Remember those innocent-looking brown paper bags full of dangerously prickly plants? The ones I got in a plant trade a couple of weeks ago?
Well I've finally gotten around to potting them up. That's the great thing about Opuntia pads: you don't have to hurry, as they'll keep for weeks or months. Perfect for my schedule recently.
So I bought some small clay pots:
Mixed up some well-draining soil by adding lots of perlite and sand to some regular bagged potting mix:
Put some old window screen over the drainage hole to keep the mix in and the critters out:
And started potting.
Pretty simple, just bury about 1/3 of the pad. The only complication was that an old discarded set of barbecue tongs were used to pick up, carry, and hold the pads while they were being buried. I didn't even need to wear gloves.
Yes, I put them on the deck, right at the top of the stairs. Why put them somewhere out of the way where they won't accidentally get brushed against with a bare leg?
I actually put them there because it's the driest sunny spot -- the roof overhang keeps most rains off, and they'll get sunlight until noon or so. I'll give them a little water once in a while but want them to stay on the dry side until I know they're rooted and growing, as I don't want them to rot.
So now I just sit back and wait for the new pads to start growing. I've seen this indoors early this past winter, but I'm still excited to see what these will all do. Will I get any flowers?
The anticipation of the unknown is a large part of what makes gardening exciting to me.