click the image for an enlarged view.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
10:55 AM

Post #9379155

No buds/flowers on mine -- thank goodness! Forecast here is for killer cold rolling in by Friday, so I'm hopeful my M. spinossisima has effectively hardened off by now, it has been cool/dry the past 2-3 weeks.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
10:57 AM

Post #9379157

[quote="Baja_Costero"]Nice. Here's a white-spined version doing its winter thing.[/quote]

Looks great! That's cv Un Pico, right?
DMersh
Perth
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

January 8, 2013
11:12 AM

Post #9379168

I used to have one of those, they get quite large bodies for Mammillaria, very easy flowering.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 8, 2013
1:23 PM

Post #9379290

Yes, Un Pico. A reliable bloomer this time of year, indeed. It helps to rotate the pot in order to get a nice even crown of buds.
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
4:20 PM

Post #9379463

It is a very nice balance of the three beauties. Even the weed fits in.Today I had to find a pot to plant an Agave parryi .v truncata in, and I endend up buying a larger pot so I could plant four other plants around the Agave to give it upright support.. Such an addiction. Xuling
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
4:21 PM

Post #9379466

Here are two new pics from today with the sun shining through it. Xuling

Thumbnail by xuling   Thumbnail by xuling         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
6:41 PM

Post #9379589

Very nice pics!
No picture (it's been dark when I am getting home), but my red headed irishman is showing a lot of flower buds... several other Mammillarias have already been putting out flowers while others appear in deep hibernation. It was a strange Fall with mid 80s here right up until the first week of December. Several of my aloes have been in full bloom about 2-3 months before they usually bloom.

So that freeze is not going to be good. 27 Friday night, 26 Saturday night and then 28 F on Sunday night. However I have been noticing that the back yard thermometer has been reaching T's near the house at least 2 degrees lower than the temps forecast, so I have started planning the cover up operation. The biggest worry I have is the 7.5 feet tall Aloe hercules, which may or may not be OK with mid 20 Ts, it has had no problem with 30-32F, which we have hit occasionally over the last few weeks, but this is going to be quite a bit colder.

This year I had decided that if it won't survive a minor freeze (high 20s and up), I probably should not be growing it in the ground, but this cold front coming through is not minor from the looks of it. So the boxes of blankets, old towels and what not have been located and it will get crowded under the back patio with all the pots.

xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
7:42 PM

Post #9379638

Yes covering and uncovering what a chore. but necessary. X

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
8:54 PM

Post #9379702

Covering might gain you a couple degrees, but that's about it. If that M. spinossisima is in the ground, I'd consider digging it up. I'm not sure a flowering Mamm will survive what's coming, covered or not. I have a nejapensis flowering now, and I know that won't survive a sub-freezing temp -- my only loss to last winter's Dec cold snap was a nejapensis. Good luck! I'm afraid this is gonna be bad...
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 8, 2013
10:22 PM

Post #9379730

Fortunately the M. spinossisima is not in the ground, it is in a hanging basket. All flowering or almost flowering Mams are in pots or hanging baskets. So I might even go as far as bringing them inside. I do have some other Mams in the ground, most are very large mature ones: M. rhodantha, M. heyderi, M. geminispina, M. montensis, M. elongata, M. parkinsonii, M. gigantea, and M. krameri. However all of those have suffered through cold spells before and have been fine and none of those are flowering or setting buds and all have been dry since last rains. I might look them up to make sure of their cold hardiness.
I did actually find a picture of the M. spinossisima, and a couple of the other flowering mams: M. woodsii and solisioides. Among the other mams setting buds or flowering are M. elegans, M. hahniana, and M. zeilmanniana.

Thumbnail by mcvansoest   Thumbnail by mcvansoest   Thumbnail by mcvansoest      
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GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
6:52 AM

Post #9379880

As I recall, you're in the toasty part of town, and may not even see sub-freezing temps. Out here, they're predicting hard freeze five nights running. I have a buncha Mamms in the ground too, it'll be interesting...
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
7:56 AM

Post #9379946

You might be right depending on which weather station/service I look at, the forecast ranges from 3-4 nights of 26-27F to 2-3 nights of 28-31F. Given that it is cold air and not supposed to get very windy, it may just be fine, so probably no digging up of plants, but I will still take a few precautions especially with the easy to move potted plants and the easy to cover aloes.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
11:41 AM

Post #9380166

I know back in 2011, a friend of mine in west Mesa went all the way down to 31F one night in Feb, while my thermometers were tickling 20F. All that pavement and concrete makes a big difference. I'll be moving all manner of potted plants, and covering those tender plants small enough to be covered. I may have to kiss my A. sisalana goodbye, we'll see...
DMersh
Perth
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
1:12 PM

Post #9380237

Its a place of extremes Arizona, one of the hottest places on earth but you still have to worry about frost damage to plants!

