outdoor cacti

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

A few years ago I decided to try growing cacti outside even though our zone 6a is quite cold (as low as
-12F) and usually very wet. Thanks to a DG member, oldmudhouse, I traded for several New Mexico cuttings. I aquired some other cacti from a friend in Utah. I built a shed roof to keep the rain off. Now I can finally show y'all some results.

Just goes to show that living in forested mountains doesn't have to stop a cactiphile!

Hope you enjoy--I have to go pull about a hundred glochids from my little photo shoot!

Bill

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Cannelton, IN(Zone 6b)

Hi Bill. I live in zone 6b and have been wanting to put some plants outside but haven't had the nerve to try some. Do you know the names of some of them? Nice setup. The Agave in the front, do you leave it out year round? Here's my garden. I have no protection from the elements in mine.

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Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

Hi Smashedcactus,

I think there are cactus that will grow in any conditions. You just have to find the ones that work for you. In Reno, low temps are in the -5 to 5 and the rainfall is about 7 inches. The trick is finding cactus that can stand being frozen solid for awhile or being damp. But, cold hardy cactus need the cold to force them to bloom. Dig in lots of gravel so the water doesn't stay around the root zone.

My two favorite shopping spots are:

coldhardycactus.com located in Lakewood, CO. Average rainfall is 16 inches plus 50 inches of snow. Zone 5 (minimum temps -25*)

geoscapenursery.com located in Meridian, ID. Meridian, on average, gets 10 inches of rain and a foot of snow. Zone 6.

There are others (google cold hardy cactus) but I like these guys and they have pictures.

Daisy

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Bill they look so happy there. I grow mine in a window, being from Seattle, but maybe under the eaves of the house would work, especially by the dryer vent!

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Smashed cactus--The blooms shown are Opuntia humifera (yellow with orange center), Opuntia engelmanii var. Engelmanii (pure yellow) and Cylindropuntia imbricata with the purpleish flower.

Echinocereus engelmanii var. chrysocentrus, Echinocereus coccineus var. coccineus and Opuntia polycantha var. erinacea are great bloomers for me. They are early bloomers and I don't have pics on this tablet.

Cylindropuntia leptocaulis blooms sporadically--Some years on and some off.

Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra and Opuntia engelmanii var. linguiformis have yet to bloom but have survived -12f with some damage.

I do have a couple of other Opuntias, probably varieties of engelmanii that bloom yellow. One is the pic attached of a bud.

It has been a very rewarding experience.

Daisy and Pistil, Thanks for the sources and comments.

Bill

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Smashed, The agaves come into the greenhouse for the winter along with a bunch of other cacti and succulents I use for summer landscaping. I like your garden. Until I put up the cover I had one Opuntia that would survive our winter rain and cold. It turns limp and pale in the winter then stands back up in the spring. With a roof I have had a great survival rate.

Bill

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

rockminer- It looks as if your cover is a translucent plastic. and what exposure it this-how much sun? I could see doing something like this.

Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

I posted photos of my outdoor cactus garden in another thread. That was probably a mistake so I will post them here too. I don't think I found the same photos again.

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Pistil, Yes, the roof is translucent corrugated roofing from Home Depot. The shed faces due south. Because of trees to the east and west it receives about 6 hours of full sun at midday.

Daisy, Love your photos. #2 looks to be O. polycantha. Do you have ID on the others? They certainly look happy!

Bill

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

The bud opened today!

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Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

#1 is a hedgehog cactus called Claret Cup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus).
#2 and #3 were supposed to be Claret Cups. They are Echinocereus of some sort. I got them from a nursery specializing in native plants just west of south Las Vegas.
#4 is an Opuntia sp. called Mesa Melon. I got it from Cold Hardy Cactus
#5 is also an Opuntia that I purchased from a guy on Etsy. I know what I ordered but he didn't label his plants so I assume its one of them

Echinocereus, Opuntia and Cylindropuntia are the mainstays of my cactus garden but there are a couple little ones thrown in for interest.

I'm attaching a photo of the whole hedgehog in photo #2

Daisy

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Daisy! I appreciate the info. I'm always trying to add to the collection.

Bill

Cannelton, IN(Zone 6b)

Thanks Bill. I have one Opuntia in the ground and several in pots. Most are not cold hardy.

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