The cactus bed: what else survived?

Yesterday I looked at the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) in my cactus bed, and showed you that six of the nine species and/or varieties survived that brutal winter.

Today I look at the other cactus, the ones that I started from seed a couple of years ago.


Since the seed packet contained a mixture of "cold-hardy cactus seeds" and did not indicate what species might be included, it's a wait-and-see game for identification. I'm hopeful that someday I'll have IDs for most of these, but today I know nothing. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

All five of these little guys appear to have survived -- four certainly, and one that may have some damage but it's difficult to tell.

Here's another:

Since it's difficult to get a sense of scale with these, I added my finger for reference:

You can see they're not exactly huge yet -- maybe 2"/5cm diameter -- but I hope to see some size increase or multiplying now that they've been in the ground for a year.

This is the one that seems to have some damage, but also appears to be surviving:

It's the biggest of the bunch, or maybe I should say "tallest":

This one is quite different from the others, even at this size:

I should probably mulch this area with more pea gravel so the soil doesn't splash up on the plants so much during storms. I'm not going to be brushing the dirt from these guys by hand!

Lastly, this one with colorful spines:

It's the smallest of the bunch:

I'm really pleased that all of these have appeared to make it through that winter, and I'm really excited to see what sort of growing they'll be doing this year. Will they get bigger before multiplying? Will they bloom? Such anticipation!

Remember, if you have any ideas about what species these are, please let me know in the comments! (Even if it's just a guess!)


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Mark and Gaz  – (May 9, 2014 at 5:01 PM)  

Isn't it nice that something you've grown from seed, a mixed lot have all sailed through the winter fine? Makes them extra special!

danger garden  – (May 9, 2014 at 11:48 PM)  

Wow, that's incredible. I tend to think of smaller cactus as being less hardy so the fact that these all are still alive is wonderful, I think.

Rock rose  – (May 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM)  

You should be proud of your success in getting cactus seed to germinate. As to identifying these and opuntias I think it is almost impossible. Even the same species can have differences. I would definitely get them into better draining medium so that they stand a better chance of winter survival. I have dome that gown on less than a quarter inch of soil over limestone rock. Their toots travel far but not deep.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (May 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM)  

These are fantastic, especially since you grew them from seed. Do a Google search for Escobaria vivipara; I think that's what the last one is.

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