Restraint, a list, new plants

When I went to the cactus sale this past weekend I could have lightened my wallet quite a bit. Such a wide array of cool cactus and succulents, some quite cheap, some pricey. I only spent 15 minutes in the sale room though (which includes the time to check out) and it cost me a reasonable $41.

What is it about these weird and wonderful plants that is so appealing to so many people? At one of my local nurseries recently I heard a little voice say "thank you for letting me buy a cactus Mommy!" -- looking up I saw a big smile as a small girl walked by holding an Aloe. When those who are barely old enough to hold a 4" plant container are captivated, how was I able to resist the charms of a room full of amazing, mysterious plants? I had a list.


It wasn't a written list, but I went into that sale prepared. I also didn't give in to impulse buys. As mentioned I also moved quite quickly through the room, both to improve my chances of grabbing the plants I wanted but also to lessen the chances that I'd be captivated by a plant that wasn't on my list.

The first find was on the first table -- it had a "winter hardy" sign over a section of it. Most of the plants at this sale were not cold-hardy, so I'm glad this sign was up. Cylindropuntia whipplei (formerly known as Opuntia whipplei -- which is what the hand-written tag showed) was on my list, but I was really looking for the 'Snow Leopard' variety.

This straight species will do though, and the price was okay: $8. I'd have to pay more than that (including shipping) for a single "stick" of this if I ordered through the Internet. I may still do that for 'Snow Leopard' but will probably see how this one does over the winter first.

I think it will go in the bigger cactus bed, but I may have to move something to make a little room:

It has a succulent seedling growing in it:

I'll have to get that out and see what it turns into. Free plant!

Next up, not a cactus:

It's Yucca rostrata. Bigger than the two that I got last year (one purchased, one in a plant trade), but not very large.

I want to get this into the ground soon, or perhaps I'll put it in a bigger pot and keep it dry this winter. I know that keeping it in a pot out in the open was a deadly strategy last year. This one was a real bargain I thought: again only $8 -- but when I got to the register they rang it up as $18! There was a "1" in front of that 8 that I just didn't see. So it ended up being more expensive than I thought, but not much more than having one of these shipped to me would have been.

I put it next to my Yucca nana for now. I've recently noticed two mature Yucca rostrata at a nearby home -- they were probably planted there in the last year or so so I have high hopes for this plant. I may still order a larger one and have it shipped to me.

My third and final purchase was an exciting find for me:

Lophocereus schottii, "totem pole cactus". I've wanted one of these for a few years, and never thought I'd be able to buy one locally!

It's about 8" (20cm) tall, and was a bargain at only $15 -- at least I think so. There were a couple of slightly larger ones for $20, but I was quite happy with this one.

This is a plant that I'll happily overwinter in front of the kitchen window, as it's not going to stick me, or drop leaves, or grow out of control. In fact it will probably only grow an inch a year -- "two inches (5cm) in a really good year" the guy told me.

So that's my three-plant haul. I was very glad to buy these locally-grown plants and support the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society at the same time!


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danger garden  – (July 2, 2013 at 11:55 PM)  

I've fallen victim to that mystery "1" in front of a plant price too...glad you still bought it!

Alan  – (July 3, 2013 at 7:29 AM)  

Could have been worse Loree -- it could have been an "11" in front of the price. :)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM)  

Alan, I left a comment yesterday but I guess it didn't make it through :-(.

Yucca rostrata is never cheap because it grows so sloooooowly. In the summer, I water and mine every week and fertilize it twice a month with a dilute Miracle Gro solution but that's about all you can do to speed up growth.

That totem pole cactus is neat. I almost bought one this spring at the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society sale but didn't--and I still regret it.

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