Gardening advice

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Never grab a falling opuntia cactus by the pads. Sigh. Just spent the last 20 minutes removing spines from my left hand. Don't think I have them all yet.
Martha

Thomaston, CT

There used to be a great nursery in the next town & I visited frequently with my friends.....one day my then 4 year old son begged to go, & I told him only if he could behave. This nursery specialized in cactus, & sure enough, Garret tripped over a flat & landed hands down in the baby cactus! No tears! However, my DH & I spent lots of time soaking his paws & removing spines....the doctor couldn't do anything else for him!

Natick, MA

OUCH!

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

And now that he's grown is he getting his revenge on plants? :)

Thomaston, CT

LOL......Garret certainly loves the plants.....most of what he designs are hardscapes, but he designed a beautiful garden for his FIL's pool house......his own gardens need help! The only permanent gardens he has installed are 'formal Colonial' in front of his saltbox house.....boxwood & lilac.....

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

What, no Venus fly traps?

Thomaston, CT

No.....the only houseplant they have is Ti plant....guess they can't kill it! Their house temps stay around 60 all winter......another reason for me not to babysit there!

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

You'll need to cuddle up with a nice squirmy pup with that temp.

Now as I think about carniverous plants, I saw a collection of great tropical pitcher plants today at the Lyman greenhouse in Waltham. Instead what came home was more crassulas and a key lime to add to the citrus collection here. DD2 actually took a few of my houseplants with her to college this year (with my blessing)

Thomaston, CT

I would like to try citrus again....the blossoms smell so nice....but my plant shelf is full right now. I brought my Elephant Ear & Hens & Chicks in yesterday.....

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Even plants in two inch pots do get larger, and pride goeth before a fall. I've been bragging about my lovely kumquat, but leaving it potbound thinking I'd get around to it later, and suddenly today most of the leaves fell off when it wasn't watered on time. Doesn't help that I'd just bought Happy Frog organic fertilizer to mix into the next sized pot.

Thomaston, CT

Oh, no....hope the kumquat is OK....citrus can be tricky!

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

True. They haven't been too hard except for the blatant neglect lately. Key lime was a risky decision to buy because it is a subtropical plant, but the foliage is so pretty it may be worth keeping in the warmest place, next to the orange tree. Pots are a rooster and a hen, Talavera style. It is daring not to plant them in terra cotta, but the orange tree doesn't seem to know that.

Thomaston, CT

I had my Meyer lemon in a clay pot.......had to water frequently which is a problem for me....I'm very forgetful! But it was a window that slid down in zero weather that killed all my houseplants.....the window is in the living room which is kept closed off by French doors, so no one noticed........

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Sadly that's all it takes says she with the almost leafless kumquot.

So, I'm trying to figure where to store my hens and chicks over the winter. Should I just treat it like a houseplant? Or would it survive in a cold frame with the conifers? Or can I neglect it in a dark and cold window in the basement with the camillias that sit on a humidity tray? In the past I've just let it take its chances growing in a tree stump and eventually it peters out when the winter is rough. Seems wasteful to do that.

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have a bunch of hen and chicks planted in some terracotta bowls which are currently in plant stands outside. I have had some survive in flower pots. I plant to winter these outdoors under a patio table under a maple tree which should keep the snow from building up on top. My ones in the ground seem to do ok also.
Martha

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Hmm. Thanks, Martha.

Thomaston, CT

I have kept mine in a pot in the living room.....I've lost them when they've been planted outside....

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