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
1:18 PM

Post #9380247

It's not fair, is it?
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
9:24 PM

Post #9380652

Nope it isn't. Good luck with the freeze the coming days GermanStar. I am keeping my fingers crossed that our area does not get hit as hard, but talking about the winter of 2011, we did have some low-mid 20s in 2011 out here, two spells about 2-3 weeks apart, covering the Aloe hercules was still manageable then. But it did quite some damage, I had to completely cut back my Bougainvilleas and Tecomas because they got severely frostbitten. I ended up putting a whole bunch of potted plants in the garage. It even caused significant frost damage to one of the big Agave weberi's, that was most exposed to the wind, even though that A. weberi is on the books as being quite cold resistant.
A neighbor lost half his Euphorbia tirucalli firesticks during one of those spells. Mine were still in pots so they were in the garage. I remember that it even hit quite a few of the larger trees hard, some showed evidence of that frost for months and months afterwards. I had more plants in pots then so I could protect those much easier by moving them, I think I lost 1 aloe that was in the ground, but it had not been in the ground long.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2013
9:34 PM

Post #9380654

In 2011, the Feb freeze was the colder of the two, with three consecutive nights sub-freezing, bottoming out at 30F (20F here). The January freeze, four weeks earlier, also spanned three days, bottoming out at 32 (25F here). This forecast looks very similar to the February event, perhaps worse, with a nearly unprecedented 4 consecutive sub-freezing nights predicted, also bottoming out at 30F. Out here in no man's land, we may be sub-freezing 5-7 consecutive nights. It's gonna be ugly. I hate looking at once-beautiful Agaves... Good luck, and prepare for the worst!
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 10, 2013
2:47 AM

Post #9380706

Do you cover any plants? I will keep my fingers crossed. We also get the brutal temps here but prolonged sub zero events are the norm, meaning I try not to plant anything that can't take those temps. We just had days of cloudy weather with a good amount of rain, pretty sure it will kill some of my plants. I already started looking online for replacements...

C

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 10, 2013
6:41 AM

Post #9380817

Cover, move, hell I'm even going to dig one up.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 10, 2013
3:30 PM

Post #9381283

You gotta do what you gotta do.
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
9:54 AM

Post #9382781

It got down to 24F here on my back yard thermometer which was still only reading 33F at 10AM. But everything that I moved close to the house or under cover appears to have survived just fine.

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
2:15 PM

Post #9382970

So much for you being in the toasty part of town. That's just how cold it was here as well. It can take a week or three for frost damage to manifest on many/most succulents.

Thumbnail by GermanStar   Thumbnail by GermanStar   Thumbnail by GermanStar      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
5:12 PM

Post #9383095

Holy schmoly GermanStar, I have never seen or heard of using boxes and styrofoam cups as covers. I am going to assume that they work to some extent or other. Are they good? They would work for the frost, what about keeping the plants a little warmer? My night got to 25 degrees the other night. We are having a string of cold nights from 25 to 27, so everything that can possible be covered whether it needs it or not is covered to some degree. I am a little concerned about the plants that I store on the large covered front porch as I ran out of blankets. But they are next to the house and I leave the holiday lights on at the outer end of the porch. Probably the lights do nothing but even if it might help at all I am willing to spend the money for the electricity. Xuling
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
7:09 PM

Post #9383185

I guess it depends on how well insulated your house is. Our house here is not particularly well insulated. Last night when I went to bed the thermometer that is out in the yard that has a remote read station inside the house read 35F at 10.30 PM, at the same the large dial thermometer that hangs on the outer wall under back porch was still reading 44F, so the plants close to the wall of the house under porch were still well above freezing and from the look of them this morning, they probably did not go that far below 32F if at all - but of course as GermanStar says it can take a few days for the effects to become apparent so I might be more optimistic than I should be. But it is definitely in indication of how not well insulated the house is.

I realized this morning I left a 3 ft. Pilocereus pachycladus uncovered and as the day wore on the growth tip started to look decidedly unhappy. Covering it up tonight, but it might be too late.

Several friends in Chandler actually reported 19F in their backyard... I hope it stays in the 20s tonight given that tonight is supposed to be the coldest night.
xuling
Windsor, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
7:23 PM

Post #9383194

You get some really nasty weather there. Many years ago I used to go to Phoenix at Thanksgiving to visit a friend and it rained every Thanksgiving weekend. But I was never there this time of the year. I would rather be in Florida or Mexico.
Xuling

GermanStar

GermanStar
Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 12, 2013
7:28 PM

Post #9383199

[quote="xuling"]Holy schmoly GermanStar, I have never seen or heard of using boxes and styrofoam cups as covers. I am going to assume that they work to some extent or other. Are they good? They would work for the frost, what about keeping the plants a little warmer? My night got to 25 degrees the other night. We are having a string of cold nights from 25 to 27, so everything that can possible be covered whether it needs it or not is covered to some degree. I am a little concerned about the plants that I store on the large covered front porch as I ran out of blankets. But they are next to the house and I leave the holiday lights on at the outer end of the porch. Probably the lights do nothing but even if it might help at all I am willing to spend the money for the electricity. Xuling[/quote]

You've never heard of the styrofoam cup trick? It's a miracle for tender cactus, you wouldn't believe how well it works. You need to get your butt to the grocery store. And boxes -- why not? The idea of covering is to trap ground heat. If you trap it well enough, you'll get about a 5F kick. If the plant is not reasonably sealed all the way to the ground by your cover, you may only get a degree or two -- if that.The advantage of boxes is that you're guaranteed a good cover all the way to the ground so very little leakage and no worries about covers blowing off in the middle of the night. Paper is a fine insulator, now throw in the corrugation of cardboard boxes, and better yet. And you can always throw a towel over the box for good measure.

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